The Brown Palace’s 125th Birthday & Ellyngton’s Champagne Brunch

Denver Restaurants, Events

By Jessica H.


The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa is celebrating their 125th anniversary this year! The Brown Palace was built in 1892 and reigns as the second oldest hotel in Denver. Located in the heart of downtown, the Brown Palace is an iconic building boasting Italian Renaissance architecture designed by architect Frank E. Edbrooke, including an atrium lobby, grand ballroom, and various rooms adorned in Mexican onyx. The building is the second-known fireproof building in United States and was built with sandstone and red granite. Over the past 125 years, famous faces have frequented the Brown Palace, such as The Beatles, Theodore Roosevelt, and the legendary Molly Brown who survived the Titanic shipwreck.


Upon walking into the historic hotel, you are greeted with warmth and nostalgia of the past. Inside, there are various restaurants and bars to choose from, such as Ship Tavern, Palace Arms, Churchill Cigar Bar, and the famed Ellyngton’s. We were delighted to spend time at the Brown Palace recently for the Sunday Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s, which is a place where everyone from politicians to movie stars have mingled and dined.

Champagne Brunch at Ellyngton’s is an experience that both Denver residents and visitors to Colorado alike should dive into at some point in their lives, whether it be for a special occasion or when you’re in the mood for a rock star brunch. The Sunday extravaganza recently made Open Table’s “Top 100 Brunches in the US” List; it is the only brunch in Denver on the list. Ellyngton’s is an old-school, evocative restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows and ornate decor, located on the first floor of the Brown Palace Hotel. There is a live slow jazz band every Sunday that will serenade you while dining.


Our recent brunch at Ellynton’s was incredible beyond words. We chose the middle-tier champagne, Moët Chandon, for our bottomless option. If you’re looking to live lavishly, opt for Dom Pérignon. The chocolate fondue fountain (with both white and milk chocolate flowing) was our first stop on the bottomless brunch train. We then moved onto the salad bar to get some greens in our body before devouring nearly every other food group in existence.

Next up: seafood dreams. Plates full of raw oysters, fresh sushi rolls, and sashimi graced our taste buds. As we are huge fans of raw fish, this may have been one of our favorite parts of Ellyngton’s brunch. Most modern brunches leave out the raw fish component and opt for your cooked delicacies; Ellyngton’s has no shame in serving up that raw deliciousness bright and early on Sunday morning. To ready our palates for breakfast food, we then nibbled on fresh pastries (all baked in-house) and various artisan cheeses. Subsequently we moved onto an array of breakfast items: sausage, bacon, hash browns and breakfast potatoes, and omelettes made to order (right in front of us!).



At this point, the average person may think they are full, but we prepared our minds (and bellies) to be ready for more. Lunch delights came next. We tried the famous Brown Palace prime rib as well as the meat of the day, which was lamb with raspberry crème sauce (definitely one of our favorite meat-and-sauce combos to date). Then it was time for more fish, barramundi to be exact. The barramundi was delicate and buttery — just like any perfectly-cooked white fish should be. We also tried the cheese blintzes and ordered eggs benedict from our server – -which you can get by the half order. To top it off with finesse, we tried a slice of the freshly baked cherry pie. We left Ellyngton’s full of delectable food, bubbles, and lifetime memories. 

If you are interested in making a reservation for Ellyngton’s Champagne Brunch, you can do so here. The Champagne Brunch takes place from 10 AM – 1:30 PM every Sunday in the famed Brown Palace Hotel.

Happy Hour, Cocktails, & Tasty Bites at Max’s Wine Dive

Denver Restaurants

By Jessica H.


Max’s Wine Dive is a laid-back restaurant in south Capitol Hill with a gourmet food menu and an eclectic wine and cocktail list that touches on southern classics and twists on American favorites. The first Max’s Wine Dive opened in Houston, Texas with the goal of serving up delicious comfort food and a variety of wines in a relaxed environment. Unlike your traditional fine dining restaurants in which men must don a button down and women a cocktail dress, MWD has the food and drink of a fine dining restaurant but in an uber-casual environment. With the love of rock ‘n’ roll and a variety of wines to suit everyone’s tastes, Max’s Wine Dive is a place you can take your parents for Friday dinner or take your best friends for lots of happy hour drinks. 

We have been dying to go to Max’s Wine Dive for some time now and luckily had the chance to visit recently during Friday happy hour. Adorned with wooden tables, warming decor, and a jukebox filled with great albums, the restaurant feels welcoming to anyone who may pass through its doors. We sat at a high top near the jukebox and bookcase-like shelves full of wine to get the full MWD experience. Next to the indoor dining room is a large outdoor patio, perfect for summer brunches and happy hours in the Colorado sunshine. We started out with some happy hour bites and drinks, then moved onto a charcuterie plate, cocktails and some delicious comfort food. 


Happy hour bites are plentiful here: sriracha lime popcorn, shrimp and mango ceviche, man candy bacon, Max’s hot wings, and street corn. We tried the sriracha lime popcorn, which is a delicious twist to your classic popped snack, and the shrimp and mango ceviche — the perfect refreshing dish to eat on a hot summer day.


For happy hour drinks, you have plenty of options. Our favorite option for this summer is the Frico Scarpetta Wine bucket. For $25, you get five cans of sparkling wine or “frico frizzante” from the Italian hills of Veneto. At 10% ABV, this wine is crisp, yet delicate, with succulent bubbles to start your evening off right. Another favorite are the $5 frozen drinks on happy hour which mean one thing: frosé, baby. MWD’s frosé is off the charts — a light pink delicacy fitting for patio weather.

In terms of other drinks, we recommend the 9.19 consisting of Sauvignon Blanc, St. Germain, and vodka — a light cocktail with citrusy vibes — named after the GM’s wedding date and a drink that was served at the celebration. We also loved the Barolo Old Fashioned made with rye whiskey, Barolo Chinato, honey syrup, and house cherry. Barolo Chinato is an after dinner cordial, in between amaro and vermouth, which is made with fruits, spices, and botanicals. It adds a unique twist on the classic Old Fashioned cocktail. Their Bloody Mary is also epic — the vodka is infused with various veggies for days and the fried chicken seasoning is used on the rim. 



The cheeseboard is a must. Add the chef’s charcuterie for some tasty cured meats that are thinly sliced in-house. Lastly, the fried chicken is a necessity. MWD is known for their famous southern fried chicken, which is made with jalapeno-buttermilk… And holllyyyyy…. It’s amazing and perfectly tender. I still dream about it. The Max ‘N Cheese is the final thing you must order: made with cavatappi noodles in a truffle cream sauce with provolone, gruyere, parmesan, and white cheddar.

We truly loved Max’s Wine Dive and recommend you go there ASAP– whether it be for happy hour, dinner, or brunch. Happy hour is served from 4- 6 PM Monday through Friday and you can grab brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM- 3 PM.