Nearly three years in-the-works and Frank Bonanno will finally introduce his tenth restaurant, French 75 to the heart of downtown Denver, Monday, July 17. The French bistro at 717 17th Streets is a dressed down “little brother” to Mizuna, both approachable and affordable, tackling the scarcity of classic French cuisine available in the Mile High City.
With design inspiration derived from an excursion to Boulevard in San Francisco, Bonanno’s wife Jacqueline created a simple and elegant space. The open bar and kitchen flanked by floor-to-ceiling wine cases draws the eye, with decorative elements such as imported green Moroccan tiles, tufted booths and herringbone oak panels.
Bonanno and Chef Jacob Copeland – formerly of Bonanno’s Luca – flex their muscles with dishes such as a roasted half chicken, ratatouille, and three variations of foie gras. Profiteroles, oysters Rockefeller and sole meuniere underscore the ode to classic French cuisine. Bonanno has also actively committed to training new talent, hiring six cooks for French 75 who have never worked in professional kitchens before.
Beverage Director, Adam Hodak set the stage for the restaurant’s “green hour,” with half-price absinthe and flights of liqueurs, like Chartreuse. Craft variations of the namesake cocktail will come with Leopold’s gin and champagne, swapping out traditional citrus with watermelon and pear alongside brandy vodka and rose.
This is the first Bonanno Concept opening since 2014, when Salt & Grinder started slinging sandwiches in 2014.