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Paul Attardi leaving post at Old Major

Paul Attardi, a popular presence in Denver’s restaurant world, will be stepping down from his role as maitre’ d and a front-of-house staff member at Old Major, the nose-to-tail restaurant at 3316 Tejon St., at the end of the month.

Attardi joined Old Major a year ago after taking some time off from Denver and the hospitality industry where he lived and worked for many years. Attardi, along with business partner and chef Alex Seidel, launched the much-lauded Fruition restaurant on Sixth Avenue.

“During the past year, Paul has helped us create an amazing level of service and experience for our customers,” said Old Major’s executive chef and co-owner Justin Brunson. “Paul brought years of hospitality experience and wonderful relationships to our Old Major family. He has been touted as one of the mainstays of hospitality in Denver and we were blessed to have him with us.”

Attardi is going to enjoy the summer and spend time with his family, according to a press release. His successor has not been named.

Paul Attardi

Paul Attardi

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Enter to win VIP tickets to the sold-out Cochon 555

March 7, 2014

One of the biggest food events in March, Cochon 555, will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver at 1881 Curtis St. It’s a sold-out event, but you can enter to win two tickets courtesy of www.eaterdenver.com.

An all-star lineup of five chefs —  Paul Reilly of Beast & Bottle; Bill Greenwood of Beano’s Cabin; Justin Brunson of Old Major; Jennifer Jasinski of Rioja, Bistro Vendome and Euclid Hall and Steve Redzikowski of Oak On Fourteenth in Boulder and Acorn — will compete to become Prince or Princess of Porc. The five chefs will compete by preparing a maximum of six dishes, each from one whole heritage breed pig, to win votes from the crowd.

You can win two VIP tickets to this pig-centric extravaganza.

Here’s what to do: go to the Eater Denver Facebook page, like the page, and leave a comment on this photo promoting the event. Tell Eater why you should win the tickets. A drawing will take place today (Friday).

More information at Eater Denver on Facebook, or at www.Cochon555.com.

Cochon 555

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5280 magazine names its top 10 new restaurants

March 5, 2014

The current issue of 5280 magazine is out and instead of its traditional eight picks, this year they upped the ante to 10. Probably because there are so many worthy newbies in town, many I haven’t even had a chance to visit!

So here’s the list of 5280’s fave new raves, which the magazine calls “The 10 Hippest, Most Delicious Restaurants in Denver Right Now”:

1. Acorn at The Source at 3350 Brighton Blvd. (www.denveracorn.com).

2. Lower 48 Kitchen at 2020 Lawrence (www.lower48kitchen.com).

3. The Curtis Club at 2100 Curtis St. (www.thecurtisclub.com).

4. Los Chigones at 2461 Larimer St. (303-295-0686).

5. Café Max at 2412 E, Colfax. (www.cafemax.net).

6. The Plimoth at 2335 28th Ave. (www.theplimoth.com).

7. Session Kitchen at 1518 Pearl St. (www.sessionkitchen.com).

8. Old Major, 3316 Tejon St. (www.oldmajordenver.com).

9. Olive + Finch at 1552 E. 17th Ave. (www.oliveandfincheatery.com).

10. Beast & Bottle, 719 E. 17th Ave. (www.beastandbottle.com).

Check them out and let me know what you think.

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You say salami, I say salumi at Old Major

January 24, 2014

After almost a year in the making, Old Major at 3316 Tejon St. will launch its charcuterie program to the public this week. In 2013, Old Major received certification for a HACCP plan (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points to ensure food safety) for salumi production and has an abundance of dry-aged, cured meats ready for consumption.

“We have been working with the Department of Environmental Health and waiting for a year to dry-age and launch the perfect salamis, whole cured muscles, pates and terrains from our innovative charcuterie room at Old Major,” said chef and co-owner Justin Brunson. “The charcuterie plates will show the time and passion we spent to source the perfect pork, select and butcher them properly as well as illustrate our nose-to-tail philosophy.”

