abejas: A Culinary Delight in the Heart of Golden
Article by Becky Creighton
Photo credit: Hi-Rez Photography
Living in the suburbs has a lot of advantages over living in downtown Denver, but one of them typically isn’t the quality of restaurants. Too often suburbs are cluttered with fast food and chain restaurants, leaving the really good restaurants to those lucky enough to live close to downtown.
There is a restaurant just down C-470 in the cute town of Golden called abejas, located just off the main street of Washington on 13th. Abejas isn’t a large restaurant, as a matter of fact it seats about 50 people in total, including the 10-person bar.
What makes abejas worth the trip out of Roxborough is a dining trifecta: The food is expertly executed, the wine list and bar menu are creative and interesting—meaning it doesn’t offer a chain restaurant wine list of only nationally distributed wines or spirits—and the service is spot on.
Owners Brandon Bortles and Barry Doresh have created and designed a very quaint and casually elegant restaurant. You’ll be at home whether you wear jeans and a t-shirt or you dress up for the evening. And the reclaimed barn wood, old doors, and metal adorning abejas’ walls add to its character.
I’ve been going to abejas since it opened a few years ago and it never disappoints. You won’t find chicken fingers or pizza on their menu (thankfully) but you will find a seasonal menu that is consistent with the finer restaurants in Denver. That’s because they work with local purveyors and farmers to provide the freshest in-season dishes.
Two of my personal favorites are the Hanger Steak with a chorizo-manchego croquette, spinach, white asparagus, oyster mushroom, achiote and demi glace, and the Seared Sea Scallops served with bok choy, pickled daikon radish, shoyu compressed cucumber, squid ink sabayon, and black sesame seeds. It’s these creative dishes that keep me coming back. It’s not just the creativity of the menu, it’s how well these and other dishes are consistently prepared.
What is a delicious dinner without fine cocktails and wine (and beer for that matter!)? Brandon pulls from his years of experience running restaurants in New York, and he has built an inventive and creative cocktail list as well as an interesting wine list. Denver Eater even listed them as one of the best cocktail programs in the Denver metro area, among other notable press.
Here are a few things you should know if you decide to head over to abejas. Make a reservation or try to grab a seat at the hopping bar. There is ample parking across the street for a very small fee. Abejas is open for brunch on the weekends, as well as lunch and dinner during the week. Abejas is closed on Mondays but opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday, and at 9:30 a.m. for weekend brunch.
I personally enjoy sitting at the bar and chatting with the bartenders, watching all of the different menu items pass by as the wonderful aroma wafts in the air. It also doesn’t hurt that the bartender is there to suggest another interesting cocktail or glass of wine to pair with your dinner. Hmmm, perhaps an Uber or Lyft would be a good idea.
Abejas is located at 807 13th St., Golden, CO 80401. You can make reservations by calling 303-952-9745 or on their website at abejasgolden.com.
About the author: Becky Creighton started Culinary Connectors, the first food tour company in Colorado, in 2008. She has been running it ever since, giving her an insider’s look at the best restaurants from the hole in the walls to fine dining. You can follow Becky on her Instagram page, 30days30vineyards.