With Boulder’s newest food hall, Avanti Food & Beverage, poised to open its six-restaurant, two-bar, one-coffee shop operation at 1401 Pearl Street in early October, we accepted an exclusive invite to taste test the food the place will have to offer.
The 13,000-square-foot space, located on Pearl Street Mall neighboring the Boulder Theater, features cuisines from Venezuela, Taiwan and the Middle East, Denver’s Jewish neighborhood deli, classic New York-style pizza, and local Colorado-grown food in its farmers market and craft kitchen-inspired concept.
With Rosetta Hall opened in October 2019, Avanti is Boulder’s second upscale downtown food hall.
The food hall has a market-style first floor with a modern, industrial warehouse aesthetic and a single restaurant, Chef Steve Redzikowski’s pizza concept New Yorkese (Redzikowski is co-owner of the great Oak at Fourteenth) on the fourth floor along with a bar, which features great 270-degree mountain views including the Flatirons and Sanitas.
The restaurant incubator also features Denver-based Method Coffee Roasters, which it will serve from its first-floor café.
We dropped by on Wednesday for a tasting of each of Avanti’s six concepts, accompanied by drink pairings via Avanti’s bar manager Chris Stotts. Here’s a preview of what to expect when the food hall finally flings open its doors to the public! For full series of chef interviews, check out our Avanti Series on IGTV.
Quiero Arepas, Denver’s well-known and 100 percent gluten-free Venezuelan arepa restaurant, run by husband-and-wife team Igor and Beckie Panasewicz, got its start at Denver’s Cherry Creek Farmers Market as a food truck and then opened its Denver Avanti outpost in 2015. The pair opened their first solo brick-and-mortar operation in April 2019, and now has expanded into Boulder.
The only restaurant concept in a boxcar, a nod to Denver’s Avanti location, Quiero Arepas has options ranging from vegan in its La Original made with black beans, sweet fried plantains, avocado and guasacaca to its vegetarian Queso Arepa and a range of meats including chicken, beef, ham, and its salmon-based El Caribe.
Jerrod Rosen, co-owner of the Denver Jewish neighborhood delicatessen, and operating partner Ross Goldberg will operate Rye Society’s second outpost, with the first on Larimer Street in Denver, marking the first time Boulder has had a Jewish deli in years.
Rye Society’s menu takes traditional Jewish flavors and and bakes them into creative concepts like “Jewish Nachos,” made with bagel chips, pastrami, swiss, pickled red onion, slaw and Russian dressing, and the Hebrew Hammer — a classic lox bagel with tomatoes, pickled red onion, capers, cucumber and dill.
The pair also serves up a bowl inspired by Jerrod Rosen’s doctor sister, Dr. Rosen (the bowl’s namesake!) when Jerrod and Ross asked her to come up with the most nutrient-packed menu item she could think to add to the restaurant’s roster. Dr. Rosen’s Feel Good Bowl comes with roasted sweet potatoes, curry roasted cauliflower, mushrooms, kale, avocado, quinoa and toasted pumpkin seeds, tossed with tamari carrot vinaigrette.
Founded by childhood friends Charles Troup and Chase Devitt who met at summer camp when they were 12, Boychik serves traditional middle eastern foods such as shawarma, muhammara, baba ganoush and falafel, but with a modern, elevated twist.
After winding up in Boulder and working together at Oak at Fourteenth, Charles as its GM and Chase as its sous chef, the pair decided it was time to start their own spot. Charles and Chase, both having spent time in Israel, chose middle eastern cuisine for its naturally healthy qualities and fresh ingredients, making it a great fit for Boulder with its plethora of local farms.
Pig and Tiger
Run by Darren Chang and Travis Masar, Pig and Tiger serves modern Taiwanese cuisine inspired by Chef Darren’s Taiwanese-American upbringing and the 10+ years of experience in Asian cuisine that Chef Travis, a competitor on Top Chef season 11, brings to the table.
The duo met while working together in LA, and recently decided to fuse their knowledge and experience, staying true to the traditional flavors of Taiwanese food while incorporating modern techniques and flavors, and trying to use as much local Colorado-grown food as possible.
Rooted Craft American Kitchen
Nicholas Kayser, most recently a head chef at Denver’s Vesta, launches his first independent venture in Rooted Craft American Kitchen, a concept which originated as a vegetarian and vegan fast food approach.
A huge proponent of slow food, Nick believes that can come a lot from sourcing and back-end production, and Rooted focuses on sourcing mostly all Colorado-local ingredients, including from Boulder’s Cure Organic Farm and Kilt Farm.
Rooted also features drinks from a program Nick launched in September 2019 called Zero Proof Dinner Series, created in response to the rise of suicide rates and mental health awareness across the US, making non-alcoholic beverages for those who don’t drink but still want to go out. Nick uses local fruit-made shrubs and vinegar paired with sodas and tonics from British drink company Fever-Tree.
Oak at Fourteenth owner Steve Redzikowski, originally from Long Island, opens his sixth restaurant in the New York-style pizzeria New Yorkese on Avanti’s fourth floor.
The pizzeria, which opens up to Avanti’s mountain-view deck can serve from both its front and deck counters, and serves a variety of pizzas including The Roni, the Forager and the Steverino (mozzarella with sausage, kale and olives!) and even has a Bambino cheese for the kiddos.
Steve also included an entire section of Burrata Cheese plates which come with warm, homemade bread.
[podcast: Oak at Fourteenth chef Steve Redzikowski]
How it works
Similarly to neighboring Walnut Street’s food hall Rosetta Hall, Avanti’s model helps provide restaurateurs with the basic infrastructure to run a kitchen, including guidance on menu creation, concept testing and operating a kitchen. The food hall structure allows the chefs to focus on growing their craft while its staff operate the buildings’ bar and take care of all hospitality aspects.
The big difference in Avanti’s model lays its design as a restaurant incubator (rather than a performative avenue, like Rosetta Hall), guiding restaurateurs to level up and potentially go solo. Avanti’s founder and owner Patrick O’Neill tells BLDRfly that the incubator plans to rotate leases on an approximate two-year basis, keeping the space in an ongoing state of growth and evolution.
Avanti’s bars operate with a goal of tying together all of the unique concepts by pairing special drinks or wines with each dish and keeping the machine well-lubricated!
[Podcast: Boulder’s 2nd downtown food hall slated for mid-2020 opening]
Header Image: Inside Avanti’s market-style first floor. Image: Tatyana Sharpton.