French restaurant slots into Baur’s space
Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar opens today in Denver, taking over the atmospheric space vacated after Baur’s Ristorante closed. It is not billed as a “continental’ restaurant or an “international” restaurant or a something else “with French influences.” It identifies itself as a French restaurant — not fancy French haute cuisine, but regular everyday French.
Veteran restaurateur Robert Thompson (Jonesy’s EatBar, Stingray, The Horseshoe Lounge and Bar Car and the late Brasserie Rouge, where Jon Broening once cooked) avers that ”Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar is nothing new. Instead, Le Grand Bistro is the recreation of Parisian bistros and brasseries from a time long passed. From our 125 year old mosaic tile floors to our smoky mirrors and oversized booth seating, Le Grand takes us back to an era when Moules Frites, a plate of cheese and ½ liter of your favorite French table wine was not a special event, but rather an everyday occurrence; or Everyday French.” Sounds a lot like Brasserie Rouge, doesn’t it?
Captain of Le Grand Bistro’s kitchen is Serge Romero — or is it Sergio Romero?; the restaurant’s website and social media outreach use them both. Romero’s roots are in Taos, New Mexico, where “Top Chef” Season 5 winner Hosea Rosenberg grew up. There, Sergio (or Serge) worked under Joseph Wrede at the famed and sadly missed Joseph’s Table. Wrede was one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs of 2000. In Denver, he was nominated for Denver Magazine’s Rising Culinary Star honors in 2010 while serving as executive chef of Argyll Gastropub.