In a month, chef Steve Redzikowski, who helms Acorn in Denver and Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder, will launch his third project in partnership with beverage director Bryan Dayton. Brider, located in the new Nichols building at 1644 Platte Street, is a casual venture, unlike like the two year old Acorn, named Denver's #1 restaurant by 5280 Magazine or Oak at Fourteenth, which landed on the same list at #11.
A different price point and style of service, however, does not deter Redzikowski, whose culinary pedigree includes Le Cirque, Jean-Georges, and Frasca Food and Wine, from focusing on executing the new eatery at the highest level. He talked to Eater about the upcoming LoHi spot and the latest changes at his existing restaurants.
What is Brider all about? It is about being more casual but still delivering what our guests used to Acorn and Oak expect from us. It is different than what we've been doing before because it is a quick and more casual restaurant.
What is the focus of the food? The big emphasis is on things that will touch our new rotisserie oven. It is a special one coming from France, a Rotisol. The other big aspect of Brider is our pastry program. Guests will be tempted by a big display pastry counter all the time! But at the end of the day, the food at Brider is basically the same food that we do at our other restaurants, but just a little bit less of the foufou-ness. Right now, everything has it's place, a certain spot on its plate; it is 9, 10, 11 different ingredients. At Brider, we'll be sourcing the same great products but just simplifying them.
When will Brider be open? We will be serving breakfast, full lunch, and full dinner as well. The breakfast is mainly focused on pastries.
What can guests expect to see on your dinner menu? We're going try to do a lot of family-style items. We'll have the rotisserie, so we'll do a whole rotisserie roasted chickens, we'll also do lamb legs, anything we can cook on the rotisserie, we will. But we will definitely keep an emphasis on lighter things. You will not see many butter sauces. There is no wood-fired element here like our other two restaurants, so we will try to let the vegetables and the seasonings speak for themselves.
Acorn is two. What have the last twelve months brought? It's been a blur of two years. It's gone by so fast! The greatest thing about Acorn, still to this day, is our management staff. We've got four of our managers that have been there since day one, and they really set the tone. If there's something that's come up, they treat it as if it's their own place. When we talk about things, they take it to heart, they take it serious, and that's all we can really ask for. We've added the addition of a smoker in the last six to seven months, which just makes it fun for everyone to come into work and have a different piece of equipment to play with. The other reason that is fun is because we can offer more variety to our customers. At Acorn, because we get a lot of repeat guests, we try to tweak our menu constantly so that there's something new for them every time. The recognition our restaurant received from 5280 Magazine was terrific for our team in particular. Bryan and I are humbled by it. Our staff is super proud of what they do, and this gave them more motivation to try harder every day.
Have you had significant changes at Oak at Fourteenth? Oak has been such a treat last year as well, because we have felt like we're able to keep up with it all. Bill Espiricueta is our chef de cuisine there and everyday he is a beast. We recently brought on Michael Conti who has redone the entire pastry program in Boulder. He is starting to get a little bit into the dessert program at Acorn and will start to focus on Brider as well. I've gotten a lot of heat in the past about not having a pastry chef so it is a big deal for us to bring Mike on. The only downside is that he actually feeds me everyday and I'm definitely getting more accustomed to the sweets. He's getting me fat.