The Newest Restaurant of French Chef Ludo Lefebvre will Bring A Lot of Butter to Denver

The Newest Restaurant of French Chef Ludo Lefebvre will Bring A Lot of Butter to Denver
Courtesy of Chez Maggy

The Thompson Hotel will open Chez Maggy.

It has been a devastating experience for Chef Ludo Lefebvre's family in 2019 after his mother-in-law, Margaret Stewart Braun, passed away in a car accident caused by a drunk driver in Colorado. The Los Angeles-based Lefebvres have been struggling with the loss for nearly three years now, but they have discovered a way of channeling their grief into a new project that honors Braun's memory.

It is his first foray outside of Los Angeles and the luxury hotel chain's first in the Centennial State that the chef has launched Chez Maggy at the Thompson Denver hotel in Lower Downtown, the city's Lower Downtown neighborhood. In just a few days, the new French brasserie-style restaurant will be open, just a few days ahead of the hotel opening.

Krissy Lefebvre affectionately referred to Margaret as "bonus mom," a nickname she also gave to her stepmother, Margaret, who was the wife of Lefebvre's wife. Margaret was referred to as "Maggy" in the story. 

The family of Ludo, Krissy and their twins of 10 years old, Rêve and Luca, often visited Colorado in order to spend time with Margaret's father, Bill, and with her twins. When Ludo and Krissy needed to travel without the children, Margaret often traveled to the Lefebvres' house in Los Angeles in order to care for them. 

Courtesy of Chez Maggy

He recalls Margaret making "some good bolognese" when he was a kid, but she wasn't the best cook.


Lefebvre's classic French style will be combined with mountain-inspired ingredients and preparations in the 90-seat lobby-level restaurant, the hotel's signature restaurant. It is important to Lefebvre that he creates a menu that emphasizes simple, expertly prepared dishes from his home country, such as steak tartare, trout almondine, onion soup, steak frites, and pâté.

Aside from that, he wanted to experiment with ingredients that were representative of the American West. For example, he’s making bison bourguignon instead of boeuf bourguignon; Lefebvre will also prepare bison tartare as well. The menu will change about 30 to 40 percent every couple of months as seasonal Colorado produce becomes available.

Courtesy of Chez Maggy

There is a French twist to the classic burger, which the chef calls "Burger à la Française". The burger is served on a Brioche bun and is topped with a black pepper gravy sauce, pickled mustard seeds, smoked mayonnaise and French Comté cheese.

The Denver omelet, traditionally made with bell peppers, onions, ham, cheddar cheese and buffalo mozzarella cheese, is also getting an upgrade made with fondue, which is a specialty of the French Alps. In a subtle nod to Colorado's mountain ranges, the cheese fondue will be incorporated into the Denver omelet.

When Lefebvre learned about Thompson Hotels' plans for Colorado, he was thrilled to hear that he could open a Denver restaurant. Lefebvre, a hiker and skier, particularly at Keystone Ski Resort, had been planning to open a Denver restaurant for years. As far as Lefebvre is concerned, Thompson is the perfect partner to help him reach his Mile High dreams. 

Courtesy of Chez Maggy

A collection of urban styles, mid-century modern styles, and mountain chalet styles are blended together in this hotel, designed by New York's Parts and Labor, providing travelers with a sophisticated, western-inspired environment to relax and unwind. 

Having partnered with Victrola, a record player manufacturer that has been making record players for over 100 years and recently relocated its headquarters to Denver, the hotel will provide every guest room with a turntable in addition to creating a public listening lounge on the sixth floor with a selection of vinyl records curated by Victrola. The alpine-themed cocktail bar, Reynard Social, located on the same floor of the hotel, is an excellent place to unwind before or after a visit to the hotel.

The executive chef of the hotel, Chase Wilbanks, who is a Colorado native with a robust French and fine dining experience, will be relying heavily on Lefebvre's talents even though he will be just a two-hour flight away from Los Angeles. Additionally, Lefebvre is eager to become more deeply immersed in the culinary scene in Denver, which he admires, and spend as much time as he can in Denver.

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