The Common Good is the dynamic restaurant at The Benson Hotel and Faculty Club in Aurora, the new hospitality center located at the nationally recognized University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Celebrating the pioneering spirit of the West, The Common Good will serve as a welcoming destination for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The hotel and The Common Good were designed in collaboration between Tryba Architects and Avenue Interior Design.
The 100-seat restaurant features an open kitchen, generous booth seating, expansive wall-to-wall windows, and a wraparound outdoor terrace for alfresco dining. It was designed to serve as a community gathering space in a fast-changing city that has evolved into Colorado’s biotech hub and a health and life sciences research center. A separate Lounge is designed with warm mahogany wood and brass accents, surrounded by rich teal paneled walls.
The Common Good features seasonally-driven comfort food using locally-sourced ingredients and is helmed by Executive Chef Donovan Davis. Discovering his love of cooking as a teenager, Chef Davis began working in restaurants in his early 20s, where he “fell in love with the atmosphere of the kitchen.” His career took off in earnest at the Monterey Peninsula Country Club before he moved on to Denver Castle Pines Country Club. He went on to hone his skills during his years at Four Seasons Hotel Austin and Four Seasons Hotel Chicago.
“I joined The Benson Hotel pre-opening and started the ground-up process, developing menus and concepts,” says Chef Davis. “It’s been an exciting process of discovery, and we’re excited to be open for the community now. We’re offering an approachable, communal environment with shared small plate options and a place where friends, colleagues, and the community can gather.”
Chef Davis is going as local as possible and will work with producers within a 10-mile radius, emphasizing high-quality Colorado ingredients, anti-inflammatory products, Superfoods, and healthy eating.
As for the menu, Chef Davis says the approach is “global cuisine but thinking outside the lines.” The cooking offers a range of flavors that tap into Morocco, Thailand, Japan, and American Southwest cuisines.
Chef Davis is excited about dishes like his Short Rib with Plum Sauce braised for 24 hours, which he describes as “a ‘wow’ piece when it comes out of the kitchen.” There are items like beets roasted with vanilla and served with goat cheese smoked in-house. All pastas are made on-site, and he has an array of vegan dishes on the menu, like the Vegan Thai Green Curry that relies on the so-called “Charleston ice cream method” to wash the starch off French Red Rice and leave it al dente.
“We’ve created vegan dishes that somebody will want to order, not simply because they are vegan,” says Chef Davis. To keep it as fresh as possible, he says that “the menu will change monthly with the seasons.”
The handsome Lounge area is outfitted with TV screens for watching sports while dining on bites such as Gin Olives and Mushroom Sliders, Burgers, Mac & Cheese, and irresistible Pistachio Parmesan Fries.
The restaurant is now open seven days a week, from 7 am to 9 pm, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.