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Trillium chefs warm up for Beard House booking

October 24, 2014

Trillium restaurant owner Ryan Leinonen was enjoying his day off when his cell phone interrupted his day at home.

“I almost didn’t answer the phone but I saw the call was from New York and thought I’d better answer it,” Leinonen said Wednesday. That was a good move.

“She said this is so and so from the James Beard House. Would you…” The chef-owner with Scandinavian culinary roots barely remembers the rest of the conversation. In the end, he was invited to cook at the ionic home on Nov. 11. To practice for the coveted appearance, Leinonen and his team replicated the five-course dinner they will serve for tony New Yorkers Wednesday night at the Ballpark restaurant.

Attendees were treated to a veritable smorgasbord of how Leinonen interprets what Scandinavia has to offer paired with wine selected by Trent Shaoul of B Town Wine & Spirits.

Stand-outs included the cauliflower soup with dill pistou paired with San Lorenzo Gavi 2013; beets and burrata with roasted red beets, pickled yellow beets and raw slivered two-tone beets paired with Domaine Cheysson Chiroubles 2012, the pan-seared Muscovy duck breast with a to-die-for root vegetable and horseradish gratin paired with Domaine le Sang des Cailloux Cuvee de Lopy Vacqueyras 2008 and the spiced cheesecake with gingersnap crumble paired with bodegas Dios Baco Baco de Elite Oloroso N/V.

Leinonen and his team fly into New York several days before the Nov. 11 dinner when the chef will treat his team to dinner at the legendary Le Bernardin. Leinonen made the reservation four months in advance and was required to pay for the entire prix fixe meal prior to dining there.

This is not Leinonen’s first Beard House rodeo. As sous chef at The Kitchen in Boulder, he accompanied chef Hugo Matheson.

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Lakewood estate highest priced home in metro area

October 24, 2014

The Taylor Estate, the highest-priced home in Denver metro area, is up for sale for $27.7 million in Lakewood.

The 1932-built gated spread on the shores of Ward Lake was designed by renowned Denver architect Burnham F. Hoyt, who also designed Red Rocks Amphitheater as well as landmarks such as the Central Denver Public Library and State Capital Annex Building. According to Internet reports, Hoyt once regarded this residence as the most beautiful home in America.

This 14-000-square-foot 26-room manor house features a paneled library, banquet size dining room, dual master suites with nine additional bedroom suites, 12 fireplaces and a staff wing. The 122 acres include mountain views, century old trees, lake with beach and boating privileges, pool, tennis court, three staff cottages, stables, water rights and agricultural status.

Guests at this storied estate have included Denver high society, British royalty and assorted dignitaries. Prince Philip and Princess Anne of Great Britain chose to stay there as guests of the Taylors.

This property also includes a heated pool, tennis court, outdoor patios, a flower-cutting garden, dressage ring and stables.

To see the listing, go to www.fullersothebysrealty.com/frc/sales/detail/218-l-811-bxm66v/the-taylor-estate-lakewood-co-80227.

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Better Boettcher Bash to boost fundraising bucks

October 24, 2014

The Colorado Symphony is hosting the Better Boettcher Bash, Colorado Symphony 25th Anniversary Celebration, on Sunday at Boettcher Concert Hall. A concert and fundraiser, the Better Boettcher Bash celebrates the orchestra’s legacy as well as a new vision for its home.

Conducted by Scott O’Neil, the Better Boettcher Bash will feature music from the Colorado Symphony as well as Natasha Paremski, world-renown pianist and favorite of Colorado Symphony audiences. Cellist Zuill Bailey will also join the orchestra for a program that includes traditional and beloved pieces from the symphonic canon, from Tchaikovsky and Saint-Saëns to Bernstein and Williams. Belen de Leon of 9News will host. Admission is available with a tax-deductable donation of $50, $100, or $200. All proceeds support the Better Boettcher campaign.

