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Bistro brunch at P17 fit for the French foodies

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After a decade of serving up some of Denver’s most sophisticated Vietnamese food, Parallel Seventeen’s owner, Mary Nguyen, steered her Uptown restaurant into something new. P17, which regulars lovingly called the first edition of the restaurant, brings Denver a revamped classic French bistro themed menu.

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P17 serves brunch, lunch, happy hour bites, and dinner, but their brunch menu is especially a standout. Start with the Gougeres (easier to pronounce: French cheese puffs), which arrive from the kitchen steaming hot and loaded into a mini-metal basket. The pastry is made from the same dough as sweet cream puffs, but is savory with each intensely cheesy bite. P17 shows its whimsical side with an appetizer of Corn Dogs served with housemade Dijon mustard and ketchup. Ask about it and the server will tell you it’s an extremely popular item. Corn dogs are served all day long but are particularly a happy hour favorite. Corn dogs on the menu? It’s just plain awesome, regardless of your age.

Other small plates include the Tomato Tart with goat and ricotta cheeses. Bright red tomatoes and creamy cheese are cradled in a flaky, buttery crust. Or try the crispy Parmesan Shell filled with vine-ripened tomatoes, tart green tomatillos, and deep red cherries after they've been coated in olive oil. In between bites of fruit, nibble pieces of the shell to balance the natural sweetness of the dish.

Another must-have from the small plates menu is the Roasted Beets, Watermelon, and Frisee plate. Scallions are charred on the grill and turned into vinaigrette before tossed with the frisee. Balsamic reduction drizzles the plate just as tangy Maytag bleu cheese finishes the dish. The perfect bite is a forkful of frisee, a piece of diced, aromatic watermelon, and a hint of bleu cheese, all pulled through the luscious, rich balsamic syrup. Wow!

After you've shared a few small plates with friends, check out the Bistro Benedict, a simple combination of P17’s house-glazed ham, fresh arugula, and traditional béarnaise sauce. The Country French sandwich brings together the delightful house-made pork terrine and caramelized onions. Frisee, pickled vegetables, and mustard aioli are all piled high on top of the terrine onto a crusty baguette.

For something a little simpler, check out the buttery, gooey Grilled Gruyere Cheese Sandwich that comes in the Soup & Sammy combo, where melted Gruyere meets the stoutly golden-brown brioche crust, just begging to dipped in the accompanying deep, rich, French Onion Soup. The Colorado Lamb Burger - ground lamb served with harissa, Manchego cheese, and garlic aioli - sits on a soft, fluffy brioche bun and is served with all the traditional burger fixin’s. The Monte Cristo melts together salty Tasso ham, gruyere cheese, and sweet raspberry jam on thick sliced brioche bread; it’s easily one of Denver’s best!

P17 is located at 1600 E 17th Avenue. Brunch is served weekends 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All menu information and hours are available online.

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