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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.