Foodography: A sneak peek at Ambria, opening Wednesday on the 16th Street Mall

Ambria1.jpg
Lori Midson
Back in September, Jeremy Kittelson, ex-chef of Restaurant Avondale at the Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon -- which will soon be Cima, a Latin kitchen from chef Richard Sandoval -- left his mountain gig for the bright lights of Denver, specifically the 16th Street Mall, where he's now the chef/owner of Ambria, a Mediterranean-influenced restaurant that occupies the former Ling & Louie's space at 1201 16th Street.

The revamped interior, which is nearly complete, trumpets a community table that parallels the long bar, new upholstery and wallpaper, weathered hardwoods, an exhibition kitchen and conversation-piece light fixtures that add pronounced declarations of whimsy.

And Kittelson's approach to food -- he's one of the most determinedly technique-driven chefs I've seen in this city -- is all about pushing the envelope but with sensible restraint. "I look at food and ingredients as though I've never seen them before, and I ask myself, 'how do I make my dishes differently from everyone else, and how do I take a fresh approach to food while being technically precise?'" he explains. "This is my first chance at ownership," he continues, "and ultimately, I want to just make people happy by making food that people want to eat -- and food that I want to cook."

I had the opportunity to sample several of Kittelson's dishes late last week, and if what I tasted is any indication of what we can expect when Ambria opens for service on Wednesday, we're definitely in for an exhilarating culinary red carpet ride.


Ambriabufalacarpaccio.jpg
Lori Midson
Carpaccio with imported bufala mozzarella, peperoncini, watercress and horseradish gremolata.

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Lori Midson
Sea scallops spiced with espelette pepper powder and served with crumbled bacon and a butternut squash and green apple sweet-sour agrodolce.

Ambriacarrotsalad.jpg
Lori Midson
Much to my surprise, as well as Kittelson's, my favorite dish was one that I'd likely never order, a raw carrot salad, dressed with a champagne vinaigrette and tossed with frisee, dabs of Gorgonzola, Spanish marcona almonds and celery leaf pesto. In a word: brilliant.

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Lori Midson
Hand-crafted warm ricotta specked with fresh herbs and sidekicked with grilled crostini.

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Lori Midson
Saffron-scented cioppino bobbing with shrimp, calamari, mussels, scallops, crab and swordfish.


Location Info

Ambria - CLOSED

1201 16th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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8 comments
Chalupa
Chalupa

Was the first table sat opening night, drove 240 mile to go try Jeremy's food, i would drive 1000 to eat his food again.

TheBear
TheBear

being an alum of Avondale's kitchen team i can confirm to you all that this man can cook.

Richbeichner
Richbeichner

i've heard this guy can cook as well he way the chef at tapawango in michigan a few years back. also spent some time at Blackbird in chicago 

patco
patco

wow I am VERY excited about this! Ambria will fill a void in the downtown dining scene! And gluten free bread! YES!

Dishpr
Dishpr

last night's vip event was delicious.

dustin B
dustin B

Ive heard good things about this chef.

Robert Pinz
Robert Pinz

Wow, beautiful photos. It would appear that Mr. Kittelson can cook. These snaps rival the Wooden Table foodography for sheer artistic value, they certainly should be hung somewhere! If not at Ambria maybe the Museum of Contemporary Art? 

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