Tag Archives: Matt Selby

Big Questions About The Corner House

Selby out. Restaurant closed for a week. Wassup?

CornerHouse-logoThe Corner House opened early this year with chef Matt Selby heading the kitchen and actually cooking, having left Vesta Dipping Grill, Steuben’s and Ace to do get back into the kitchen. Great reviews (Click here for mine). Accolades. Press coverage.

And now comes this surprising but unenlightening press release, which I post in its entirety:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Corner House and Chef Matt Selby have amicably parted ways.  CH’s partners say, “We respect Chef Selby’s innovative cuisine and thank him for helping get Corner House established; we’ve decided it is best to move in a different direction with our restaurant at this time, and wish Chef Selby the best in his future professional endeavors”.  The partners will be steering the restaurant back on its original course of providing a space where the food, atmosphere and prices are in line with what a community expects from their neighborhood bistro, and are looking forward to welcoming everyone back in for a comfortable, warm experience of delicious food and drinks.

Please note: Corner House is closed for the week to give new management time to look over the food and drink menus and will open again for dinner service on Tuesday, December 3rd at 4pm.  

HOURS: Tues-Fri  4-10pm & Sat-Sun: 9am-10pm  

How sudden was this split? Very sudden. Today’s “Best Bites” selection on 5280 magazine’s weekly online Table Talk featured Matt Selby’s Chicken Thigh recipe. The recipe was published around 1:30 this afternoon, and the press release appeared in my inbox about three hours later. When you go to the restaurant’s website and click on Our Team, not one name comes up. I question the veracity of the word “amicably.” Selby’s menu is still online, but that will surely change shortly. I expect that local restaurant sleuths will have more info tomorrow, but meanwhile, count me among those whose jaws dropped.

Sixth Group of Denver FIVE

The Denver FIVE, class of 2013.
The Denver FIVE, class of 2013.

Leigh Sullivan, a long-time promoter of Denver’s dining scene, has assembled another group of five fantastic local chefs to showcase what the Mile High City has to offer, The Denver FIVE, which brings together talented local chefs to represent the city’s culinary scene on a national level, has announced the class of 2013: Matt Selby of Corner House, Kevin Morrison of Pinche Tacos, Sean Yontz of El Diablo and Sketch, Ian Kleinman of the Inventing Room, and Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall.Selby, formerly of Vesta Dipping Grill when he was originally one-fifth  of the FIVE, recently opened the Corner House. New are Kevin Morrison of Pinche Tacos; Ian Kleinman of the Inventing Room, Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall and and Sean Yontz, whose credentials include Tamayo, Tambien, Mezcal and most recently El Diablo, a roster of fine Mexican restaurants in Denver. Jonathan Greschler of Old Major leads the wine program for the 2013 events.

 Each month, one of the chefs will host a FIVE at FIVE dinner at his restaurant.The kick-off event will be on April 22 at El Diablo. Ian Kleinman, who has a catering business and is not tethered to a particular restaurant. will be up on May 20 with a location to be determined. Matt Selby will host at Corner House on July 15, Kevin Morrison’ Pinche Tacos will be next on August 18. Jorel Pierces will close the Denver season at Euclid Hall on October 21. In June, the group will cook at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and on September 12, they will again head to New York City to roll out dinner at the James Beard House.

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A New Restaurant in the New Year

Corner House is pioneering restaurant in Jefferson Park neighborhood

P1010580Until I found my way through the maze of small streets in one of those eclectic west-of-I-25 neighborhoods in search of a soon-to-open restaurant, I’m not sure that I’d ever even heard of Jefferson Park. My four-wheel wandering was the result of my getting off Interstate at 20th Street (Exit 212c) rather than continuing to 20th Avenue/23rd Avenue (Exit 211). Silly me!

I was eager to see what the new Corner House would be like, though in my challenge in finding it, I spaced on the fact that it was the debut of super-chef Matt Selby’s latest — one with a new set of business partners. I had eaten his dishes numerous times at Vesta Dipping Grill and Steuben’s Food Service, respectively in LoDo and Uptown, but we had never met. I didn’t recognize him when he came table-hopping among invited media guests and was embarrassed, but he was gracious as he spoke about his excitement at being able to do more cooking and less organizing.

He told me “I was born to cook. I got to a point where I wasn’t cooking anymore.” He isn’t fond of such buzzwords as “seasonal” and “local,” that’s what his tight menu will be — fewer than a dozen dishes winnowed from an initial list of 30 or more. The Corner House’s first choice of sources, both for foods and beverages, is Colorado. The second is other domestic. The third is imported — include prosciutto and Manchego cheese, which are always imports.

Matt Selby.
Matt Selby.

When it opens on Friday, the 11th, The Corner House will be a breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks sort of place that every emergent neighborhood really needs to continue its transition into trendiness and gentrification. The congenial space combines gleaming, stainless kitchen appliances with recycled, repurposed and reused materials for a rustic, green look. We had the opportuity to sample items from the dinner menu, a small list with interesting riffs on familiar dishes — and mostly portioned to be shareable.

Sean Kellly's addictive Roasted Almonds done with olive oil rosemary, chili and garlic are Matt Selby's homage to his role model.
Sean Kellly’s addictive Roasted Almonds done with olive oil rosemary, chili and garlic are Matt Selby’s homage to his role model.
PMP  is an assemblage of prosciutto and manchego atop Justn Vineyards Obtuse Port.. The ham and the cheese are the rare imports on this Colorado-centric menu.
PMP is an assemblage of prosciutto and manchego somehow suspended atop a glass of Justin Vineyards Obtuse Port.. The ham and the cheese are rare imports on this Colorado-centric menu.
Tuna Poke Bowl made with sushi rice, avocado and wakame -- perhaps a tribute to bar manager/
Tuna Poke Bowl made with sushi rice, avocado and wakame — perhaps a tribute to bar manager/”ocktail magician” Gerard Collier who comes from Hawaii.
Yuzu Kampachi Brule, a lovely Hawaiian fish with olives citrus slices, smoked salt and jalapenos.
Yuzu Kampachi Brule, a lovely Hawaiian fish with olives citrus slices, smoked salt and jalapenos.
The rich Chocolate Duck Egg Creme Brulee may not be especially photogenic, but it is silky/crispy and delicious.
The rich Chocolate Duck Egg Creme Brulee may not be especially photogenic, but it is silky/crispy and delicious.

Eater, a national foodie site, included Corner House in its roundup of the the country’s 40 “most anticipated restaurants” opening this year — the only Colorado restaurant the site is anticipating.

Price check: At dinner, plates and bowls, $6-$14; desserts, $6 and $7.

Urbanspoon does not yet list Corner House, but it is at 2240 Clay Street, Denver; 720-1895.