New Solera bar manager Myles Fischer revitalizes cocktail program
Sometimes, the journey is worth the reward. You want the destination to be like it is in the brochure. You want a return on your investment. You may find yourself in a remote part of town, thinking, "Where the heck am I?" What good thing could possibly be out here?
Kevin Galaba The Blushing Chamomile, Fischer's tart and floral seasonal cocktail.
And then you spot it.
You're on Colfax, heading East. The Bluebird Theater is behind you, as are a half-dozen Ethiopian restaurants, dilapidated auto-body shops and taco joints. In this dusty landscape lies Solera, one of Denver's culinary cornerstones, right where chef Goose Sorensen opened it more than a decade ago. It hasn't changed much, but Denver has grown up around it. And now it's Solera's chance for change, to make that thirteen-year journey worth the wait.
Making a similar journey is Solera's new bar manager, Myles Fischer. Originally from Boston, Fischer traveled to Denver three years ago after graduating from culinary school. But the distance from the East Coast to Denver was nothing compared to his trip from the kitchen to the dining room, and ultimately to behind the bar.
"I had a passion for spirits," says Fischer. "I had a passion for customer service, and that's what brought me behind the bar."
Kevin Galaba Solera's new cocktail menu promises fresh summer flavors, including this Sky and Moon.
His first steps were at Gaetano's, the venerable Italian eatery in Sunnyside. He'd migrated from the kitchen to a server position when then-bar manager Kyle West offered him some barback shifts. "I went from a barback to a bartender to a floor manager," he recalls, adding that he "had an opportunity to become a bartender at Solera, and when the bar manager left to pursue other projects, I stepped into the role of bar manager."
On June 3, his new cocktail menu -- his first one -- launched at Solera, and it promises a departure from the more traditional libations that long-time guests may have become accustomed to. "I'm trying to showcase some fun, seasonal cocktails," he says. "I approach it very much like I approach food -- I try to stay seasonal. I try to stay local. I'm trying to set the tone for a light, summery cocktail menu."
Of his first collection of drinks, Fischer says, "It's kind of nerve-wracking, but I'm trying to make it work. I'm trying to work hard on it, and trying to make it my own.
"Almost every one of my cocktails are very sessionable or very light, very unique," he adds. "I try to bring light to some fruits, some nice herbs, floral notes. I kind of play around with the summer cocktail menu being all about summer flavors -- you should taste summer when you're drinking them."
Fischer's menu features nine drinks, three of which he made for us last week when we stopped in to taste what he was up to.
Keep reading for a taste of Myles Fischer's new bar menu at Solera.