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Restaurant couples share the love

February 11, 2015

It’s been said that food equals love, and what better example of that adage than in local restaurants where couples are side by side at work and at home.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Zagat.com writer Lori Midson, profiles 10 culinary couples. They are: Delores Tronco and Tony Maciag at Work & ClassFrank and Jacqueline Bonanno owners of Mizuna, Luca, Vesper Lounge, Osteria Marco, Lou’s Food Bar,Wednesday’s Pie, Russell’s Smokehouse, Bones, Salt & Grinder and Green RussellJennifer Jasinski co-owner of Rioja, Stoic & Genuine, Euclid Hall and Bistro Vendome and Max MacKissock chef at an unnamed restaurant opening this summer; Eric and Jill Skokan of Black Cat and Bramble & HareSteve Jankousky and Tom Unterwagner at Tom’s Home Cookin’Kate Kavanaugh and Josh Curtiss of Western Daughters Butcher ShoppeTom and Diane Coohill of CoohillsJosh and Jen Wolkon owners of  Vesta Dipping Grill, Steuben’s and Ace Eat Serve & Ace Juice BarTroy and Nikki Guard owners of TAG, Bubu, Tag Burger Bar, Guard and Grace, Sunnyside Burger Bar,Sugarmill and Los Chingones and Bobby and Danette Stuckey at Frasca Food and Wine and Pizzeria Locale.

Read their stories at www.zagat.com/b/denver/denver-and-boulders-10-sweetest-culinary-power-couples#10.

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Rioja’s redesign is ready for its close-up

February 11, 2015

Rioja owners Beth Gruitch and Jennifer Jasinski threw a “coming out” party Monday night to show off the extensive remodel of the 10-year-old restaurant on Larimer Square.

Drinks flowed, bites were passed and local movers and shakers – including Larimer Square boss Jeff Hermanson – came to ogle the new digs.

“We’ve grown up,” Jasinski said about the sleeker, sparer and more sophisticated restaurant decor from Denver-based Boss Architecture.

James Beard award-winning chef Jasinski and business partner Gruitch reopened their flagship restaurant on Feb. 4 after a nearly-one month complete renovation.

“Our food, service and wine program have never been better,” Jasinski said. “Now, we’ve got a sexy new design to show off our skills. I can’t wait for everyone to see it.”

Jordy Construction was assigned the task of demolishing the existing Rioja down to the raw brick and stud walls and building a brand new space, all in less than a month.

“Boss designed our newest restaurant, Stoic & Genuine at Union Station, and we love what the team did with that space,” Gruitch said. “It was an easy decision to use the Boss and Jordy combo for the Rioja remodel and they did not disappoint.”

A fully re-envisioned seating concept complete with chairs and booths covered in a sage green crushed velvet, multiple booth and banquette seating options, and a more intimate lounge area are all part of the new look.

To celebrate the robust nature of the wine program at Rioja, the wine display is the centerpiece of the new design as it moved out from the edge of the space into the center of the room.

The lighting in the space is now located primarily at the guest level to create a soft intimate atmosphere. A rich color palette reflects the history of Rioja, both the restaurant and the region for which the restaurant is named, featuring warm woods, gold and brass accents including a gold leaf style wall covering, and deep rich accent colors used on the seating and screens throughout. The distinctive brick wall that separates the two dining areas has been white-washed.

Rioja is the flagship restaurant of Crafted Concepts and is located at 1431 Larimer St. More information at www.riojadenver.com or by calling 303-820-2282. Other Crafted Concepts restaurants include Bistro Vendôme, Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen in Larimer Square, and Stoic & Genuine in Denver’s historic Union Station.

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Hit the slopes while your dog catnaps at Denver pet resort

February 11, 2015

In the prime of Colorado’s ski season, Paradise 4 Paws, Denver’s new pet resort, has introduced a guiltless boarding package for pet parents who ski or snowboard. Paradise 4 Paws Denver opened in Denver International Airport‘s  WorldPort facility in December; however, the below package includes round-trip transportation to and from the resort’s Boarding Lounge at Pets on Broadway in central Denver, in addition to other ski-themed and snuggly amenities, such as the PAWpres-Ski Package:

* Round-trip transportation from the Boarding Lounge at Pets on Broadway in central Denver to the Paradise 4 Paws resort at Denver International Airport.

* Two nights in a spacious dog suite with premium bedding and nightly tuck-in service.

* A snuggly toy.

* Extra cuddle time with one of the team members so you don’t feel guilty cuddled up by the fire without your pooch.

* Frosty Paws dog treat.

* Fleece blanket.

Ski entertainment on your pooch’s flat screen (only available in Executive, Presidential, and Top Dog Suites)

The package, a $200 value, is available for $140 for two nights in an Executive Dog suite. Additional suite types and stay lengths are available starting at $112.  Special package pricing expires March 26.

Paradise 4 Paws features expansive pet suites, complete with premium bedding, nightly tuck-in service, playtime and access to public-area webcams. Many suites also include flat screen televisions with canine-friendly programming and personal, 24-hour in-suite private webcams.

