Avelina, a New-American restaurant, will open in LoDo with executive chef John Broening and pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom at its helm. Denverites remember the couple's previous menus at Duo, Olivea, or Spuntino; the new 4,900 square foot state-of-the-art restaurant will build upon their previous experiences but give the chefs a broader stage for their cooking.
With a seasonal and rustic accent, Broening will offer dishes like squash blossoms filled with sheep’s milk ricotta, charred corn and tomato essence, and wood-fired brick chicken with flageolet beans, chorizo, spicy greens and pastis jus. For her part, Lozada-Hissom, originally from Venezuela, is pleased with the license the New-American umbrella of the restaurant gives her. " I like to use local fruits as much as I can: apples, cherries and peaches, but I also love the particular vibrancy of the tropical fruits that I grew up with: passion fruit, mango, guanabana and it's exciting for me to incorporate those flavors into the desserts and ice creams that we will offer," the pastry chef shared. Chocolate lovers should not worry: Dishes like the Gianduja ice cream seven layer bar with hazelnut dacquoise and honeycomb crunch will also be part of the dessert line-up.
Avelina is owned by Kevin and Stacey Jennings of Urban Food Group. The North Carolina company also owns two locations of Vivace, an Italian concept, a French brasserie called Coquette, and Chow, a burger and pizza concept. The design at the Denver restaurant is in the hands of Amy Price of Ai3, an Atlanta-based company. Price's previous firm, Johnson Studio, is a James Beard winning hospitality design company that handled three of Urban Food Group's ventures.
Guests should expect a modern space with a rustic feel that will seat 75 in the dining room, 40 in the private dining room, 30 in the bar, and 25 on an outside patio. An operable back bar will be the star of the interior - opening the restaurant directly onto Wazee Street.
Avelina will open daily for dinner starting in mid-July. Lunch and brunch will be added at a later time.