After the understated success of its freshly debuted dinner menu, three-month-old Avelina in the LoDo neighborhood is trying its hand at brunch. Executive chef John Broening has yet again created a well-rounded menu with something for everyone — a bit of sweet and a little savory to hit every aspect of those late morning and early afternoon cravings.
As every weekend brunch should start, Avelina offers a unique approach to the morning adult beverage menu — which is no surprise to anyone familiar with its evening cocktail program. Beer for breakfast ($10) is the morning take on a cold brew with Odell’s cutthroat porter, Olde Overholt, cold brew coffee and maple syrup. Also adorning the morning spirits menu are traditional weekend cures such as bloodies ($9) and mimosas ($7.50).
A notable standout during morning service is the option of shareable bottle service ($28 for two mixers; $30 for four mixers). Instead of standard bottomless mimosas, Avelina’s bottle service will include a bottle of Domanda prosecco and a choice of mixers including a white peach puree, mango puree, orange juice, cranberry juice and/or grapefruit juice.
Much like the other menus (lunch and dinner) the brunch menu will highlight seasonal offerings. The perfect example of this would be the fall salad ($10) with sweet roasted acorn squash, thinly-sliced apple, pancetta, walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and a drizzle of sage vinaigrette — each bite accented by a variety of complementary flavors of the season.
Shareable salads aren’t ever truly meant to be the main course at brunch, though. Dive into the heartier morning fare, which includes wood oven-baked eggs ($13) with a spicy tomato sauce and polenta, a chicken sandwich ($13) served with spicy greens and pimento aioli, or a cauliflower flatbread ($13) with carmelized onions and breadcrumbs.
There are a few menu standouts that should not be overlooked, such as the spicy pork shoulder ($12) with High Plains Farms sunny side eggs, tender pieces of pork shoulder, crispy seasoned fingerling potatoes and cheddar cheese served in a shallow bowl then garnished with freshly cut chives for an extra pop of color. The corned beef hash ($14) is served in two perfect cylinders then drizzled with Marjoram, creamy mustard sauce and two delicately poached eggs garnished with greens. The creamy consistency of the hash complements the tender saltiness of the corned beef and rich runny egg yolks.
Finally, brunch wouldn’t be complete without a sweet finish. The french toast ($14) is served with three slices of golden brown custard toast generously sprinkled with powdered sugar and piled high with a sweet and tangy dried fruit compote. They offer the proper accoutrements to the morning dessert, but in all honesty this sweet and savory treat is a stand out without needing the addition of maple syrup and butter.
Avelina brunch will be served every Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. It is located at 1550 17th Street, Denver, Colorado. For reservations call 720-904-6711.
All photography by Lucy Beaugard.