Eating Adventures

The Westword Watch List: Where to Drink and Dine Right Now

Meet Mason Bennett, the new chef at the Preservery.
Meet Mason Bennett, the new chef at the Preservery. The Preservery
There's plenty of good food and drink to be found this weekend, served by newcomers and old favorites alike. Current hot spots include a new bar perfect for your inner sourpuss, a sushi bar with a brand-new brunch, and two new chefs rolling out menus at established eateries. Dig in, then find our complete list of bar and restaurant openings and closings for the week of May 22 through May 28, 2017.

click to enlarge Pucker up at Goed Zuur. - MARK ANTONATION
Pucker up at Goed Zuur.
Mark Antonation
Goed Zuur
2801 Welton Street
Wild and sour beers couldn't be hotter than they are right now, giving Colorado beer drinkers more options for puckering up than ever before. Taking advantage of the trend while honoring the long tradition of spontaneously fermented beers in Belgium is Goed Zuur, which opened earlier this month in Five Points. Options range from simple and inexpensive canned beers made locally to rare, complex and pricey bottled beers from Italy, Switzerland and the U.S., among other places. This is a bar that will satisfy both the aficionado and the curious newcomer alike, and a short but style-appropriate food menu offers a range of palate-cleansers and satisfying sandwiches. Try a creamy plate of Italian-style stracciatella cheese, which works great as a foil for tart and funky beers. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through the draft and bottle lists if you feel a little overwhelmed.

click to enlarge Colorado fingerling poutine. - THE PRESERVERY
Colorado fingerling poutine.
The Preservery
The Preservery
3040 Blake Street

Just over a year in and the Preservery has established itself as one of RiNo's unique eateries, with a lunchtime market and deli vibe by day and a boisterous bistro feel by night, complete with a corner jazz band and a lively staff headed by owners Whitney and Obe Ariss. But change is inevitable in the restaurant business, so opening chef Brendan Russell is out and Mason Bennett is in. Whitney Ariss says Bennett's new menu will maintain the restaurant's Mediterranean flair and attention to ingredients while bringing on more small plates and shareable items. Take, for example, a playful spin on poutine that substitutes fingerling potatoes in place of the standard French fries but keeps the cheese curds and gravy in place. Bennett's previous experience includes Italian cuisine, so he's already introduced his focaccia recipe and will soon add one or two housemade pastas. Swing by tonight and check out the new menu while enjoying cocktails from guest bartender Zack Kennison of Curio Bar, part of the Preservery's ongoing Final Fridays guest bartender series.

click to enlarge Chef Vincent Vigil (right) is new to Randolph's and is kicking off the restaurant's summer barbecues on the patio. - MARK ANTONATION
Chef Vincent Vigil (right) is new to Randolph's and is kicking off the restaurant's summer barbecues on the patio.
Mark Antonation
Randolph's Restaurant
1776 Grant Street
Chef Vincent Vigil just came off a two-year run as chef de cuisine at the Stanley Hotel to take the lead at Randolph's in the Warwick Hotel. While Randolph's may not leap immediately to mind as a dinner stop for neighborhood-hopping diners in Denver, the Uptown restaurant is a hidden gem with an international pedigree. Vigil says he's adding Spanish influences to the menu (his family comes from Spain) while focusing on fresh, seasonal and local ingredients and modern platings. The chef's previous experience also includes a year under Elise Wiggins at Panzano and time at the Brown Palace. Randolph's just launched its daily patio barbecue, which will be available every sunny day at lunchtime this summer, with casual but creative bites on the Warwick's tree-shaded patio — a great escape from the fast pace downtown. Vigil says he also just launched a small poolside menu for the rooftop bar on the 15th floor of the hotel, but you have to be a hotel guest for that experience (hint: stay-cation).

click to enlarge Brunch is served at Sushi Sasa. - SUSHI SASA
Brunch is served at Sushi Sasa.
Sushi Sasa
Sushi Sasa
2401 15th Street
Chef Wayne Conwell's Japanese eatery just around the corner from 15th and Platte streets has been sharing its artistic and elegant cuisine for dinner for a dozen years, but until now the restaurant has never served brunch. But times are changing, even for establishments rooted in tradition, so Conwell is leaping into the brunch game beginning at noon Sunday, May 28. He's doing so not with eggs Benedict or fluffy waffles, but rather with a logical transition from his regular menu. Start with a $7 cocktail (ingredients include yuzu and lychee in various versions of classics) and then explore savory dishes like 72-hour ribs with a five-spice rub; chicken kaarage (there may not be waffles, but this Japanese fried chicken is perfect for brunch); steamed pork-belly buns with hoisin glaze; and Japanese-style fried rice. Bento boxes, sushi combos and salads (think charred beef or tuna tataki, not just mixed greens) round out the roster. On the kids' menu, there's bacon mac and cheese udon noodles, which we're hoping adults can order, too. And, of course, it wouldn't be brunch without bottomless "mimo-sans" ($10). While not your standard Denver brunch, Sasa's version invites the same kind of lingering over comforting dishes and drinks as its eggier counterparts.

Keep reading for all of this week's bar and restaurant openings and closings.

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