Ten years ago the Union Station neighborhood was nothing like it is today. Few places in Denver have undergone quite as dramatic a transformation in the last decade. As the area continues to grow, some of the best dining in the city seems to be popping up on an almost weekly basis. The latest addition, a superfood cafe from recently engaged NYC duo, Phil Dumontet and Alexa Squillaro, adds to the thriving community replete with food options that range from decadent to deeply nutritious. Falling squarely on the latter end of the spectrum, Whole Sol serves healthy and energizing cuisine designed as much to invigorate as to delight. Much of the menu consists of the pair’s signature smoothie bowls, with cold-pressed juice, savory breakfasts, toasts and blended coffee filling in the rest.
The couple is no stranger to either the restaurant game or health-oriented dining. Dumontet ran a food delivery business — which had upward of 800 clients when he sold it last year — and Squillaro, who received a masters in nutrition from Columbia University, taught kids in Washington Heights about nutritious eating. Both are clearly health nuts, casually discussing their last triathlon — for which they said they hardly trained — as if it were a weekend jog. The two moved to Colorado last September, citing the 300 days of sunshine and athletic atmosphere as reasons for the relocation. Since arriving they’ve been hard at work developing the brand concept, one they plan on expanding. They will open their second location on Pearl Street in Boulder as soon as September.
The place’s minimalist interior has vibrant photos of the food, tasteful plantlife hung high on wall-mounted shelves and — well equipped for the digital age — plugs at every table, clearly inviting patrons to relax. Their pressed juices ($7) fill a grab-and-go section by the register, as the cashless establishment is equally built for those on the move. The Crimson Cooler is a well-balanced watermelon, mint, ginger and lemon — a perfect refreshment for the midsummer heat.
The real stars of the show are the bowls ($10). The PB&J is a thick peanut butter, banana and oat base topped with house-made raspberry jam, thin-sliced bananas, salted peanuts and granola. The meal is incredibly dense and will stick to your ribs for hours after. The Bol 300 — a seasonal offering exclusive to the summer — is lighter mango, banana and turmeric base topped with banana, shaved coconut, fresh turmeric, raspberries and candied ginger. Inspired by the state’s 300 days of summer, the vibrant dish is thoroughly refreshing. Everything on the menu is made from fine ingredients with no added sugar, making each bowl less sweet than many of their competitor’s offerings. The couple has been developing close partnerships with many of their suppliers, including Sweet Origins — who provides them with their unadulterated acai.
The menu is entirely gluten and dairy free, with an option to replace bananas with dates and riced cauliflower. In a time where healthy eating is in vogue, Dumontet and Squillaro take particular care to be conscious of all dietary restrictions.
Whole Sol will open this Wednesday at 9 a.m. The founders will give a $100 gift card to the first 100 people through the door. Anyone with a love for health food is encouraged to attend.
Whole Sol is located at 1735 Chestnut Place, Denver it is open Monday – Friday 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
All photography courtesy of FEED Media