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Summer Denver Restaurant Week menus go live today

Denver foodies, start your appetites. The menus for the first Summer Denver Restaurant Week will be listed live at noon today at www.DenverRestaurantWeek.com.

For the first time, Denver Restaurant Week will offer a summer version on Aug. 23 through 29 with more than 200 Denver restaurants offering multi-course dinners for the fixed price of $30 (tax and tip not included).

“At the request of the participating restaurants, Denver Restaurant Week was expanded this year to offer a summer version, which will feature outdoor dining, fresh locally sourced produce and seasonal menu items,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver, organizer of the event.

Menus are listed on the website by cuisine and by neighborhood. Diners can also see which restaurants offer vegetarian options. “Planning is an important part of restaurant week,” Scharf said. “Certainly, some restaurants will fill up early at prime dining times, but there are many off-peak dining times that remain available, and of course, we encourage diners to experiment and try new restaurants.” The list of restaurants and menus will be frequently updated, so diners should check the website often.

Many of the participating restaurants offer expanded outdoor seating, which will make it even easier to get reservations this year. Still, Scharf encouraged diners to get on the website and make reservations early.

“And please honor your reservations,” he said. “One of the most frustrating things about the event is when people make a reservation, and don’t show up, denying other diners that time slot. Don’t be a no-show! Please notify the restaurant if your plans change so they can fill that table.”

Throughout this year’s event, diners will also be encouraged to enter to win “The Pursuit of Perfection in the Kitchen” sweepstakes, presented by Lexus, which will award two lucky winners private cooking lessons with top Denver chefs, Andrea Frizzi of Il Posto or Elise Wiggins from Panzano. Information on entering the contest can be found at Facebook.com/VisitDenver. The contest will run through the end of Denver Restaurant Week.

Denver Restaurant Week, presented by Lexus, sponsors include: Lexus, Alamos Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Mirassou Winery, Louis M. Martini Winery, William Hill Estate Winery, US Foods, Frontier Airlines, Johnsons & Wales University, Uber, The Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, Westword, Comcast, Open Table, the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District.

 

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TAG takes a bite out of best burgers list

TAG Burger Bar, 1222 Madison St., owned by prolific chef Troy Guard (TAG, Bubu, Guard and Grace, Los Chingones) was named among the 33 best burgers across the country, according to the second annual Thrillist.com list.

According to Thrillist, “Many of the burgers on this list (we have seven holdovers we couldn’t possibly change, and 26 new entries) embody a commitment to almost austere excellence, sacrificing the show-tricks of crazy meat toppings in favor of nailing the genuine article.”

Here’s what Thrillist wrote about TAG Burger Bar’s TAG American Slam burger:

“The man behind a slew of successful Denver-area restaurants opened up his burger-focused shop a few years ago, and it has been a Mile High favorite, while also dominating in area burger contests, ever since. While there are over-the-top builds common to new-school burger shops, like the Godzilla (crispy tempura flakes, smoked kewpi), at its core, Burger Bar excels because of (its) patty: a blend of chuck, short rib, and brisket specially ground for them. It can be deliciously topped with everything from Colorado-born ingredients like Pueblo green chiles to honey-infused local goat cheese. But even though it’s in Colorado, you can’t top the burger with weed. I mean, you could, but you’d have to put it on there yourself.”

Check out the rest of the list at www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/the-33-best-burgers-in-the-country-holeman-and-finch-au-cheval-husk-and-more.

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BYOB to boutique sale benefiting Dress for Success Denver

Grab your own bags for the BYOB (bring your own bag) boutique sale Friday and Saturday at The Shops at Ninth Avenue and Djuna, 899 N. Broadway.

Furniture/home accessories store Djuna donates the space each year and then area stores (see below) donate clothing, household goods, shoes and accessories. The items are deeply discounted and sold to benefit Dress for Success Denver, www.dressforsuccess.org/denver.

(go to www.dressforsucces.org/denver for more info about the org)

This is an all volunteer event with 100 percent of proceeds go to the nonprofit organization. Hours are 6 to 9 p.m. Friday for VIP “first-picks”; $20 at the door. The sale is open to the general public for free at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Local shops donating items are:

* A Line boutique
* Adornments
* Amy’s Hallmark Card’s Inc.
* AnnaFesta
* The Brass Bed
* Bella Bridesmaids
* Eccentricity
* Fancy Tiger Clothing

* Garbarini

* Janska LLC

* Rags

* Sol Shine Boutique
* Steve Madden Shoes
* True Love Shoes
* Two Sole Sisters
* Wild Blue Boutique

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Larimer Square stores hit the sidewalk for sale

Historic Larimer Square merchants are hosting the annual Peachy Sidewalk Sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Get up to 75 percent off on designer clothing, accessories and more from more than 20 Larimer Square retail shops. Come early on Friday and get free Colorado peaches (while supplies last) and enter to win tickets to Larimer Square’s Dining Al Fresco on Aug. 16.

Here’s a list of what some boutiques are offering:

Blush merchandise will be up to 70 percent off designer labels including Chan Luu, Mother Denim, Velvet, Current/Elliott, Vince, Tibi, Rebecca Taylor, LA Made and Sanctuary.

Hailee Grace will be offering 15 percent off the entire store, 50 percent off the sale rack and will also have $20, $30 and $40 racks upstairs in the Hailee Grace tent.

