American Elm brunch spread. | Photo by Ashley Beguin

Weekend Brunch: Bottomless Mimosas and a New Breakfast Menu at American Elm

Need brunch plans? We got you.

BY Steph Wilson


Denver loves brunch. Each Wednesday, we dish out the latest and greatest brunch spots around town, highlighting our favorite haunts and the dishes you crave. So pour a mimosa, grab a cup of coffee, and get ready to dive in.

Grab a slice of Brooklyn in Denver thanks to Bob Reiter, owner of American Elm in Highland. To create the vibe of the five-year-old spot, Reiter drew inspiration from his time in New York’s Williamsburg, an eclectic neighborhood known for artists, musicians, and style-hungry diners. The setting is simple and solid, though if you look you’ll find a swatch of wallpaper dedicated to the owner’s OG hood. 

The name on the other hand is a direct tribute to the property’s long-time resident, a wizened American elm flanking the charming patio. Inside or out, it’s a great place to be during those lazy summer brunches. Pro tip, make a reservation to guarantee a spot on the patio table.

Ricotta toast at American Elm. | Photo by Ashley Beguin
Ricotta toast at American Elm. | Photo by Ashley Beguin

Eat the Menu

Whether dining for breakfast or dinner, the food leans toward American bistro style. With the new brunch menu, executive chef Daniel Mangin crafted a lineup that’s both nostalgic and innovative. Think classic brunch dishes with a local twist thanks to suppliers like River Bear American Meats, Grateful Bread, and Mountain Man Micro Farms.

First up, the Deviled Egg Toast ($14). This isn’t your grandma’s deviled eggs delivered punctually each Thanksgiving. Picture grilled ciabatta slathered in a creamy mix of smoked yolks, topped with arugula, pickled mustard seed, paprika, watermelon radish, and crispy garlic. 

Also on the bread side, the Whipped Ricotta Toast ($13) makes you wonder why we don’t eat ricotta for every meal. This particular plate takes inspiration from one of American Elm’s bar snacks, but bigger and more brunch-like. The airy-yet-rich dish can also be made on gluten-free bread if desired, which also can sub in for toast on the Basic breakfast ($16), which also comes with perfect tater tots. 

American Elm's executive chef Daniel Mangin. Photo by Ashley Beguin
American Elm’s executive chef Daniel Mangin. Photo by Ashley Beguin

If leaning toward the lunch side of brunch, the ground ribeye Elm Burger ($23) and slow-roasted ribeye French Dip ($24) certainly satisfy any midday cravings. But if you’re trying to stanch your sweet-tooth cravings, the Waffle ($15) delivers. Topped with fresh berries, whipped cream, and a dusting of powdered sugar, it’s the perfect way to end—or start—your meal.

Drink Up 

Brunch at American Elm isn’t just about the food, the drinks equally impress. With the relaunch of brunch came an introduction to a newly curated bar program as well. For example, bottomless mimosas ($25) and an array of brunch punch bowls designed in two sizes. 

The sharable beverages, inspired by classic and tiki cocktails, include the carbonated Cherry Bomb, Pandan Chi Chi, and Ocean Water. The large format displays serve 2 to 4 people for $29, and four to six for $59. Most cocktails can be made in these sizes, and, let’s be honest, any time you can imbibe from a golden flamingo, your day is off to a good start. 

Cocktails add even more color and flavor to brunch. | Photo by Ashley Beguin
Cocktails add even more color and flavor to brunch. | Photo by Ashley Beguin

On the individual side, get a caffeinated kick from the Espresso Martini ($14), blending Colorado’s Woody Creek Roaring Fork vodka, espresso, Atöst coffee liqueur, and demerara sugar. Or, go for the classic Bloody Mary ($11) featuring The Real Dill bloody mix, which, if you haven’t had, is totally addictive.

Other notable cocktails include two levels of the Old Fashioned. The basic ($13) features Evan Williams, and the top-shelf version ($16) includes Elijah Craig Private Barrel or R.L. Seale Reserve. Keep it classic with a margarita ($13), paloma ($12), or spritz ($13).

Spirit-free options include the Supertonic ($10), a blend of ginger, lemon, passionfruit, cinnamon, Dram Colorado Hair of the Dog bitters. Or go for the light and refreshing BARE Paloma ($10), made with Bare zero-proof reposado-style tequila, Strongwater grapefruit, lime, and salt, served on the rocks.

The basic breakfast also comes with tater tots. | Photo by Ashley Beguin
Chilaquiles is a must-have brunch item at American Elm. | Photo by Ashley Beguin

Don’t Miss This American Elm Specialty

We enjoyed the Trout & Grits ($19) so much, we put it on our list of the Top 10 Bites Of June. It’s a southern-style star using trout almondine on top of smoked cheddar grits,with asparagus, espelette-pepper-infused butter, and a handful of fresh cilantro. It’s has a pleasing lightness from the fish, and the fresh greens brighten the rich cheese grits. 

Also on the savory and hearty side, the Chilaquiles ($17) is another dish that shouldn’t be missed. On this plate, two eggs, crispy tortilla chips, tangy tomatillo sauce, jalapeño crema, pickled red onions, lime, and cilantro come together in a symphony of flavors both bold and balanced.

Visit American Elm for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. American Elm, 4132 W. 38th Ave., Denver,

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Steph Wilson

Steph Wilson is a writer, editor, and creative maximalist in Denver. She makes magazines for a living and throws color around the world like confetti for fun.