Two restaurants will disappear from the Hotel Teatro
Denver’s Hotel Teatro is planning a multimillion dollar renovation this spring, and two hotel restaurants operated by super-chef Kevin Taylor are casualties. Restaurant Kevin Taylor, a fine-dining establishment, and the more casual Prima Ristorante, both owned and operated by Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group, will be gone respectively on March 30 and May 1. Penny Parker, long-time reporter about the Denver hospitality scene, called the news “a major shocker.” I’m as shocked as she is — and sad too.
The hotel plans to operate a restaurant in the Prima space, but no word yet about the fate of the Restaurant Kevin Taylor space. However, it is on the same level with the modest reception area and mini-lobby, so perhaps more seating, a lobby bar or something along that line are planned.
As a chef, Kevin Taylor earned a reputation for wonderful, exquisitely presented dishes, and as a restaurateur, his eateries have won a slew of honors for cuisine, service and atmosphere. Restaurant Kevin Taylor has earned Four Star rating by Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil) and Four Diamonds from AAA each year since it opened some 15 years ago. It is reportedly the only Four-Star, Four-Diamond restaurant Denver — certainly with such longevity. Through the years, it has received other honors from the likes of Wine Spectator, Food & Wine and Sunset magazines, as well as recognition from Zagat, Fodors and others. Kevin’s son Ryan inherited his dad’s culinary talent and has been executive chef there. I wonder where he will next cook — in one of the KTRG restaurants or elsewhere.
KTRG also operates Palettes in the Denver Art Museum, Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera in the Ellie Caulkins Opera House and Limelight Supper Club & Lounge, also in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. In Central City, KTRG operates the seasonal Rouge and the Teller Bar, located in Teller Hotel next door to the Central City Opera House. It also caters special events at the art museum and the performing arts center. Kevin Taylor himself sees other doors opening for other restaurants as those in the Teatro close behind him. I’ve had splendid meals at these two restaurants, and I’ll miss them.