Come August, the food hall Avanti F&B will be home to a new French bistro by a heavyweight Denver restaurant team. Ty Leon, executive chef of Mizuna, is leaving the 17-year-old Denver dining stalwart to start his own business. Joining him to run the new Bistro Georgette are Mizuna’s general manager and sommelier, Austin Carson, and its service manager, Heather Morrison. Avanti will serve as a testing ground for the team’s future standalone restaurant.
“We’ve been dreaming about bringing this concept to life for some time now, and Avanti feels like the perfect place to get started,” Leon said. Georgette will serve croque-madame sandwiches, moules frites, and bœuf bourguignon hand pies, among other Parisian “street food” options. Leon also plans to make seasonal tarte tatins, eclairs, and other pastries daily for dessert.
Leon joined the kitchen at Frank Bonanno’s Mizuna in 2014, and Bonanno trained him for the head chef role the next year, after previous executive chef Stephen McCary left. Throughout its years, five chefs plus Bonanno have headed Mizuna. One of them was Alex Seidel, who left to start his own restaurant Fruition and later Mercantile, and who just last week won a James Beard Award for his work. Bonanno says this movement and success within the community is what he hopes for as a local restaurant owner. “That’s something that gives me enormous pride, that another group of Mizuna alums is moving on to open their own concept,” he said.
Bistro Georgette will replace The Regional at Avanti. That 2-year-old stall from chef Kevin Grossi is graduating to a brick-and-mortar space in Fort Collins. Grossi previously helmed Jax Fish House in Fort Collins and Lola in Denver before starting his American regional concept. More information about The Regional’s new spot to come.