The second stop on our culinary Cucci tour was his Downtown, cooler sister “gastro-brothel”, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox. The name is an intriguing mouthful and you’ll find the food and interior follows those footsteps.
The restaurant is located in old the Airedale building on 20th Street and Larimer, which had been a peep-show parlor for a time and inspired the new décor. The menu is an assortment of well-known dishes paired and prepared in very unusual ways. Take for example their Flatbreads, one has all of the following toppings: Quail Eggs, Bacon, Spinach, Butternut Squash Alfredo, Fried Brussels Sprouts & Feta. You’ll also find interesting options like Bourbon BBQ Oysters, Shishito Poppers and Cheese Curds, and the Brothel Burger made with Ostrich meat! (We’ve always thought the Ostrich to be a rather scandalous bird…)
Their brunch menu is what tickled our fancy the most… Mimosas and live music bring a whole new meaning to the term, “Sunday Funday”. The layout of the restaurant completely revolves around the lower level stage as DJs and live bands frequent the space on the weekend. A foodie and music lovers haven, looks like wefound our favorite gastro-brothel in town! The upper lounge area is designed more for chatting and intimate conversations as you cannot see the performers, but the acoustics reverb through the entire restaurant, so fear not!
To start our eclectic electric brunch, we ordered the skillet pecan sticky bun that comes with a side of bourbon crème anglaise to share; it was so big and indulgent we had to take part of it home! Perhaps because we knew what awaited us next... ? I chose the Berkshire Pork Rib Benedict with cornbread base, poached egg topping, kale slaw, and Mustard hollandaise. It was all the right amounts of gooey, meaty, tangy and crispy, and filled me up quick.
Another ordered the Crème Brulee French toast served in a skillet and topped with mascarpone, strawberries and basil. A sexy, sweet French number indeed. The breaded Chicken atop a fluffy Potato Waffle was really tasty and keep in mind it is also served at dinner time! My vegetarian friend loved her tempeh Espanola with soyrizo, potatoes, beans, peppers, sofrito and almonds. There’s something for everyone at Ophelia’s, yes, even the vegetarians and vegans. Come one, come all!
Brunch was great, but it was hard to talk as we were sitting lined against the wall overhang and the jazz was jamming. Next time, I would love to try their extensive beverage menu, watch a show and let my mind (and taste buds) fully transport into the eccentric Electric Soapbox world that is Ophelia’s. Next stop, Root Down!
1215 20th ST. DENVER CO 80202