The Better Boettcher Bash falls on the silver anniversary of a groundbreaking cultural moment in 1989, when the Denver Symphony became the Colorado Symphony.

Last month, the Colorado Symphony unveiled a plan to renovate Boettcher Concert Hall, its home of 35 years. The Better Boettcher Plan, created by Denver’s Semple Brown Design, reinvisions Boettcher Concert Hall as a flexible, multi-media space with optimal acoustics and sound reinforcements. Details of the plan are available on the Colorado Symphony’s web site www.coloradosymphony.org.

“We believe Boettcher Concert Hall needs renovation, not demolition, and the public seems to agree with us,” said Jerome H. Kern, Colorado Symphony CEO and co-chair of its Board of Trustees. “Since we announced the Better Boettcher plan, we’ve heard from hundreds of community members who wish to support our efforts. The Better Boettcher Bash gives them an incredible opportunity to do so.”

The Better Boettcher Bash starts with cocktails at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 in the Boettcher Concert Hall, Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Contributions may be made by phone at 303-623-7876, online at www.coloradosymphony.org, or through the box office in Boettcher Concert Hall, 1000 14th St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Denver Foundation wins national public-philanthropic partnership award

October 24, 2014

The Denver Foundation was among the winners of the prestigious 2014 Secretaries’ Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships honored at the Council on Foundations’ Fall Conference for Community Foundations in Cleveland on Wednesday.

The Denver Foundation earned the award for its outstanding partnership with the public sector. The Foundation made significant improvements in housing and neighborhoods, transportation, sustainability and economic development in urban communities in the Denver region.

“These foundations understand that strong communities connect families with the promise of living the American dream,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “Powerful outcomes occur when the philanthropic and public sectors come together to solve problems, enhance neighborhoods, and expand opportunity for others. I commend these honorees for their deep commitment to serving the common good.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “USDA is proud to partner with foundations on worthy development projects that are improving the quality of life for rural residents and providing them with new economic opportunities.The work that foundations undertake often complements the work that our employees are carrying out at the local level. Congratulations to the foundations that have been recognized for their exceptional efforts in 2014.”

“We are excited and honored to be receiving this award,” said David Miller, president and CEO of The Denver Foundation. “Through the Transit Oriented Development Fund, Mile High Connects has created a national model for public/private partnerships and is leading the way with innovative collaborative relationships dedicated to equitable transit and community development.”

Initially closed in 2010, the Fund is a combination of $13.5 million in loan capital from the City and County of Denver, Enterprise Community Partners, the MacArthur Foundation, the Rose Community Foundation, the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, First Bank, the Mile High Community Loan Fund, and Enterprise Community Loan Fund that, when blended together, provides favorable acquisition financing terms that allow the Urban Land Conservancy as sole borrower and equity investor to acquire land and improved property in proximity to public transportation access in the City and County of Denver.

The Secretaries’ Awards were given to place-based funders for completed or ongoing initiatives that are executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency.

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Element by Westin breaks ground in Basalt

October 24, 2014

Construction of the Element by Westin hotel in Basalt, Colo., kicked off recently with the opening day goal prior to Thanksgiving 2015.

Element Basalt, situated near Aspen and Snowmass Village, is owned by a joint venture between Denver-based Silverwest Hotel Partners and Mariner Real Estate Management. The newly constructed Element hotel will offer a new option for travelers with 113 rooms. It will join Element Denver Park Meadows as the brand’s second property in Colorado.

Twenty-five minutes to Aspen and Snowmass Village, Element Basalt is located within the new Willits Town Center, the only sustainable mixed-use community in the Roaring Fork Valley. Guests will be within walking distance of the community’s shops, restaurants, residences, offices and Whole Foods Market. Situated at the gateway of the White River National Forest, the hotel will offer easy access to the area’s outdoor recreation including numerous hiking and biking trails, fly-fishing in the waters of the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan Rivers and a choice of premium golf courses.

