A Denver James Beard Award-winning chef will develop the menu for a new restaurant that will be heavy on local ingredients and inspiration when it debuts at the Denver Art Museum next June.
Jennifer Jasinski, the co-owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Stoic & Genuine, Ultreia and Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen, will serve as consulting chef for The Ponti, which will be located inside the new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center that is currently under-construction at the museum. That role will involve selecting and training the restaurant’s culinary staff as well as developing the menu.
That menu, which will change seasonally, will have an emphasis on vegetables and utilize ancient grains and heirloom legumes that will be complemented by handmade pastas, fish and meat.
The Ponti is being named for Italian architect Gio Ponti, who designed the older portion of the museum’s structure that has been historically referred to as the North Building.
However, that building is being renamed the Martin Building in recognition of a $25 million donation toward the renovation of the building by Denver Art Museum chairmen J. Landis Martin and his wife, Sharon Martin. The addition of the Sie Welcome Center is part of that overall renovation
The Ponti will be designed by Denver-based firm BOSS.architecture in collaboration with Jessica Doran Interiors. The new space, which will be located on the first level of the Sie Welcome Center, will boast an expansive outdoor terrace as well as indoor public and private dining spaces spanning a total of 3,715 square feet.
A statement from the museum says the restaurant will be an “immersive environment” but does not include additional information about what that immersion will entail.
The Ponti will be open seven days a week and focus on serving lunch.
The Ponti will be joined in the Sie Welcome Center by Café Gio, a quick-service casual dining spot that will be located across the main hall of the welcome center from it.
Café Gio will also boast visitor spaces designed by BOSS.architecture and Jessica Doran Interiors. The space will consist of a 1,273 feet interior and a 1,088-suqare-foot terrace. It will be open seven days a week during museum hours.
The Sie Welcome Center will also include the Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center and the first phase of renovated galleries in addition to the two restaurants.