Starting this week, Old Major will offer a chef’s daily selection of five meats for $15 per plate on the dinner and bar menu. Below is an example of what a plate might look like:

1.     Duroc Salami (salt);

2.     Monkey Meat Salami (IMT Merlot garlic and pepper);

3.     Calabres Salami (Vermouth, Calabrian Chile);

4.     Copa (cured salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne and juniper);

5.     Guanciale (sage, rosemary and garlic).

For the past year, Old Major has cured Lomo, Loinza, Coppa, Lardo, Orange Fennel Salami, Sopresata, Calabrese-Style Salami, Nauja and Guanciale. For more information on the charcuterie program or to book an online reservation at Old Major, go to http://oldmajordenver.com or call 720-420-0622.

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Eater Denver dishes on 2013’s biggest dining and food stories

January 13, 2014

Eater Denver, the local version of the national foodie website, posted on Friday “the 10 biggest dining and food stories of 2013,” which included restaurant openings, closings and behind-the-scenes drama.

Among the newsy notes:

* LoHi’s Old Major for its culinary kudos as well as several staff shifts.

* It’s good to be chef Jennifer Jasinski, co-owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Euclid Hall and the upcoming S&G Fish in Union Station. Not only was she a worthy competitor in Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters,” but she also brought home a coveted James Beard award.

* El Diablo says adios. Embattled owner Jesse Morreale ultimately cried “uncle” to the city of Denver after battling upgrade requirements to his historic One Broadway building. It’s Denver’s dining loss.

* Celebrated chef Matt Selby leaves the Vesta Dipping Grill group and helps open Corner House then departs after a few months.

* The Source, the Brighton Boulevard industrial building, is redeveloped by the Zeppelin team (also developers of the nearby Taxi space) and opens as a super cool place in RiNo, an up-and-coming neighborhood. The building houses Acorn, the sister restaurant to Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder; Comida, the second outpost for the original Longmont eatery; Mondo Market, a killer cheese and gourmet grocer; CapRock Farm Bar; Crooked Stave brewery; a wine shop; butcher; flower shop and bakery.

* Voodoo Doughnut’s opening at 1520 E. Colfax.

* Chef Max MacKissock‘s departure from the relocated and revamped Squeaky Bean at 1500 Wynkoop. (MacKissock is married to Jasinski, by the way.)

* Pizzeria Locale, from the owners of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, sold to Chipotle, which has big plans to expand the brand to other states.

For the rest of the stories and top 10 picks, go to http://denver.eater.com/archives/2014/01/10/10-biggest-dining-and-food-stories-of-2013.php.

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Girl power! Denver Five chefs all females

January 10, 2014

Denver Five, the select chef lineup created by promoter Leigh Sullivan, has selected a new 2014 crop of talent.

“This year I want to celebrate all the women in our community who are truly redefining what it means to be a chef in Denver,” Sullivan said about her selections of an all-women team. The new chefs are Jenna Johansen of Bravo TV fame and innovation chef at Epicurean Catering; Elise Wiggins, executive chef at Panzano; Carrie Blake, executive chef at Table 6; Aniedra Nichols, executive chef at Elway’s Cherry Creek and Nadine Donovan, pastry chef at Old Major.

Congrats to all!

The Five chefs:

The Denver Five chefs: From left, Jenna Johansen, Nadine Donovan,Carrie Blake,Elise Wiggins and Aniedre Nichols. (Leigh Sullivan Enterprises photo)

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Coohills hosts Rock the Earth dinner with local super star chefs

January 6, 2014

Coohills restaurant at 1400 Wewatta is hosting a Rock the Earth event from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Jan. 12, which will celebrate local food fanatics such as chef/co-owner Tom Coohill, former chef for The Grateful Dead Charlie Ayers, Root Down and Linger’s Daniel Asher, Bob Blair. chef/owner of Fuel Café, Justin Brunson of Old Major and Masterpiece Deli and Troy Guard, owner of an ever-growing restaurant empire including TAG.

This event will feature six courses of locally sourced cuisine, local brews courtesy of Great Divide Brewing Company, wines donated by Infinite Monkey Theorem and cocktails from Roundhouse Spirits.

In addition, there will be music by Denver’s own DJRusso and a silent auction of music memorabilia, art and donations from local businesses.

Tickets are $85 per person in advance; $125 at the door depending on availability. Go to http://www.rocktheearth.org/joomla/.