“Element is an ideal fit for the Aspen area and will offer travelers smart, sustainable lodging in Basalt with close proximity to world-class ski resorts, outdoor recreation and more,” said Ed Mace, partner in Silverwest Hotel Partners, developer of the hotel. “At Element, guests enjoy a bright, energizing environment that’s conducive to both work and play, as well as innovative brand-led programming.”

Element Basalt will boast light-filled studios as well as one bedroom suites featuring modular furniture, swiveling flat-screen televisions, large desks with open shelving and custom-designed closets. Rooms will also offer fully equipped kitchens and the signature Heavenly Bed, and spa-inspired bathrooms will feature an invigorating rain shower and dual-flush toilet.

Other brand signatures will include a state-of-the-art, 24-hour fitness center, pool and outdoor hot tub, and 626 square-foot meeting room with modular furnishings, a flexible layout and state-of-the-art technology. Element also offers complimentary bikes to borrow,complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, the signature Rise breakfast, Relax evening reception, and salon bar carts stocked with premium wines and beers, soft drinks and snacks available after hours.

For more information, go to www.ElementHotels.com.


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Attardi new front face at Linger

October 24, 2014

Former Fruition owner and fab front-of-the-house man Paul Attardi took time off after dissolving the business partnership with super chef Alex Seidel.

After resurfacing in Denver as maître d’ at Old Major, he left that position and has re-resurfaced as the new front-of-the-house face at Linger, the Justin Cucci-owned eatery at 2030 W. 30th Ave.

Attardi announced his new appointment on LinkedIn: “I am doing great and just thought I would share some good news with you. Justin Cucci has offered me an incredible position as maître d’ at Linger and I’ve accepted. I am extremely excited about it and thought I should let you know. Looking forward to seeing you soon.”

Paul Attardi

Paul Attardi

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

October 24, 2014

Eavesdropping on two (misguided) homeless men riding the Route 12 bus in Englewood: “The only reason (John) Elway got rid of (Tim) Tebow was because he was breaking all of his records.”

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Please support our advertisers

October 24, 2014

We love our advertisers; they are what keeps this column running. Please support our wonderful advertisers who keep this column running. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com or call her at 720-985-6947. And be sure to click on each ad to read more.

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Denver Restaurant Week one 10-day (waistband) stretch next year

October 22, 2014

The oh-so popular Denver Restaurant Week (DRW), presented by Lexus and organized by Visit Denver, will revert to a single 10-day long event in 2015, running from Feb. 20 to March 1.

“We talked to restaurant owners, restaurant employees, diners, sponsors and restaurant week fans, and the consensus was that seven days of DRW was too short, but 14 consecutive days was too long,” said Justin Bresler, vice president of marketing for Visit Denver. “The perfect ‘best of both worlds’ compromise appears to be to run it for 10 days, encompassing two complete weekends in the traditional slow period of February.”

For Denver Restaurant Week’s 10th anniversary this year, at the request of participating restaurants, DRW was split into two separate week-long events, one in February and one in late August.

“While summer restaurant week was popular with both restaurants and diners, the challenge going forward was to find a week that wasn’t already occupied by an existing event, holiday or a week that didn’t have a major convention,” Bresler said.

Late summer and fall are Denver’s busiest convention months. “We really don’t want to bring 10,000 convention delegates to Denver and have them find that every restaurant is booked with DRW reservations,” Bresler said, adding that the restaurants also don’t want to be offering special DRW pricing at a time when there are thousands of hungry convention delegates in town.

“In the end, we couldn’t find workable dates for the summer event, and the consensus of opinion was to concentrate on the traditional February time frame,” Bresler said.

More than 300 restaurants participated in the 2014 winter DRW and more than 200 in the summer DRW, making this one of the largest culinary celebrations in the nation.

Bresler stated that registration for restaurants for the 2015 DRW will begin Nov. 10 at www.denverrestaurantweek.com.
Participating restaurants again will offer a multi-course dinner for the fixed price of $30 per person. The list of participating restaurants and menus will be announced in mid-January.


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