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If pie is your thing, then Avanti Food & Beverage is where you need to go for your next fix. There, in the first floor stall where the Regional used to sling its beloved chicken sandwiches, now stands Bistro Georgette, a Parisian street food concept helmed by three Denver restaurant pros: chef Ty Leon, beverage man Austin Carson, and hospitality maven Heather Morrison, all formerly of Mizuna.
Leon, Mizuna’s executive chef for three years, is known for his remarkable pastry skills; at Bistro Georgette, his way with pie dough, in particular, informs the menu. Serving hand pies and traditional slices, Leon’s buttery, flaky crust wraps around the likes of savory wild mushrooms with garlic and fresh parsley, beef Bourguignon with bacon, and sweet caramel apples—all are rich and satisfying. Leon is also a tarte tatin wizard, rendering Palisade peaches (for now, with apples to come) and puff pastry into a decadent upside-down tart that he tops with a dollop of made-to-order Chantilly cream. A custom pastry case will show off Leon’s stunning creations.
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But pie isn’t the only tasty thing on Bistro Georgette’s menu: Channeling the flavors of Paris, Leon is also making French-style croquettes, their crunchy fried shells giving way to decadent fillings of coq au vin (red wine-braised chicken) or cheesy potato; a stellar croque madame built on City Bakery brioche; moules frites (Prince Edward Island mussels steamed in a white wine broth with crispy waffle-cut potato chips on the side); two fresh green salads; and even a play on chicken and waffles, in which that wonderful brioche is turned into French toast (instead of waffles) and served with Parmesan-buttermilk-brined fried chicken and “buttered syrup” (which means maple syrup blitzed with butter, because, well, why not?). And don’t forget the ultimate Parisian street food of them all: the jambon-beurre, that simple-yet-spectacular marriage of baguette, butter, and jamon de Paris.
Carson and Morrison, Mizuna’s former general manager/sommelier and service manager, respectively, are in charge of hospitality at Bistro Georgette; don’t be alarmed if one or both of them venture out from behind the kiosk counter to check in with you, making sure you’re happy with the lemony, egg-topped Lyonnaise salad or chocolate-glazed eclair. After years spent in fine dining restaurants, they’re intent on bringing the same feeling of warm hospitality to Bistro Georgette, even if it is located inside a bustling, buzzy food hall.
“My grandmother, Georgia [for whom the concept is named], was the most passionate, graceful host,” says Carson, “and she was an incredible cook, too. She’s why I am in the [food] business at all.” Thanks to her then, and to Carson, Leon, and Morrison for bringing their pie-centric Parisian vision to us all.
Bistro Georgette opens inside Avanti Food & Beverage at 11 a.m. today. 3200 N. Pecos St.