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Alpine forest-inspired bar with French bites opens on South Broadway

The restaurant: La Forêt, 38 S. Broadway, Denver

About: Owners Mike Huggins and his wife Lenka Juchelkova have taken over the former Beatrice & Woodsley space on South Broadway, and decided to keep the urban forest that brought in many admirers over the years. Beatrice & Woodsley closed during the pandemic and never reopened. The couple, who also own Arvada Tavern, Union Lodge No. 1 in downtown Denver, and The Tatarian on Tennyson Street, designed their new cocktail-forward French restaurant around the rows of aspen trees, which Beatrice & Woodsley owner Kevin Delk originally transported from around the state and situated to look like they were growing from the floorboards.

La Forêt, which means “the forest” in French, feels like stepping into an enchanted woodland with greenery lined throughout, rustic wooden tables and branch-like light fixtures.

What’s on the menu: Executive chef Dominic Curry, a Johnson & Wales University graduate who went on to work at corporate spots like Hillstone and Ruth’s Chris, is showing off his French technique with classic family-style dishes, like escargot or rabbit vadouvan (a French curry). Vegetarian options, like baby beets and haricot verts (French green beans), are also available. Plates range from $8 for some frites to $49 for Stag Au Poivre (a Colorado take on the classic French pepper steak featuring an elk backstrap).

La Forêt offers happy hour, dubbed “Pastis Hour,” from 4 to 5 p.m. with traditional pastis service, where the classic French liqueur is served with a side of ice cold water and ice for $12.  There are also small bites like elk tartare and baked brie, ranging from $5 to $13.

The cocktail program, run by Williams & Graham alumni Jason Patz, offers a list of regional French wines and visually stunning cocktails, including the La Forêt with Calvados, spiced honey liqueur and Genepy herb liqueur sits in a mossy bowl with a misty oolong fog.

Opening: March 19, 2024; Hours: Tues.-Sat. from 4 to 11 p.m.

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