Top Dog Suites includes a full-size human bed for Fido, as well as a photo frame to house a photo of pet parents and help quell separation anxiety; a Slumber Party Suite allows dogs to stay and play with other dogs of similar size and temperament. Two expansive indoor play areas feature indoor grass, soft rubber flooring and bone-shaped splashing pools.

Cats enjoy a separate gated community of bungalows with cat trees, overlooking the Adventure Jungle, where felines can spend hours enjoying a large aquarium filled with colorful fish. Massage, grooming, fitness and veterinary services are also available.

For more information, go to www.paradise4pawsdenver.com.

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Foxworthy comes out of the hen house at Bellco Theatre

February 11, 2015

The Zarlengo Foundation presents country style comedian Jeff Foxworthy at 8 p.m. Sept. 12 at the Bellco Theatre inside the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday for $45 to $65 plus service charges at www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Proceeds will benefit The Zarlengo Foundation, a Colorado-based 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose guiding principle is to support families of learning disabled children. A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to schools and programs in the community that provide specialized education for children with learning disabilities, including but not limited to language-based attention and nonverbal disabilities such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

For additional information about The Zarlengo Foundation, visit www.zarlengofoundation.org. For information on sponsorship packages, please contact Kathryn Zarlengo at 303-357-5633 or kmzar@comcast.net.

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Moe’s BBQ opens in Ski Town USA

February 11, 2015

The Steamboat Springs branch of Moe’s Original Bar B Que opened Tuesday at 1898 Kamar Plaza.

The quick service restaurant offers its fresh from the pit meats and down home sides as take out, as well as a catering service serving the greater Steamboat Springs area. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Moe’s Original Bar B Que will capture the commercial west side lunch crowds while afternoon and evening hours will accommodate after-work customers with a full service bar, cheap beers, Colorado craft brews, and happy hour from 2 to 6 p.m.

“In a resort town that caters to visitors, Steamboat locals can often feel squeezed out of their own community during peak ski and summer tourist seasons,” said co-owner Chris Gander. “Since all of the Steamboat owners are long-time locals, we want to serve our fellow residents what they deserve and crave – reasonably priced food and cheap beers in a relaxed atmosphere away from the resort madness of Ski Town USA.”

For additional information about Moe’s Original Bar B Que, visit www.moesoriginalbbq.com.

Moes BBQ truck

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

February 11, 2015

Eavesdropping on two women lunching at Tony’s Market on Broadway: “I’ve had a lot of fun in bathrooms over the years.”

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Keep on truckin’ to the ‘1968’ exhibit at History Colorado

February 9, 2015

Did attendees at the party to celebrate the opening of the “1968” exhibit at History Colorado Center get down and funky Friday night?

You bet your sweet bippy, they did.

Plenty of Sonnys and their Chers boogied on down to the evening which included Swiss cheese fondue, Tang Jell-o, cheese balls and crackers and “Spirit of 1968″ brownies accompanied by cocktails and a hit parade from Jerry Barnett and his Moments Notice music makers.

The groovy party was the perfect way to introduce the traveling exhibition that represents the good, bad and ugly of a pivotal year in America’s history.

For me, the Pucci-inspired prints and go-go boots took me back to junior high where we straightened our hair by sleeping on soup cans.

To say the least, the exhibit, which will be on display through April 24, was a blast from the past. In 1968, the death toll in the Vietnam War reached a new high. Riots and demonstrations raged across the country. Apollo 8 orbited the moon. And the nation was transformed by the tragic assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

It was also the year that “Hair” opened on Broadway and “Laugh-In” debuted on television. The “1968” show is a multimedia experience that looks at how the events of the year shaped a cultural revolution.

Joining the “1968” exhibit is History Colorado’s original exhibit, “El Movimiento: The Chicano Movement in Colorado”. The events, art and the impact of one of Colorado’s most important social movements is adjacent to the “1968” exhibit.

Exhibit tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and students; $8 for children ages six to 12 and free for History Colorado members and children under age eight.

For more information on this don’t miss exhibit at 1200 Broadway, call 303-447-8679 or visit www.historycolorado.org.

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Thrillist takes it all off for latest list

February 9, 2015

It was just a matter of time that Thrillist, the quirky list-obsessed website, would include The Best Strip Club in All 50 States in its latest “poll.”

Thrillist.com’s research methodology included, “In addition to hitting the clubs ourselves, we used friends, family, and the help of folks who (weirdly) feel compelled to leave strip club reviews on Yelp to find out. Here’s the top spot in every state to watch naked people dance.”

Colorado’s winner? Shotgun Willie’s in Glendale. Thrillist said, “‘The Best Show Club in Denver’ is a completely open 10,000-square-foot room with eight stages but zero VIP areas. Which may be disappointing if you were looking for ‘extras’ from one of the 200 beauties roaming the floor. But what they lack in VIP space they more than make up for in glass-enclosed, state-of-the-art conference rooms you can reserve for official business meetings.”

To see the rest of the peeler places, go to www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/best-strip-club-in-every-state-florida-california-new-york-and-more.

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