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It’s a sad week for fans of Beast & Bottle, the cozy restaurant owned by Paul and Aileen Reilly. The petite, 54-seat spot, which has wowed diners with an ethos dedicated to sustainable sourcing for eight years, will close its doors after dinner service on Saturday, June 5. The building Beast & Bottle has called home at 719 East 17th Avenue since 2013 has sold, and the new owner’s plans don’t include a restaurant, according to Paul.
After enduring an extended COVID-19-induced hibernation starting last December, siblings Paul and Aileen reopened on April 20. While the team knew about the building’s sale and the restaurant’s impending closure, Paul says they wanted to reopen, for a few weeks anyway, to properly pay tribute to the concept. “It didn’t seem right to have the last service at Beast & Bottle be a takeout night [in December]. That was a bummer with zero in-person dining. It didn’t feel like the way to honor the last eight years,” he says.
Paul’s commitment to a rotating menu featuring ingredients procured from local farms and ranches—and the entire staff’s penchant for warm hospitality—has earned Beast & Bottle a spot on 5280’s annual “25 Best Restaurants” list nearly every year since it debuted (with the exception of 2018). “Co-owners and siblings Paul and Aileen Reilly (who also own Coperta) and their hospitable staff treat you like you should be treated. The welcome is sure to be warm, the service knowledgeable yet relaxed,” wrote former food editor Denise Mickelsen in her 2017 article. “Paul brings a nose-to-tail, scratch-made lens to the food; any of the pork dishes and all of the salads have been impressive on recent visit.”
Luckily, there’s still time for you to experience Beast & Bottle’s deliciousness. In fact, the spring menu brims with the season’s best produce, from sweet fava beans and earthy field spinach to delicate hakurei turnips, making the present an ideal time to visit. Order the likes of veal sweetbreads sequined with a rum raisin aigre-doux (a fruity sweet-sour sauce), toasted coconut, wisps of spring onion, and sliced kumquat; spinach-and-fava-bean sagnarelli pasta slicked with green-garlic cream and preserved lemon; and tender beef hanger steak accompanied by a fragrant Thai herb salad, pok choi, and pickled green tomato. And don’t pass on dessert: Pastry chef Jodi Polson’s creations—including bright lemon cake and smoky chocolate torte—are worth saving room for.
If you can’t make it into the restaurant before closing day, you can still taste Paul’s exquisite handiwork at Beast & Bottle sister Italian restaurant, Coperta, which thankfully isn’t going anywhere. There’s also a chance Beast & Bottle could return in a new space, but only under the right circumstances. “I very much feel like my identity as a chef is tied to that restaurant. And it would be great to carry it on, but it would really have to be the right space,” he says. “Beast & Bottle is intimate, romantic and it’s very much that space. And if we could find something we could replicate those ideas in, I think we could consider.”
Until then, Beast & Bottle is open until June 5 for dinner Wednesday–Saturday, 4:30–8:30 p.m. Reserve your table here. 719 E. 17th Ave.