Restaurant Peek: Ace Eat Serve
ACE | 501 E. 17th Avenue | Denver, CO 80203 | Tel: 303.800.7705
www.acedenver.com | Hours: Mon – Fri: 11AM to 12AM; Sat – Sun: 2PM to 12AM
By Peter Bui, Asian Avenue magazine
Sometimes two unseemingly different things can be paired to make a winning combination; the same can be said about Ace. This unique restaurant has combined Asian cuisine with table tennis. The story of how this Uptown Denver restaurant was conceived is just as interesting as the concept itself.
Brandon Biederman has been in the restaurant business for most of his life and started working for sister restaurant Vesta Dipping Grill 11 years ago. He is now the executive chef at Steuben’s Restaurant and Ace. While Biederman was focused at Steuben’s, an opportunity opened next door—one that he and owner Josh Wolkon could not pass up.
What used to be an old car garage became their next business idea. With the help of Emily Biederman, Brandon’s wife and Ace’s restaurant manager, they brainstormed the initial concept. They wanted to incorporate things they enjoyed and experienced during their travels, like playing late night ping pong in New York. The immense space allowed for multiple ping pong tables and large dining areas inside and out on the patio.
When it came to building Ace’s menu, Biederman applied the same train of thought. Whether traveling around the world or going down to Federal Blvd. in Denver, he has always found Asian food comforting. So for the menu he “cherry picked” his favorite Asian dishes and stamped them with his own unique twist. He said, “I’ve just been traveling and interpreting… and trying to learn as much as I can.” A good example is the crispy and spicy Tiger Wings which were inspired by a trip to the Northwest.
He continues, “The menu, within the year, has changed three times pretty significantly. It’s all about listening to our guests.” The menu has a whole slew of baos, like the Korean inspired Braised Short Rib Bao and the Char Siu (barbecued pork) Bao, each with a different flavor profile representing different origins of cuisine. Ace also has its own spin on dim sum with a variety of tasty dumplings and pot stickers.
The main course side of the menu features dishes like the Vietnamese Noodle Bowl and Shrimp Pad Thai. Ace’s Pad Thai is served the way Biederman remembers from his trip to Thailand with the noodles and ingredients wrapped up in a huge omelette making for a delicious and filling meal. Food and ping pong are not all that Ace offers, they also have a juice bar and a full bar to serve drinks and cocktails.
While Ace has only been open for one year, the restaurant has quickly become an Uptown favorite. Biederman sums it up best, “Ace has become a destination, where you can come and start off your night with drinks and bites, play a couple of games of ping pong, have dinner, and end up back at the bar.”
“So we’re finding that people aren’t just coming in for an hour and taking off, they are here four to five hours. That’s because we are operating three different spaces at once.”
Appetizers & Dim Sum
Crispy Brussel Sprouts $8
Shrimp Dumplings $5
Chive & Pork Shumai $4
Bao Buns ($3 to $4)
Braised Short Rib, Fried Chicken,
Seasoned Tofu, Char Siu Pulled Pork
Pork Belly Banh Mi $9
Mongolian Beef $9
Vietnamese Noodle Bowl $10
Shrimp Pad Thai $11
Steamed Mahi Mahi $14