Here’s a list of some of the participating boutiques:

  • Cry Baby Ranch
  • Gusterman Silversmiths
  • Jewelry at the Square
  • FRINJE
  • Timbuk2
  • Whatever Pops Up
  • Blue Ruby
  • Equipment de Vin
  • Goorin Bros.
  • John Atencio
  • Moda Man
  • Scarpaletto
  • Victoriana Antique & Fine Jewelry
  • Blush
  • Dog Savvy Boutique & Spa
  • Eve
  • Hailee Grace
  • John Fluevog Shoes
  • Nest Children’s Boutique

Larimer Square is located at 1430 Larimer St. More information at www.larimersquare.com or via phone at 303-534-2367.

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Dollar Tree stores collecting school supplies for military kids

Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree, Inc. have joined forces again this pre-school season to gather school supplies for military children across the country. The supplies can be purchased through Aug. 14 by customers at any of the more than 60 Dollar Tree and Deals stores in the metro area and placed in collection boxes in each store.

The Back-to-School Brigade™ program is a nationwide campaign by Operation Homefront and Dollar Tree.  This is the sixth year that Dollar Tree has partnered with Operation Homefront for the program.  Last year, Dollar Tree patrons donated more than $4.7 million of supplies nationwide.

“For the last six years, Dollar Tree and its customers have been our partners in getting military kids ready to go back to school,” said Charlotte Merriam, executive director of Operation Homefront Rocky Mountains. “These donated school supplies enhance the morale and the success of our military children, while easing the burden military families carry.  These families deal with deployments and the other stresses of military life, and Operation Homefront serves lower- and mid-grade enlisted the lowest-paid of our service members.”

Participating stores include the locations at Micro Center, Broadway Marketplace, and Bear Valley Shopping Center. Once the program ends, Operation Homefront volunteers will collect and distribute the gifts to military children during the back-to-school season in August and September. Go to www.operationhomefront.net for more details on how to contribute.

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

Eavesdropping on two women: “I saw a listing for a knitting hike.”

“What do you do, knit one, fall two?”

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How does your garden grow? City approves home sales of bumper crops

The City of Denver could become one big farmer’s market after the City Council recently approved a law that allows Denver residents to sell from their homes fresh produce they have grown themselves and cottage foods such as jams and honey they have made in their home kitchens.

“Denver has always been known as a city that appreciates ‘farm-to-table’ and using fresh produce and locally sourced foods, but this new law creates a whole new level of urban farming that will allow the city to become one big farmer’s market,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver.

Under the new law, which takes effect today (Friday), Denver residents will have to purchase a permit, but then will be able to sell from their home raw and uncut fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that were grown by the seller either on site or in a community garden.

They will also be able to sell whole eggs produced by chickens or ducks kept by the seller at home, or “cottage foods,” which are low-risk, unrefrigerated food products made on-site such as spices, teas, honey, jams and certain baked goods. People can sell from inside or outside their home from 8 a.m. to dusk and can sell up to $5,000 of goods a year.

“Denver has become a leader in urban farming,” Scharf said, noting that two years ago the Colorado Convention Center opened the Blue Bear Farm on the grounds of the Convention Center and is now growing 5,000 pounds of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices used in the convention center’s kitchens.  ”Many city restaurants have already put in their own gardens and farms, and now they will be able to buy vegetables, eggs, jams, and fruits grown right in the neighborhood.”

For more information, including how to secure a permit, a list of permissible cottage foods and tips for your home garden, visit www.denvergov.org/homebusiness. The sale of marijuana or marijuana-infused products is not allowed.

Additional resources are also available at the Colorado State University Denver Extension Office, which provides resources on soil testing as well as classes on urban farming, cottage foods and food safety. Visit www.denverext.colostate.edu for more information.

For more activities in Denver go to www.visitdenver.com.

 

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Free downtown outdoor concert series starts Wednesday

Arts Brookfield will launch its free outdoor concert series, Summer on the Plaza, from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday (July 23) with the Garrett Sayers Trio performing at the 1801 California plaza. The series features rising stars of Denver’s music scene along with happy hour specials at Guard and Grace, adjacent to the plaza.

The following musicians are scheduled to perform.
* July 23 – Garrett Sayers Trio
* July 30 – Ark Life with Patrick Dethlefs
* Aug. 6 – SHEL
* Aug. 13 – Megan Burtt

Arts Brookfield presents cultural experiences to hundreds of thousands of people for free each year at Brookfield Office Properties, which include 1801 California and Republic Plaza in downtown Denver.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our free arts programming in the Denver community with Brookfield’s recent transformation of 1801 California,” said Debra Simon, vice president and artistic director of Arts Brookfield. “In addition to Arts Brookfield’s ongoing (exhibits) inside the building, we look forward to offering an opportunity for people to enjoy live music by local musicians in a beautiful outdoor, urban and lively setting.”

For more information on the concert series, visit the website (www.artsbrookfield.com/denver or follow Arts Brookfield on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@ArtsBrookfield), YouTube, Pinterest, or Vine. Follow the hashtag #ArtsBrookfield for photos and tweets about Summer on the Plaza.

(Photo courtesy of MeganBurtt.com)

(Photo courtesy of MeganBurtt.com)

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