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Denver’s Old Major among top 33 U.S. eateries, according to Thrillist

December 9, 2013

I won’t mince words. My absolute favorite new restaurant this year is Old Major at 3316 Tejon St. I even chose to celebrate my recent milestone birthday for dinner there with On The Town Junior and Mr. On The Town.

I had been to Old Major, a proud nose-to-tail eatery where they butcher 2.5 pigs a week (not sure what happens with the other half of the last pig), a handful of times, but I took a risk (and it was my birthday, after all) and booked a table for three to include the hub and my foodie son who works for much-lauded restaurateur Danny Meyer at Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel at 2 Lexington Ave. in NYC.

My son surprised me with his arrival in Denver to celebrate my special day. Both of my “he-men” went nuts for the place and over the food. We ordered an arsenal of appetizers and an entrée each, which included the nose-to-tail dish, roasted duck breast and orcchiette pasta with roasted pork.

My only disappointment was the pretzel bread service which previously included an unlimited basket with mustard butter, but has for some reason morphed to an individual roll service with no offer of additional rolls. I hope they return to the original policy, but meanwhile, Old Major recently received a national nod via www.thrillistnation.com as being one of the 33 Best New Restaurants in America.

Here’s what Thrillist had to say about culling the top 33 list: “Over the past year, our editors have gloriously eaten their way across America, meticulously consuming all the best burgers, and pizzas, and BBQ they could. Then we turned our sights to figuring out which of the tens of thousands of new restaurants that have opened across the country in the past year deserve to be called the best. And now that the work is done – and the weight is gained – here they are (with a neat checklist), in all their gastronomical glory.”

And here’s what Thrillist said about Old Major: “Denver’s LoHi neighborhood is bursting at the seams with new, popular bars and restaurants, but Old Major’s ‘elevated farmhouse cuisine’ stands out among the pack with exceptional cocktails and decadent, inventive cuisine (think Colorado rib eye with bleu cheese, foie gras butter, and pork fat fries). If you’re smart and/or just understand weekly calendars, swing by on a Wednesday, where you can watch the chef/owner butcher two pigs in-house, you saucy, food-based voyeur! Then you’ll eat the fruits of his labor on the Nose to Tail Plate, which features cuts like braised belly, confit rib, schnitzel, ham, and ears, all accompanied by mustard spaetzle, sauerkraut, and a demi-glace.”

Check out the other 32 best new restaurants at http://www.thrillist.com/eat/nation/the-best-restaurant-openings-of-2013-america-s-best-new-restaurants-thrillist-nation.

For Old Major reservations, go to www.oldmajordenver.com or call 720-420-0622.


(OldMajordenver.com photos)

(OldMajordenver.com photos)

OldMajor3_pretzel bread

Old Major2

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Masterpiece Deli opens second site in Uptown neighborhood

December 4, 2013

Masterful Denver chef and restaurateur Justin Brunson‘s much-anticipated second location of Masterpiece Deli at the Wells Fargo Center, 1710 Sherman St., opened Monday to a rabid throng that you would swear had never seen a sandwich before.

Brunson and his business partner Stephen Allee opened the original deli in the Highland neighborhood, and searched for a sister location based on the popularity of the small first store.

The new Uptown space has triple the square footage of the original store, with an additional 25 outdoor seats in a heated covered patio.

Brunson has also earned much acclaim for his fabulous Old Major restaurant (also in the Highland) and as co-founder of the Denver Bacon Company.

The new Masterpiece location has a fully equipped gas kitchen with ovens and smokers to create brisket, corned beef, pastrami, roast beef and pork shoulder. A new addition is a case with products available to take and go such as pre-made sandwiches and salads, cured and smoked deli meats and pastries.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, go to www.masterpiecedeli.com or call 303-561-3354.

The Bacon breakfast sandwich at Masterpiece Deli. The Italian sandich and the crew at the new Uptown location. (Masterpiece Deli photos)

Above, the Italian sandwich at Masterpiece Deli. Below, the crew at the new Uptown location and the bacon breakfast sandwich. (Masterpiece Deli photos)


MasterpieceDeliOwnership BaconBreakfastSandwich

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