There must be something special about a restaurant named Mimosas to have a massively successful opening month without being able to serve liquor (while in the middle of a pandemic nonetheless). Even though the spot could easily survive on the strength of its food alone, fortunately, hooch is set to join the roster in the next few weeks. The new breakfast and brunch joint from chef Daniel Young — whose career highlights include, but are by no means limited to, years spent as Carmelo Anthony’s personal chef and being included on the shortlist to act as White House chef under the Obama Administration — has debuted to immediate and well-deserved acclaim. Serving a succinct menu of morning staples, Young has managed to invigorate a genre that often peaks at satisfying into something truly sublime and worth returning to — with frequency.
Mimosas is the first concept from the new, yet unnamed, food and beverage wing of The Flyfisher Group (TFG) — an organization that has been investing in Five Points for over two decades. Combining resources from EVG Hospitality founder Greg Topel, TFG founder Matthew Burkett, and Coffee at the Point owner Ryan Cobbins, Flyfisher has embarked on a robust course for reinventing the neighborhood while paying tribute to its illustrious history.
“The idea is to create complementary businesses,” said Cobbins. TFG is currently partnered with Cobbins’ already established coffee shop, and Spangalang Brewery, with Mimosas being the first original restaurant to open as a result of the ambitious development plan. A fine dining restaurant called MBP is set to join the roster in October, with plans to restore The Rossonian Hotel — one of the biggest landmarks in Denver’s fabled jazz history — acting as something of a crown jewel or capstone for the integrated and ongoing scheme. Young is set to act as culinary director for the group’s emerging concepts.
Working as TFG’s President of Operations, Cobbins’ commitment to Five Points and the city at large runs deep. In addition to nearly a decade as a community business owner — Coffee at the Point opened November 13, 2010 — he is currently working with five different non-profits directly geared towards improving different aspects of the city’s cultural and economic foundation. The Colorado Children’s Campaign, Heart and Hand, the Five Points Business Improvement District, The Civic Canopy and Saint Elizabeth’s School all receive time and attention from Cobbins, many for several years running. “It’s always been about the neighborhood for me,” he said. “It’s all about Five Points and it’s all about the future as well.”
“The neighborhood is going through this friction of gentrification. We want to create this diverse reputation in the neighborhood,” added Young.
Young’s cooking career began in the ’70s. Following the traditional journeyman approach, he took on apprenticeships and cooked in kitchens across the country — with stints in Michigan, Chicago, Los Angeles, Florida, San Francisco and finally Denver. “I wanted to learn how to do seafood the right way,” said the chef. In 1994, Young opened Diced Onions in North Cherry Creek. “It was almost identical to this one,” he grinned. After meeting Anthony’s manager while on the board of the Colfax Marathon, Young spent nine years developing and implementing a food nutrition program for the starting line-up of the Nuggets, which included specialized meals and nearly 300 miles in daily driving where he would feed players at home. His program oversaw the 2008 Championship. “I guess it worked,” laughed Young. Since then he’s spent six years quietly crafting exclusive meals at the Lincoln Hills Fly Fishing Club near Nederland, a job he said he fell into as “part of the worst camping trip ever.” The opening of Mimosas has been something of a homecoming.
The shrimp and grits ($16) readily deserve their position as the house’s signature dish. The flawless combination of sauteed prawns with Cajun butter, lemon, capers and garlic sit atop cheesy grits and soft-scrambled eggs. Despite being disarmingly simple on paper, the plate is a riveting reflection of Young’s manifold career. The garden breakfast burrito ($12) comes with a diced vegetable medley, sauteed onions, black beans, scrambled eggs, Southwestern cheese and shredded cheese. Arriving with a crunchy grill-top crisp, the burrito is a triumph for both vegetarians and omnivores alike. This speaks to a general trend at Mimosas, the tendency towards accessibility even as technique remains high. A selection of classic and innovative mimosas are set to join the menu in the coming weeks, with the Welton Watermelon ($8) — with fresh-squeezed watermelon and muddled mint — and the Pina Colada ($8) — with pineapple juice and a coconut rim — being some of the more outlandish and exciting options to join the list.
“Success by definition is your worthy ideal come to pass,” said Cobbins. If Mimosas is any indication, this is just one link in a chain connecting the neighborhood’s continuous future success to its many historical triumphs. “We don’t think the sky is the limit, we think the next universe is the limit,” smiled Cobbins.
Mimosas is located at 2752 Welton St., Denver. It is open Tuesday – Sunday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter.