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Brazen Is Growing: Here's the First Word on the Berkeley Restaurant

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Marriage proposals, table-side s'mores, and "mind blowing" service all at Brazen.

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Brazen opened up in the neighborhood tiptoeing the line between West Highland and Berkeley in September. The restaurant is owner Chris Sargent's first solo project, after being an industry veteran for years at hot spots which include Rioja, Acorn, and more. Here's the (mostly) good news, (hardly) bad news, and general buzz about Brazen since its opening.

The First Bite News: 303 magazine featured Brazen on the eatery's first day. The menu, the killer patio, and the people are what makes this place special. Owner (and industry veteran) Chris Sargent is passionate, committed to his concept, and is going to treat his diners right. [303 Magazine]

The Urban Patio News: Diners can roast homemade, post-dinner s'mores while their dogs relax in a small park in the restaurant's courtyard. Yep. That said s'mores and dogs. [Zagat]

The Welcome Committee News: A Dining Out reporter stated that over the course of her two hour boozy brunch, "everyone on the Brazen staff stopped by the table to see to our needs and join in our fun." The atmosphere is "approachable [and] unpretentious," she said. Highlighted brunch standouts: The Brazen Ramen and The Bánh Mì. [Dining Out]

The "Squash-alicious" News: Sometimes, regular folks just say it best. "OMG! Amazing," said one OpenTable reviewer who commented that "the chef puts delicate surprising flavors in each dish." [OpenTable]

The Marriage Proposal News: One Yelper has just one question for the chef: "Will you marry me?" Other employee shout-outs in her review include Maggie and Lance, but the Yelper sticks to her guns regarding Brazen's main man in the kitchen. "I would marry this man just to eat the leftovers he brings home," she said. [Yelp]

The "Run, Don't Walk" News: Zagat rated Brazen as one of the 10 Hottest Restaurants in Denver Right Now. Sit at the chef's counter, and you'll have a "culinary theater" as your evening entertainment. This place is "hot, hot, hot." [Zagat]

The Service Here Rocks News: Brazen currently has a full five-star rating on Yelp, even with a dozen reviews.  Besides the awesome food, the service is "top-notch." One Yelper said the "service and experience is mind blowing!!!!," and multiple reviewers said the staff was extremely friendly. [Yelp]

The Architect's News: Brazen was designed by the Lubowicki architecture firm here in Denver. The company's blog wrote about the restaurant's design and features. Brazen has a few "stand-out" features including the polished concrete floor, bent steel shelving and lighting fixtures, and a dark wood finish, done using the "Japanese shou-sugi-ban burnt wood technique." [Lubowicki]

The Best Bites News: 5280's Amanda Faison recommends Brazen's shareable dishes, such as the Wahoo crudo and the "fancy toast." Not to miss: the whole-roasted striped bass, which is served in a rustic cast-iron pan fresh out of the oven. [5280]

The Inside Tip News: Zagat recommends diners to sit at the chef's counter. On weeknights, chef Barto features impromptu five- and seven-course tasting menus at the chef's counter. [Zagat]

The Strip Mall News: Brazen is located next to a dentist's office in its West Highland's Village Garden location. Not the trendiest setting. Despite this, the space has been transformed into warm setting that is both sophisticated and has simple charm. Owner Christopher Sargent calls his restaurant "downtown food and service in a neighborhood setting." [Westword]

The Hashtag News: "If you haven't been there yet, you're doing it wrong," tweeted one diner with the hashtag #yum4days. [Twitter]