The food at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) is about to be as masterfully curated as its collections. James Beard Award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Ultreia, Bistro Vendôme, Stoic & Genuine, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen) is joining DAM as consulting chef on the Ponti, one of two new restaurants opening there in June 2020.
“We’re super excited; it’s been a couple years in the making,” Jasinski says of the forthcoming restaurant. “It’s going to be this jewel inside this jewel of a building.”
The Ponti will be located on the first level of the soon-to-open Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center, which will also house the Bartlit Learning and Engagement Center, as well as galleries.
As for what we can expect from the museum restaurant, Jasinski compared the food quality and vibe to her Larimer Square flagship, Rioja.
“You can expect that kind of fierce sourcing that’s a hallmark of all our restaurants in town. The menu is going to be vegetable-forward—but not vegetarian—and all sustainable seafood and ancient grains,” Jasinski says. “It’s going to be a lunch restaurant, not really a big dinner service, so you’ll see fare that’s a little bit lighter. You can go to the museum and enjoy the exhibits and not feel like you have to take a nap.”
While she doesn’t have any specific menu items in mind quite yet—she wants to create the menu in conjunction with the Ponti’s yet-to-be-named executive chef, who will be plucked from one of Jasinski’s existing restaurants—emphasis will be on the aforementioned vegetables, handmade pastas, fish, and meat.
The 3,700-square-foot restaurant will be designed by Denver-based BOSS.architecture and Jessica Doran Interiors. The museum will also debut a quick-service restaurant, Café Gio, when the Sie Welcome Center opens to the public next June.