Food and Drink Mash-Ups
Visiting-chef dinners, guest bartenders, and pop-up collaborations aren’t new. But now, industry stars are moving beyond short flings and opening permanent mash-ups together. The latest megawatt partnerships literally raise the bar, pairing cocktail geniuses with top chefs and even master sommeliers. Here, three of the newest spots with a roster of all-star talent.
BY JEN MURPHY — Summer 2018
Restaurateur and beverage maestro Bryan Dayton is largely responsible for elevating the cocktail game in Colorado’s Front Range cities. His string of hits includes Boulder’s Oak at Fourteenth and Denver’s Acorn and Brider. Dayton tapped chef Amos Watts, whose versatile résumé includes Denver’s meat-centric Old Major and Sonoma’s now-defunct, two-Michelin-star Cyrus, to be his chef and partner at this new downtown Boulder hot spot. With a name roughly translating to “bullfight” in Spanish, the rooftop restaurant pairs Basque traditions and flavors with mountain views. The duo spent 10 days eating and drinking their way through Northern Spain all in the name of R&D. On the menu: ibérico ham, marbled steaks, paella, and tapas complemented by alcoholic granitas, gin and tonics, sherry-based cocktails, and loads of Spanish wines. 303-444-1333; corridaboulder.com
Chef Ryan Hardy and sommeliers Grant Reynolds and Robert Bohr — the trio behind New York City’s Delicious Hospitality Group — have put together a food and beverage dream team for their newest venture, Legacy Records. Located in the up-and-coming Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s west side, the 85-seat restaurant pairs Hardy’s Italian-infused cooking with a wine list curated with Arvid Rosengren, winner of the World’s Best Sommelier Competition in 2016, and a bar program overseen by 2017 best bartender in America, Jeff Bell, of Manhattan’s PDT. Just like at their Soho flagship, Charlie Bird, a hip-hop-fueled soundtrack sets the mood in the sexy, midcentury-modern space. Settle into the upstairs bar for pre- or post-dinner cocktails. For fun dining, share pastas such as chestnut tagliatelle and lamb sugo cavatelli, and let Rosengren introduce you to esoteric wines such as Spain’s 4 Monos Garnacha Tinto Grio and creative drinks such as the Japanese whisky-based Stone’s Throw, mixed with plum wine and shiso. legacyrecordsnyc.com
Nick Elmi, the Top Chef winner behind Philadelphia’s impossible-to-get-into Laurel restaurant and chef-driven bar ITV, collaborated with bar experts Dave Frank and Stephen Simon on this late-night hot spot. Elmi has won acclaim for his seven-course, French-driven tasting menus, while Frank and Simon have created a mini gastropub empire with popular Philly bars such as Khyber Pass Pub, Royal Tavern, and Triangle Tavern. Antique light fixtures, leather banquettes, and tin ceilings give their new bilevel brasserie in the historic Old City district a speakeasy vibe. The menu puts emphasis on charcuterie, shellfish, and classic cocktails. Elmi has simplified his lauded French fare here with dishes such as Champagne-braised escargot and a truffle-mayo-topped burger served with pork fat fries. With food served until 1 a.m. and a geeky wine list full of well-priced natural and small-production bottles and wines by the glass, Royal Boucherie has already become the go-to hangout for the city’s chefs and bartenders. 267-606-6313; royalboucherie.com
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