After returning from a three-week and 5,200-mile road trip, chef Kevin Grossi is ready to bring to Denver his take on American comfort food with the opening Tuesday of The Regional.
As its name suggests, the newest eatery in Avanti F&B will focus on iconic dishes from regions across the U.S., spanning from coast to coast and drawing from the South and as far north as his home state of Michigan.
"We're not doing crazy things to our products," Grossi said. "We're bringing the down-home feeling down to Denver."
The Regional's menu features rotating "country bowls," with highlights such as the straightforward shrimp and fluffy popcorn-style grits from Riverview Farms in Ranger, Georgia.
Sandwiches include the Nashville-style chicken fried in cayenne pepper oil and topped with crunchy pickles and onions. Grossi's version of the Philadelphia porchetta is a dry-roasted pork shoulder with rosemary, garlic, rapini, and long hot peppers, drizzled in a provolone sauce.
The Regional also reserves a section of its menu for vegetable and fruit dishes, showcasing Colorado farmers' seasonal produce. Grossi said it was important to him to balance some of the heavier menu items with dishes as simple as his roasted local peas and carrots, dressed in a garlic and olive oil "blessing." For dessert, the Peaches & Cream blends house-cultured sweet cream with Palisade fruit, honey, and fresh mint garnish.
In addition to culturing cream, Grossi and his team are making vinegars and pickling vegetables. The only things not made in-house are the breads from City Bakery and the chocolate chip cookies and fruit hand pies, courtesy La Fillette bakery.
Grossi spent six years with Big Red F (Jax Fish House and most recently Lola Mexican restaurant) before starting this first solo concept. In about a month, he plans to introduce brunch to The Regional's repertoire, with biscuits, country ham, and a "jam bar."
Starting Tuesday, The Regional will open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday in Avanti, 3200 Pecos Street.