Penny Parker On The Town: Denver Restaurant Week splits personalities for two different weeks

September 25, 2013

Denver Restaurant Week(s), one of the most popular events in town for the generous portions for a small price, is doing a double take by splitting its personality with two weeks spaced out during the year.

In observation of the event’s 10th anniversary, Visit Denver’s Denver Restaurant Week will double the fun by holding one week from Feb. 22-28 and a second week Aug. 23-29.

The new price per meal per person is $30, FYI … Not a bad deal when you factor in inflation with the cost of food, etc. As you may recall, in several of the previous years, Denver Restaurant Week was two weeks, which in many cases put a mad crush on diner volumes, although the financial gains, in many cases, were well worth the effort.

“A summer version of the event offers restaurants a lot of interesting serving and meal options,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver, the creator and organizer of DRW. “Restaurants will be able to offer outdoor dining and feature fresh Colorado produce. We anticipate that summer menus will be very different from the winter ones, and they will be able to showcase the farm-to-fork movement that is so popular in the state.”

In 2013, a record 355 participating restaurants served 436,650 meals. For more information, go to or

Toronto blogger Andrew Dobson likes us … he really likes us!

Check out the strokes Toronto blogger Andrew Dobson gave our folks during a visit to the Mile High City. And forgive the British spelling of certain words … what does it matter when it’s all positive press? This is just a sample.

“Moments after my plane swooped into Denver I sat in my seat on the tarmac as the flight attendant chirped, ‘Please do not unlatch your seat buckles until the plane finishes taxing to the gate and has come to a complete stop.’ This announcement always makes me laugh as I’m often clasping at the blunt ends of my armrests ready to bolt.

“This would be my first visit to Colorado and I was beyond excited to spend the next three days in one of America’s most buzzed about urban eats destinations. I had ample time to uncover the city’s top attractions, best restaurants and felt a thriving arts vibe unique to Colorado’s favourite city. Here are a few fun facts about Denver important to take note before planning your trip:

  • Denver      has 300 days of annual sunshine. Located east of the mountains, the city has a      mild, dry and sunny climate with more annual hours of sun than San Diego      or Miami Beach.
  • Denver      is near the mountains, not in them! The city is located on high rolling plains, 12 miles      east of the “foothills,” a series of gentle mountains that climb 11,000      feet. The picturesque Rocky Mountain panorama from Denver is 140 miles      long.
  • Denver’s      history is short, but colourful.  In 1858, there was      not a single person living in Denver metro area except for a few migrating      camps of Arapaho and Cheyenne Native Americans. Just 30 years later,      Colorado was a state with a population of almost 200,000! Tipping our hats      to the Gold Rush!
  • Denver      loves its sports.      Denver is one of the only two cities (Philadelphia is the other) to have      seven professional sports teams. Hot dog and Coors Light lovers rejoice at      many a rowdy stadium.
  • Denver      brews more beer than any other city. The first building in      Denver was a saloon, so its natural that Denver would become a great beer      town. Coors Brewery is the worlds largest and Denver’s Great American Beer      Festival is the largest in the nation, with more than 1,900 different      beers on display. On an average day Denver brews more than 200 different      beers.
  • Denver is the Mile High City. By an amazing stroke of good luck, the 13th step on the west side of the State Capitol Building is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile high. In Denver’s rarified air, golf balls go 10 percent farther, and so do cocktails! Alcoholic drinks here pack a punch and did I ever notice from one restaurant and bar to the next. Be sure to sip slowly as your acclimatize to the new elevation.

For the rest of the post, go to

Open Table gives Denver restaurants props

Open Table this week announced its list of the 100 American restaurants that are “Fit for Foodies.”

Four Colorado restaurants, three in Denver, were named to the list compiled by the online restaurant reservation service. The list is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews submitted by diners on 15,000-plus restaurants in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The three Denver restaurants, Old Major, beast + bottle and The Squeaky Bean, are all less than a year old. The fourth Colorado restaurant on the list is The Pullman in Glenwood Springs, which is helmed by chef Mark Fisher, famous for opening Six89 and Phat Thai in Carbondale. Unfortunately, Phat Thai’s attempt to add another site in Cherry Creek failed.

Old Major in Lower Highland is run by chef Justin Brunson; Paul Reilly is the chef of the Uptown eatery  beast + bottle, known for its “snout to tail” fare, and Theo Adley heads the kitchen at The Squeaky Bean, which was revived in Lower Downtown by its original chef, Max MacKissock.

More at

Dunk tank

Denver’s “flagship” Dunkin’ Donuts Restaurant opened with fanfare Tuesday in the coffee-clatch 8 a.m. hour Tuesday at 366 Broadway.

To celebrate the chain’s entrance into the Denver market, customers will be offered free medium hot or iced coffee (one per person) and 99 cent medium lattes at the Broadway location through Sept. 29, National Coffee Day.

The well-attended ribbon-cutting ceremony included a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Colorado Rockies’ mascot Dinger, Denver Broncos’ mascot Miles and Colorado Rapids mascot Edson the Eagle and the Rapids’ street team. The sports team mascots were hosted by Dunkin’ Donuts mascot Dunkin’ Cuppy.

For more information, go to

Dunkin' Donuts mascot Dunkin' Cuppy.

Dunkin’ Donuts mascot Dunkin’ Cuppy.



Out of respect for the Colorado flood victims, Film on the Rocks, produced by the Denver Film Society, and The Barry Fey Foundation have cancelled the screening of “Under a Blood Red Sky, which was scheduled for Thursday at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

A memorial showing of “Under a Blood Red Sky”, the famous U2 concert video in large part engineered by the late Fey, will be rescheduled for next summer as part of the 2014 Film on the Rocks series.

(Photo courtesy of

(Photo courtesy of


Buy chops for a good cause

When it comes to helping flood victims, folks will take just about anything offered, including a Colorado lamb chop lollipop served with warm fingerling potato salad, red onion and arugula tossed in a mustard sherry vinaigrette and finished with a maple Dijon cabernet au jus at Ocean Prime on Larimer Square.

Even better, every dime of the $22 everyone spends on that lollipop at the restaurant Ocean Prime goes to flood victims. The deal takes place on Thursday. For reservations, go to

Eavesdropping on a husband to his wife: “You’re Beverly Hills, I’m Beverly Hillbillies.”

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. My email: Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at

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