Fall is in the air, and with it comes changes and new menus from Denver chefs. This week brings lunch hours and hearty lunch dishes from Avelina, a new jazz-inspired tasting menu from Nocturne and some restaurant-quality dishes designed by chef Frank Bonanno for delivery service Supperbell.
1550 17th Street
Avelina just opened on September 6, serving a dinner menu of creative wood-fired dishes with Mediterranean influences from chef John Broening and desserts from pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom. Now the restaurant has added lunch hours and, rather than simply offering a pared-down version of the dinner slate, Broening has created new items, including a prime-beef burger, a porchetta sandwich and an updated version of a Greek-diner classic call Brad's Neo Gyro (from sous-chef Bradley Yard). Lighter appetites will appreciate the ancient-grains salad (one of several salads), and the wood-oven flatbreads from the dinner hour also make an appearance at lunch. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
1330 27th Street
If you've been in the RiNo neighborhood over the past couple of weeks, you've probably noticed an explosion of vibrant outdoor art. That's thanks to the Crush 2016, a street-art festival that brought in artists from September 12-18 to liven up the area. One new piece is a portrait of jazz drummer Art Blakey, painted by Thomas Evans (aka Detour) on the front entry of Nocturne. The mural comes just in time for the jazz club's new fall Renditions menu, inspired by the album Moanin', by Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.
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Nocturne's kitchen uses music as inspiration for its Rendition menus, which change several times a year. This one — Volume 8 in the series since the restaurant opened in March 2015 — comprises dishes inspired by five songs on the album: "Blues March" (leek and spinach soup, speck, slow-poached egg and truffle purée; "Drum Thunder Suite" (grilled baby octopus, mojo sabayon, Spanish chorizo, pickled peppers, green harissa and cilantro); "Are You Real" (ricotta, butternut squash, sweet-potato strings, dirty-chai sphere and vanilla mist); "Moanin'" (King Ranch beef tenderloin, butter-poached lobster tail, truffle powder, potato-leek purée and roasted madeira wild mushrooms); and "Come Rain or Shine" (passion fruit tart with graham crust, lime-avocado ice cream, whipped cream and lime fizz). The full five-course meal comes in at $59 per person; wine pairings can be added for an additional $35.
Notice that there's no address with this one? That's because SupperBell, launched in early 2015, is a delivery-only service that provides cooked and assembled meals that you need only heat and enjoy. And in the summer of 2015, chef/restaurateur Frank Bonanno became a partner in the company and has been designing dishes and menus ever since. SupperBell recently rolled out a new fall menu and expanded into eight more metro-area zip codes, providing more coverage of Littleton, Centennial and other suburban areas. The company also brought on Troy Guard's Sugarmill to handle desserts, so you can top off a dinner with apple cobbler, fresh-baked cookies or caramel fudge pecan cake, to name a few of the rotating options.
"I treat SupperBell like one of my other restaurants," Bonanno says about how he goes about designing the delivery menus. "It's food that I can't put on my regular menus, but stuff that I want to eat." Look for items like short ribs with Brussels sprouts and smashed potatoes; braised bacon-marmalade chicken; and sweet-potato enchiladas, which range from $13 to $15. Kids' meals and family-sized packages, like whole roasted chicken or baked pasta, are also available. Check SupperBell's website to see if you're inside the delivery area.