First look: Beast + Bottle, Paul Reilly's new Uptown restaurant, opens Saturday night
One of the first things that Denverites will tell any newcomer who's landed in the Mile High City is just how firmly devoted you'll become to your neighborhood restaurant -- and if you live in Uptown, that restaurant may very well become Beast +Bottle, the new snout-to-stump spot from former Encore on Colfax chef-owner Paul Reilly and his sister Aileen, the two of whom will open Beast + Bottle on Saturday night.
- Paul Reilly will open Beast + Bottle in the former Olivea space
- Olivea, one of Denver's top restaurants, is closing in mid-January
- Paul Reilly opening Beast + Bottle in the Cherokee on 12th Avenue space
"It's really amazing," says Aileen. "I get goose bumps just talking about the space, the wine, Paul's food and our vision" -- a vision that was solidified when the siblings walked into the former Olivea space several months ago, took a look around and nodded in unison. This, they agreed, was it. And once they concluded that the quarters were exactly what they wanted in a restaurant, they began crystallizing the concept: an intimate and neighborly country farmhouse-meets-schoolhouse that personifies New England charm, bolstered by a dedication to utilize the entirety of butchered beasts -- fowl, pigs and lambs -- and seafood and fish that's been "responsibly harvested."
And to assist Paul in his cooking endeavors, he netted Wade Kirwan, the previous executive chef at Adrift, and James Rugile, who spent the last several years cooking at Bones and Mizuna. And the threesome, who share a small kitchen workspace, are having a blast judging from the shouts of glee and singing that boomed from the partially open kitchen earlier today during a friends and family lunch.
Their enthusiasm extends to the whimsy space, a bright, light and infinitely charming dining room and bar that flaunts mismatched wooden chairs, their seats plumped with various fabrics; an elegant community table that peers over the patio and onto the Seventeenth Avenue streetscape; deep chocolate-hued booths; white subway tile that surrounds the bar; a restored hardware chest, whose see-through drawers are filled with everything from paintbrushes to ticket stubs; a large antique mirror penned with the restaurant's sourcing partners -- and is bordered above by maps from Rand McNally -- and flourishes like yard sticks that wrap around the top of the vertical columns and black-and-white photographs that showcase everything from portraits of Paul and Aileens' parents to the family dog, who's now chasing squirrels in canine heaven. There's a lot to look at...sort of like wandering through a museum that once belonged to a person with a historied past.