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Matt and Ashley Chasseur have worked at some snazzy restaurants together. The couple met when Matt was chef de cuisine and Ashley was a hostess at Chicago’s triple-Michelin-starred Alinea, and they moved their young family to Colorado when Matt took on the executive chef role at De Beque’s High Lonesome Ranch. (Ashley joined on as front of house manager.) But Pêche., their brand-new restaurant in downtown Palisade, marks the first time the couple will be owners, not merely employees, together.
“It was now or never,” Ashley says about the opportunity to open Pêche. in the former Inari’s space. “We felt like everything was just so right.”
The couple stresses that the food is only a third of the experience at Pêche. (hospitality and beverage round it out), but when your chef has the pedigree that Matt has, the food is what people tend to focus on. So, will the plates be reminiscent of the molecular gastronomic temple of Alinea, or the waitlisted, 30-course monthly dinners Matt put on at High Lonesome?
“It’s super-grounded, super-simple food,” Matt says of the menu. “If it’s delicious, let’s keep it simple. Let’s keep it approachable.”
That means less smoke and foam, and more refined multicultural favorites. Think: Jamaican jerk chicken right up against classic French bistro steak frites. Or a gnocchi appetizer finished off with fresh-picked peach crisp ice cream.
The tight, nimble menu will change frequently, and, considering the restaurant is smack dab in the middle of one of Colorado’s most delicious regions, it’ll utilize the exceptional seasonal produce grown in its backyard.
“We’re really trying to keep everything minimal in terms of both the beverage and food menus,” Matt says. “We want to make sure that the ingredients we have in house are as fresh as possible.”
As for the vibe, Pêche. is a sort of relaxed indulgence, a nice destination for the weekend winery crowd, but still comfortable enough to be a hangout for locals.
“Over the last four years we were here, one of the things we saw is everyone here in the Valley works so hard, and there just wasn’t a place people could stop and unwind at,” Matt says. “As a married couple, Ash and I wanted a place we could go where she could dress up and feel sexy. When we saw the space, we knew we could create that ambiance here.”
Pêche. opened in early August and will serve dinner Tuesday through Saturday (5–9 p.m.) and brunch on Sunday (10 a.m.–2 p.m.) year-round.
336 Main St., Palisade; 970-464-4911