The Colorado community first mourned when Atelier announced the closure of its Boulder location. However, the tears quickly dried and turned into relief when the news broke that Atelier was relocating to Denver’s City Park neighborhood and aimed to stay open in Boulder. The French bistro, also known as Atelier by Radex, opened in the former il posto space at 2011 East 17th Street in May 2017. The move marks chef Radek Cerny’s return to the Denver dining scene after a ten-year stint at L’Atelier in Boulder. The City Park restaurant aims to be an approachable yet refined take on French bistro cuisine. Atelier is quickly rising as a tempting brunch and lunch option. What are online critics and communities saying about the City Park addition?
Another Radex Hit?: Atelier inherited the reputation and expectations of other Radeck ventures. Open Table users’ reactions range from impressed, particularly with the food, to disappointed with the “very thin” wine list. Most reviews applauded the comfortable ambiance and sense of relaxing intimacy. One reviewer elaborated that they yearned for an intimate atmosphere that “ will not make me feel like a small speck in a huge room,” and judged that “Radex has done it again.” The most common complaint on Open Table was that the occasionally slow service, along with higher price points and noisy interior, dissuaded few first-time diners from returning. [Open Table]
Classic Inspiration with a Modern Twist: Westword writers, yearning for the cuisine of Radek’s past, rejoiced upon the chef’s return to the Denver-area. Atelier menu boasts of the contemporary and creative French fusion dishes that will inspire “Francophiles and modernists alike [to] find something to love in the new menu.” Immediate standouts include the whimsical Le Homard “TV Dinner,” made with a poached butter lobster, citrus risotto, and shrimp scampi arranged on a divided platter. Westword featured Atelier in a late June round-up of the ten best new restaurants of the year, so far. The magazine admitted that any item you order - “anything French, French-ish, French-fusion and French-American” should be delicious and executed, “nary a misstep.” [Westword]
Relaxed Radex Style with a French Flair: Zagat views Atelier as “something of a fluke.” The restaurant opens as an airy French bistro, in a culinary city strangely devoid of them, and marks the acclaimed chefs return to Denver after spats with Boulder officials about the city’s L’Atelier location. While the food is a standard take on French-inspired dishes, similar to Cerny’s other ventures, the wine list is one-page of straightforward options. While few customers conveyed the disappointed with the stilted wine list, the critics at Zagat seem satisfied with the current menu - but eagerly the launch of the cocktail menu. What makes Atelier stand apart from Cerny’s other ventures, however, is the restaurant’s open and relaxed bistro attitude. The open layout’s chef’s counter and sidewalk patio reinforces Atelier’s charm. [Zagat]
Fan Favorites: Tourists and locals alike praised Atelier on Trip Advisor, and consistently awarded the restaurant five stars for its service, food, and quality. One couple visiting Denver, upon the recommendation of local family, stopped by Atelier for dinner service and felt that they “could have been in Paris!” A local reviewer and repeat patron found all of her dishes, including the TV Dinner, drunken mushrooms, and tuna special, “unbelievably delicious and prepared with mouth-watering ingredients and spices.” Other highlights Another diner enjoyed the restaurant’s locally sourced ingredients, like bread from Golden’s Grateful Bread. [Trip Advisor]