Bezel Brings a Touch of Refinement to 16th Street Mall’s Top End

In December 2021, Bezel debuted in the recently revamped Sheraton Denver Downtown. Since opening, the chic cocktail bar has been serving a superb selection of original concoctions, substantially upping the ante with the recent release of its spring menu.

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The man behind the magic is Ravin Buzzell, a service-industry vet who has spent over 23 years honing the craft. While acting as general manager, Buzzell also designed much of the drink list, at the same time encouraging staff to contribute fresh recipes. “I give them full freedom to be creative. I want my staff to know that they can experiment,” he said.

The Paola’s Sipping Beauty ($16) — with tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime, fresh cilantro, a red pepper elixir and Peychaud’s bitters — bears its creator’s name and is both remarkably lush and piquant. Even the more basic cocktails get the royal treatment here. The Wake Up and Espresso Yourself ($19) warps the classic espresso martini into a sip built for grown folks’ pep. Combining Patron Sherry Cask Anejo, Averna Amaro, housemade vanilla bean and espresso shot, the drink arrives glacially chilled. While everything on the list is first-rate, the best drink in the house is Buzzell’s off-menu cherrywood-cardamom old fashioned. He developed the recipe five years ago and has been taking it from place to place. This is currently one of the best cocktails in the city.

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With Buzzell handling the libations, chef de cuisine Ka’vaughn Crawley has been expanding the previously limited food menu into one of the key reasons to visit Bezel. With previous experience in the kitchens of The Little Nell, Hapa Sushi and The Gaylord Rockies Resort, Crawley has laced the menu with the kind of upscale interpretations of lounge standards one might expect to find at the high-country dining rooms where he’s lent his talents. Both Buzzell and Crawley have prolific track records in hospitality and their creative union magnifies one another’s talents.

The Bezel Board ($22) is a good place to start. Packed with local heavy-hitters — Elevation Meats, River Bear, Haystack Mountain and Red Camper are all represented — the board arrives as an unassuming microcosm of some of the state’s finest meat and cheese. The char-broiled West Coast oysters ($15) are a bit more of a culinary flex, arriving with mignonette butter, fennel pollen and candied habanero. Don’t miss these. The Bezel Caesar ($14) is another good representation of the chef’s ability to make relatively simple fare look riveting, with all the usual ingredients hitting the plate deconstructed and tied together by a sous vide egg. Most of the bites are pretty light, with the bison sliders ($24) — with Hudson Valley foie gras, bearnaise, jalapeno jam and cornichon — and the prime hanger steak ($28) — with spring peas, roasted mushrooms and house chimichurri — being the notable exceptions.

Bezel is a bit of an oasis and, while already splendid, is clearly getting better by the day.

Bezel Denver is located at 1550 Court Pl., Denver. It is open Thursday – Saturday from 5 – 11 p.m.

All photography courtesy of Bezel Denver.