It may have taken longer than expected (some two years of planning), but Ste. Ellie is ready to rock the Denver bar scene with a sensuous space, well-crafted cocktails, and one of the coolest bar crews anyone can wish for. The bar and eatery, sister to the three year old Colt & Gray restaurant in LoHi, will open tonight at 8:30 p.m., promising to simply throw a fun party for its guests— every single night.
Chef and owner Nelson Perkins named Colt & Gray after his two sons, Coulter and Grayson, and he felt compelled to open another establishment younger daughter, Ellie. Name inspirations aside, both establishments convey a sense of family. That is because the team behind them, including bar manager Kevin Burke and chefs Jenna Hodges and Kyle Foster have joined Perkins when he first opened Colt & Gray and never left. That team is what is now behind the brand new Ste. Ellie.
Joining the crew at Ste. Ellie, behind the bar, are some familiar faces: Ryan Conklin, certified cicerone and former bar manager at Old Major and Euclid Hall, Matty Durgin, formerly of the Green Russell, and Christina Andrews, who was part of Eater's Bartender Feature over Cocktail Week. They will be mixing and serving 10 original craft cocktails and up to 8 classic cocktails -- and because of the tiki and rum proclivities of some members of the team, namely Matt Durgin, there will be tiki drinks. Expect playful names like Mime is Money and Spontanious Combustion and clever combinations like cachaca, rum, egg, and #PSL spice or sake, Combier Orange, lemon, pomegranate, and Marie-Courtin Champagne.
A well-curated beer list will feature eight independent draft lines. "Ryan has done an incredible job at going out there and finding some new things, but also raiding our cellars," Kevin Burke explained. "There is some aged Russian River Consecration on our menu," he added. There are also beers from Upslope, Deschutes, and Trümer. As for wine, there will be some— two whites, two reds, and two champagnes by the glass and severalchampagnes by the bottle. Bonus: there are three "drinks for a crowd," punch-like concoctions served for either three or six guests.
The food menu, created by chef Jenna Hodges, will include a selection of small dishes - a crudo, a soup, and cheeses and charcuterie, among others - as well as larger plates like the burger, turkey burger, and a vegetable tartine. There are bar snacks like the croquettes and addictive peanut brittle and sweet endings like the coffee-forward ice cream sandwich.
There is no boilerplate "concept" behind this new bar and eatery. "The genesis for the whole project came from the question- where would we want to hang out," Kevin Burke explained. "What we want to do here is have a good time, welcome our guests and treat them well, feed them and offer them great drinks. We are basically throwing a party every night that we are open," he added.
The softly lit room at Ste. Ellie accommodates 50 guests with seating at the attractive bar, or at intimate tables and white curvy booths. Bonus: there is a private dining space adjacent to Ste. Ellie that can accommodate parties to up to 90 guests. There is an option of combining the two space into a space accommodating up to 140 guests.
Ste. Ellie will be open seven days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. serving both food and drinks. Tonight, for its first night, the doors will open at 8:30 p.m.
· The Renovation That Started Ste. Ellie [EDen]
· Seven Deadly Sins of Bartending From Colt & Gray's Barman Kevin Burke [EDen]
· The 38 Essential Denver Restaurants, October '13 [EDen]
· Denver's Most Anticipated Fall Restaurant Openings [EDen]