Penny Parker On The Town: Hotel Monaco and Panzano Restaurant celebrating civil unions

April 22, 2013

In celebration of Colorado passing the Civil Unions Act, long-time supporters of the LGBT community, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Denver and Panzano Restaurant will award one couple with an all-expenses paid “Civil Unions Celebration” for up to 50 guests at the hotel and award-winning restaurant.

Everything for the ceremony and reception will be included, and the total package will be worth nearly $20,000. The package includes flowers, photographer, dance floor and honeymoon suite.

Panzano executive chef Elise Wiggins said, “This amazing occasion calls for an amazing menu. I will personally work with the winning couple to create a menu that reflects this historic occasion and their personal dreams.”

Couples interested in entering the giveaway should send their love story in 100 words or less, plus a photo, to by April 26. A panel of judges will review the submissions and select up to five finalists.

The winning couple will be announced on May 15, and the ceremony will take place before Nov. 30. Interested parties can go to for contest details and rules.

Manager Josh Mayo adds a personal touch for Panzano Restaurant guests. Panzano and Hotel Monaco Denver will award one couple with an all-expenses paid "Civil Unions Celebration" for up to 50 guests at the hotel and award-winning restaurant. (photo courtesy of Panzano)


Clothing store closing

Mario DiLeone’s men’s clothing store at 2820 E. Third Avenue ( is closing. His women’s store in Cherry Creek North and his store in Aspen will remain open. He opened the Aspen store three years ago.

Mario Di Leone, formerly Uomo Elegante, opened in 1979 in Boulder, by an ex-architect with a vision to convert Colorado men from wearing jeans and T-shirts to high fashion Italian clothing.

The success was immense. So in 1981 he added a ladies collection and opened his second store in Cherry Creek. Being an architect and having respect for proportion and design he decided to go over the top and started working with master couturiers such as Gianfranco Ferre and Gianni Versace.

Derby Day

Join the fans and friends of Mariel, the darling women’s boutique at 3000 E. Third Ave., and Castles Home Décor next door for a Derby Day Party, from 2 to 6 p.m. May 4, a benefit for the Volunteers of America Guild.

Watch the Kentucky Derby while shopping at these two beautiful boutiques and enjoy music and mint juleps. In the spirit of the Derby, wear your fanciest hat. Prizes will be given for the smartest chapeaux.

Ten percent of purchases that day will be donated to The Guild Brandon Career Closet. RSVP to Mariel, 303-623-1152, or to Castles Home Décor at 303-989-0801.

New exec chef at The Walnut Room

The Walnut Room, a Denver-based pizzeria and music venue, has appointed Jonah Munson as executive chef. Munson will handle menu creation and will oversee the kitchens at The Walnut Room in Denver’s River North neighborhood and the South Broadway location.

His appointment marks the first time that The Walnut Room has employed an executive chef. Munson, a restaurant industry veteran, most recently served as Marczyk’s Fine Foods bakery manager.

“With his experience and culinary expertise, Jonah is a perfect fit for The Walnut Room,” said Leslie Odell, director of operations of The Walnut Room. “He really understands our business and will allow us to expand our menu to include exciting new offerings.”

An Atlanta native, Munson has been baking since college. For more information, go to

Jonah Munson is the new executive chef of The Walnut Room. Brunson most recently served as Marczyk's Fine Foods bakery manager. (photo courtesy of The Walnut Room)


More restaurant news…

* The Aurora Summit at Havana and Yale in Aurora is running a free six-ounce lobster tail promotion through May 9.

Receive a free petite lobster tail with a purchase of any Summit steak entrée at lunch or dinner all week long.

Happy hour, every day from 3 to 7 p.m., features 50 percent off all cocktails, beer, wine and premium brands. Piano bar entertainment from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

More information at

* Coohills, the French-inspired eatery at 1400 Wewatta, has added children’s pricing for kids age 10 and under (at $10 apiece) on the Mother’s Day Buffet Station Brunch.

The brunch is buffet-style with these stations: fresh-baked croissants and granola, eggs or omelets featuring red wine poached organic Eggs Benedict, frittatas and quiche, pit ham and roasted turkey and pastries and desserts.

The brunch runs from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on May 12. Cost is $30 per adult plus tax, gratuity and additional beverages. Prices includes coffee and hot tea. Reservations at or by calling 303-623-5700.

* EDGE Restaurant inside The Four Seasons Hotel Denver (14th and Arapahoe) is introducing a new seasonal menu that highlights fresh spring ingredients. Many of the EDGE popular menu items have been updated with the new finishing touches that are reflective of the season.

New menu highlights include the EDGE version of a Manhattan with halibut, crab, tomato and grilled ciabatta, and the chilled English pea soup with spring mint and lemon crème fraiche.

Appetizers include seared scallops with crimson lentils and English peas, and foie gras PB&J with cashew butter, passion fruit and brioche.

More than 20 items on the EDGE diner menu are gluten free, including the Kobe Beef or Ahi Tuna Hot Stone appetizer, the roasted baby candy striped beet salad, the arugula and watercress salad and several side dishes.

New desserts include the mountain berry panna cotta with honey-lime blackberries and sugar crisp, the EDGE snowball with coconut ice cream, strawberry meringue and chocolate flourless cake, as well as the the red velvet doughnettes with an orange glaze and cinnamon cream cheese dip.

EDGE also has a new chef – Meredith Manee who joins the restaurant from Culina Modern Italian Restaurant at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Manee worked for Culina since its opening in 2010. She will work alongside the hotel’s opening executive chef Simon Purvis.

* Lechuga’s Italian Restaurant & Lounge, the red-sauce joint at 3609 Tejon St., is for sale for $3 million. A gal pal of mine, Juanita Chacon, who loved that place, has the listing. Contact Chacon at 720-297-3005 or at

Westword founder and editor Patty Calhoun, has the story at


Note: Cold Crush, the restaurant/nightclub I told you about recently that was supposed to open with a party last week at 2700 Larimer St. in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, has delayed its opening due to construction issues.

Stay tuned for a new opening date.

Eavesdropping on a woman watching the news: “If you’re a criminal, don’t get tattoos. That will give you up.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email:

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