Keeping with his tradition of using fresh local ingredients, beautifully presented, Kevin Taylor’s Palettes at the Denver Art Museum was one of the first chef-driven museum restaurants in the United States. Offering contemporary cuisine, Palettes provides an open, bright, and artful ambiance where visitors can enjoy lunch, brunch, and dinner.
Located in the North Building of the museum, the space is tastefully decorated in muted tones with colorful artwork adorning the walls. The large, plate-glass windows allow diners to people-watch in this bustling hub of the city’s art district.
Visitors will want to try the new brunch menu (Sat & Sun- 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.) where executive chef Austin Cueto prepares popular dishes like churro-donut holes with Nutella and caramel; carrot cake French toast with macerated berries and cream cheese mousse; and corned beef brisket with root vegetables, poached egg and roasted corn with a poblano hollandaise. Pair with bottomless mimosas ($14) and you have a recipe for a grand day at the museum.
Palettes also is known for its innovative specialty menus created to coincide with major museum exhibitions. The current display is Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection (through June 5), and in November, Star Wars will be the inspiration for a new menu design.
The Samurai menu ($34 prix-fixe) includes a starter such as Fuji apple and watercress salad with tempura crisps, fresh vegetables and a miso sesame vinaigrette. You can choose among two entrées such as hanger steak yakiniku with soba noodles and lobster peanut coulis. Dessert is included, and the one to try is the yuzu genoise sponge with matcha ice cream, macadamias, and white chocolate lemongrass Bavarian cream.
Palettes is the perfect way to start your exploration of the Denver art scene and the various collections housed right next door or the Hamilton Building across the Bridgeway. The food and service are exceptional and a nice addition to the other restaurants in the Kevin Taylor portfolio, which also include Limelight Supper Club & Lounge, and Kevin Taylor’s at the Opera House.
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Palattes also serves lunch weekdays and dinner on Fridays. Closed Mondays. Open Tuesday through Thursday, Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.