Jeremy Kittelson, former executive chef of Avondale in Avon, will open Ambria in Denver

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Jeremy Kittelson, the former executive chef of Restaurant Avondale at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon (which, by the way, was recently sold to Richard Sandoval, who owns La Sandia, Tamayo and Zengo in Denver and Venga Venga in Snowmass Village), has come down the mountain to open Ambria in downtown Denver, on the 16th Street Mall.

"My stint in the mountains was a bit of a side track," confesses Kittelson. "When I moved out here, I was actually looking for a job in Denver, but I met a couple who had a home in Beaver Creek, and they suggested that I go up there." Kittelson submitted his resume to Larkspur, a brilliant restaurant in Vail owned -- and cheffed -- by Thomas Salamunovich, who was in the midst of opening Avondale. Kittelson was hired. "I wanted to take on the challenge of working in a hotel restaurant," he says, but cooking in Denver was never far from his mind. "Denver has an amazing food scene that's just getting better every day, and I want to be a part of that food culture."

Kittelson, who attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and worked as the exec chef at Tapawingo in Michigan, as well as on the line at Blackbird and Jean-Georges Vongerichten's French-Asian Vong in Chicago before relocating to Colorado, won't yet reveal the exact location of his new restaurant, but says that he's this-close to making it public.

"Things are definitely moving fast, and we're very close to finalizing a space, but before I announce the exact location, I want everything in place," explains Kittelson, who's aiming for a November opening. "This all came about very quickly, and we're being aggressive about targeting an opening date," he continues, "but it's an existing restaurant that, while requiring a new design, is structurally fine, so I think we'll meet that timeline."

Kittelson's restaurant, which he describes as "Mediterranean sensibilities -- that means it's my style of cooking based on principles of the Mediterranean region" -- will, he adds, "emphasize local and seasonal ingredients" along with technical precision. "This is a restaurant that will be very technical in that we're cooking the absolute right way," he notes.

And while that philosophy might strike some as elitist, Kittelson insists that he simply wants to "create a great place that's refined dining," a restaurant, he says, that personifies "great food that's moderately priced and appropriately portioned, great wine and great service that's still comforting."

Kittelson and his crew will redesign the space -- it's a big one -- to include, among other attributes, a 25-foot community table. "When I was cooking at Avondale, we created an amazing apres-ski scene, and I want to bring that same energy -- that same communal spirit and lively bar scene -- to happy hour at this restaurant."

When Ambria opens -- Kittleson is eying an early- to mid-November debut -- it'll serve lunch Monday through Friday, dinner daily, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.