When a ramekin of pistachio crumble arrives on the tabletop of a cozy booth, you might make a quick double-take. It looks abnormally similar to the plant for which the Green Mile—on which Morning Collective sits—was named.
That tongue-in-cheek character is what makes this new breakfast-brunch-lunch joint both beautiful and approachable. It’s neither a greasy spoon, nor an uppity by-product of Denver’s breakfast boom.
What once was just another 7-Eleven on South Broadway will be reintroduced Monday, April 3 to the community bordering Rosedale as Morning Collective.
The 2,500-square-foot restaurant is an ode to yesteryear—when going out for a meal, morning or otherwise, was a special occasion.
"I wanted to bridge the gap between home and a strict culinary skill set," says executive chef and partner Joseph Strelnik.
Made to feel like grandma’s house, the design is thoughtful, from the floral wallpaper dating back to 1952 to the powder blue paneling on the walls, a color precisely chosen because it resembled Strelnik’s childhood home.
The patio is divided into two, seating 24 and meanwhile giving breathing room to those waiting for a table. Indoor seating accommodates up to 80 people.
The menu is playful and expansive, suitable for families, the bright and early morning folks, the health-conscious, and those looking to indulge.
The daily breads include a variety of made-from-scratch pancakes and French toasts, with molten middles like stuffed s’mores and banana hazelnut and pistachio tres leches.
The stacked three ‘lil pigs benedict comes with coffee-braised pork belly, requiring a 48-hour process, and ham and aged cheddar tots on the side. Traditional favorites include the breakfast burrito and corned beef hash, while a crave and behave section of the menu is dedicated to 300-calorie options, such as the ancient grain porridge. Lunchtime offerings span the spectrum of soups, salads and sandwiches.
To wash it all down, the new restaurant designed a sunrise elixir menu. Special features include an ice program with customized cubes from made from wildflowers, dark chocolate and bacon flavors. The Collective Shot, featuring Iron face Gin is infused with dried apricots and assorted botanicals.
Aiming to appeal to a vast audience, Strelnik—formerly the executive chef at Snooze— says Morning Collective’s food is simple, but well-crafted, made from high-quality ingredients. Hailing from Pennsylvania, his culinary career has taken him around the world and to Michelin-starred dining destinations. Strelnik says he built this restaurant concept because breakfast was always his favorite meal, recalling his dad preparing fresh pancakes on weekend mornings throughout his childhood. Even Strelnik’s flannel shirt with Morning Collective insignia is in honor of his dad.
Morning Collective will be open seven days a week from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.