There’s a brand new brunch in town, located in the former home of a Mile High City restaurant staple: This week, the team behind Carboy Winery opened their first daytime eatery, Ivy on 7th, in the space that once housed Lala’s Wine Bar & Pizzeria.
Former Denverite and Iron Chef America and Chopped competitor Rebecca Weitzman (who cooked at Mizuna, Luca D’Italia, and the now-closed Cafe Star before moving to New York City over a decade ago) has created all-day brunch and lunch menus filled with European-inspired, scratch-made items. To provide delicious options for gluten-free Denverites, Weitzman has created recipes for fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes and powdered-sugar-dusted zeppole that are entirely gluten-free; her East Coast-style bagels, while not gluten-free, have got great chew and pair well with house-cultured cream cheese. Ivy on 7th’s menu also contains various toasts, breakfast sandwiches, Benedicts and breakfast tacos (on weekends). Our favorite dish? So far, it’s the soft corn polenta with house-made pork sausage patties, runny poached eggs, and spicy roasted peppers; use the slice of ciabatta toast that comes on the side to sop up every bit.
The wine list, of course, is all Carboy, and there’s a simple menu of classic cocktails-with-a-twist (think: St. Germaine spritzes and an Earl Grey whiskey sour) from bar lead Jason Snopkoski. If you’re in a rush, you can hit the grab-and-go area of the restaurant, adjacent to the open kitchen, for freshly made pastries, sandwiches, salads, and Pablo’s Coffee drinks.
Compared to Lala’s, Ivy on 7th is much brighter and airier—the big columns that broke up the dining room are now slim poles and the windows behind the bar let in more light now that they’re open to the space. Lighter wood tables and a variety of seating options (individual and community tables, high tops, bar seating) enlarge and enliven the space as well.
Ivy on 7th is the first phase of the Littleton-based Carboy team’s plan to revitalize the corner of Seventh Avenue at Logan Street. In the former Govnr’s Park Tavern space, there will soon be Carboy’s third winery, which will focus on sparkling wine production and offset a new tasting room, barrel-aging room, and a yet-to-be-named Mediterranean restaurant concept. All are slated to open in late summer.
Owners Craig Jones and Eric Hyatt (who also own Angelo’s Taverna) have also announced plans to expand Carboy’s Littleton wine production facility by 5,500 square feet, which is sure to bolster the brand’s footprint in Colorado’s burgeoning wine industry. The winery doubled the number of grape varieties it is harvesting from the Western Slope—from seven in 2017 to 14 last year—and its 2017 Grand Valley Cabernet Franc garnered a prestigious 90-point rating from acclaimed wine critic James Suckling.
“What we’re doing with the Colorado wine industry is, I think, the most exciting thing,” says Carboy director of operations Kevin Webber. “We want to focus on increasing our footprint in the Western Slope and putting Colorado on the wine-making map.” Denverites are fortunate that they decided to thrown in a brunch spot, too.
If you go: Ivy on Seventh is located at 410 E. Seventh Ave. and will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.