The newest incarnation from chef Steven Redzikowski (Oak at Fourteenth, Acorn), Brider feels like the chic yet comfortable living room of Denver.
Though sleekly appointed with marble slab backsplashes, retro-industrial lighting and a lounge area stocked with bertoia diamond chairs, the restaurant (pronounced bree-DAY) manages to retain the warmth of home and the welcoming aura of a beloved local hangout with polished wood, chalkboard walls and smiling service. Perky lime accents, relaxed seating areas and a comfortable mix of stand-alone and community seating bring together area residents, power lunchers and hungry hipsters alike for family meal.
With breakfast, lunch and dinner service, as well as a high-end selection of take-out goodies, this casual offering from Redzikowski embraces and exemplifies the current Denver dining scene – casual-leaning and unpretentious, exacting quality and ingredient standards and food prepared with nurturing care and sentimentality.
I’m usually a scrounger when it comes to lunch. If I hem and haw at the fridge long enough, eventually I can Iron Chef that situation and come up with something that will sustain me until dinner, however unglamorous. Some days its just an old pear and some cottage cheese with cinnamon and honey, other days its whatever is leftover from the night before.
And some days, you get lucky with a magical combination of bits and bobbles that come together like the most masterfully planned dish.
If Jason could eat grilled cheese sandwiches every day of his life, I think he might. This is not a criticism, mind you, just a statement of fact.
As someone who loves to experiment in the kitchen, this is problematic. My natural instinct is to fuss it up and fancify the sandwich, to treat it like an Iron Chef challenge. Premium fresh cheeses, sauteed onions, a gourmet spread, maybe the addition of fruit slices or bacon. Grilled cheese is a blank canvas! Time after time I try to concoct the perfect sandwich upgrade, presented with flourish and ceremony.
Jason always accepts these offerings without complaint, but after years of marriage, I’ve come to read the signals: what he really wants is just two slices of classic american cheese on buttered, toasted bread.