First Look: Fork & Spoon opens in the former Taki's space on East Colfax

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All photos by Lori Midson.

After Taki's, a twenty-year veteran on East Colfax, closed in November of last year, sisters Nancy Brady and Helen Patterson, both of whom own CityGrille next door, fulfilled one of the objectives on their bucket list: They opened a breakfast spot with good coffee. "We've always had a dream of opening a great coffee shop," says Brady, who, along with her sister, opened Fork & Spoon, an enamoring java joint and breakfast-lunch emporium, late last week.

See also: Fork & Spoon takes over Taki's space on East Colfax

The concept, says Brady, is "scratch-made home cooking," and she hired Mitchell O'Shea, a lifelong kitchen veteran, to develop the menu and oversee the line. O'Shea, the former p.m. sous-chef at Punch Bowl Social, and, prior to that, executive sous-chef of the grand Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, wasn't looking to leave Punch Bowl, but an offer to spearhead his own restaurant, he tells me, was too good to ignore.

"The opportunity came up for me to do my own thing, and I wanted to put my own name on my dishes and do them my way, and the fact that I don't have to work from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. -- that's a good thing," says O'Shea, who actually worked with Patterson for several years at the Biltmore and soon became good friends with both her and Brady. "We all just get along really, really well and we have a lot of fun" -- and that stretches to the kitchen crew, too, adds O'Shea. "My kitchen staff is having a great time, and while they're green, they're passionate, and it's a collaborative kitchen, so everyone feels really involved," he notes.

And that kitchen is turning out a menu inked with memorable -- and gut-busting -- breakfast and lunch dishes. Breakfast trumpets a plate-spanning burrito tucked with housemade chorizo, scrambled eggs, roasted potatoes and fresh spinach draped in a salsa verde striped with hollandaise sauce; housemade corned beef hash with kale and goat cheese; biscuits and sausage gravy; and fresh fruit- and cream cheese-stuffed french toast haloed with caramel, candied pecans and whipped cream. His lunch board, a swell of sandwiches and salads, includes a turkey, sweet potato and mixed greens waffle sandwich smeared with cranberry aioli, or, as O'Shea likes to call it: "Thanksgiving year-round." And, fittingly, the majority of the dishes are named after streets in the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

And O'Shea, who has a background in vegan and vegetarian cooking, says that as he continues to evolve the menu, he'll punctuate it with more and more meatless dishes. "Within the next few months, I'll be making my own seitan and vegetarian sausage from scratch," says O'Shea, whose kitchen is also bereft of a fryer. "I'm not big into grease," he admits.

Brady, for her part, is making the restaurant's jams and jellies -- which are also for sale -- and while Fork & Spoon serves pastries, they're currently being sourced from a local bakery, although Brady hopes that in the future, all of the baked goods will be done in house, too. "The plan is to definitely make our own pastries to go with the housemade jellies and jams," says Brady.

Coffee -- good coffee, stresses Brady -- was of major consideration, too, when she and her sister opened Fork & Spoon, and Brady sources her beans from EspressoSmith Coffee Company, a small-batch roaster in Commerce City. And if you order a latte or cappuccino, the foam is inked with a fork and a spoon, drawn in chocolate. In addition to caffeine jolts, the restaurant, which has an eight-seat bar, pours wine, beer and spirits -- and on Sunday, bottomless mimosas are $9.

And it's a lovely space in which to linger. Warmly lit with sunshine that streams through the windows, adorned with vases of fresh flowers and whimsical salt and pepper shakers, and
comfortable with plump sofas and soft banquettes, it's a welcoming Colfax respite that makes you want to hang around for a while -- and to encourage that, there's complimentary WiFi and a shelf full of board games.

Fork & Spoon is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Here's a photo gallery of the space and the food.


Location Info

Fork and Spoon

341 East Colfax, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant


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23 comments
Alisa Gavrylyuk
Alisa Gavrylyuk

Òlivia Antognoli new brunch spot to check out near your hood! $9 bottomless mimosas

Jake Browne
Jake Browne

Can we agree this is all Colt & Gray's fault?

Julie Mosley
Julie Mosley

not really. well, there is just 1000 restaurants in Denver called Something & Something. So, I mean, uh, happy for new restaurants fork & spoon, salt & grinder, guard & grace, stoic & genuine to join work & class, colt & grey, beast & bottle and whoever else put together 2 names with an ampersand.

Zach Stock
Zach Stock

Just tried it after seeing this post, it was great, a wonderful addition to the neighborhood

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

What's odd is that my favorite pub in Melbourne, Australia is named "Elephant & Wheelbarrow".

mini-d
mini-d

Don't forget Block & Larder coming on Tennyson. Those ampersands are everywhere!

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

I heard that a new restaurant is about to open in the Highlands neighborhood called "Salt & Grinder", of all things.

Brett Mosley
Brett Mosley

Should we boycott these & spots? Julie Mosley I'm cool with just Cholon, Frasca and sushi sasa.

davebarnes
davebarnes topcommenter

Did I miss the new law in Colorado that requires restaurants to have ampersands in their name?

eddievonrothhorn
eddievonrothhorn

great job with the space...we saw it when Taki was moving out. Looks great!



Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@davebarnes I prefer to appreciate the metonymization of all breakfast joint names.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@davebarnes

It's the famous Denver "bandwagon" thing.  Denver restaurants are notorious for seeing someone do something, think it's cute, then do the same thing.  Then every other restaurant in town has to jump on that "bandwagon" and play copycat.

ScubaSteve
ScubaSteve topcommenter

@Mantonat @ScubaSteve

Because I'm carrying on about the overuse of ampersands in food establishment names, yet one of my favorite places has an ampersand in it's name.

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