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Project Angel Heart celebrates 20 years of Dining Out for Life

On April 24 you can dine out for a cause.  There are 250 restaurants participating in Dining Out for Life this year and expect to raise more than $300,000.  Racines and the Cherry Cricket have participated since day one and several have participated for more than 10 years.

This event raises money for Project Angel Heart which supplies essential food and nutrition to those living with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses such as cancer or diabetes.

You can help raise money by simply dining out.  Check out the list of restaurants at www.projectangelheart.org.

Try a new kid on the block at Old Major, The Populist, Olive & Finch or beast + bottle.  Some of the local favorites to try are Fruition, Opus Fine Dining & Wine Bar and Mizuna.  Support a great organization for an even better cause by simply Dining Out for Life.

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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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Colorado Restaurant Association’s annual awards recognizes dedicated restaurateurs

March 3, 2014

Nobody knows how to throw a party better than the Colorado Restaurant Association. So the annual Industry Spotlight Awards starting at 6 p.m. on April 21 at The Ritz-Carlton Denver promises to be a tasty time.

The evening, which includes fine food, will award deserving restaurant folks in various categories. They are:

Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame: Spero Armatas – Sam’s No. 3, Denver; Blair Taylor (a personal favorite) – Barolo Grill, Denver; Dick Carleton – Mi Casa Mexican & Cantina and Hearthstone Restaurant, Breckenridge.

The Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award goes to Frank Day – Rock Bottom founder and principal of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, Inc., U.S.

The Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award goes to Patricia Calhoun (yes, one of my besties) – chief newshound and founder of “Westword”, Denver

Regional Outstanding Professional Signature Dish Award: Paul Ferzacca – La Tour Restaurant, Vail.

Exceptional Newcomer Signature Dish Award: Paul and Aileen Reilly – Beast + Bottle, Denver.

Philanthropist Signature Dish Award: Jensen Cummings – Heroes Like Us, Denver.

Reaching for the Stars “Knoebel” Award: Bob Sabina, Chili’s, Colorado.

Pinnacol Assurance Safety Award: Karen Kristopeit-Parker - The Fresh Fish Company, Denver.

Tickets? There’s an early-bird discount good through March 31. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.coloradorestaurant.com/cde.cfm?event=421690.

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Denver Restaurant Week gives you an excuse to pig out at the area’s best eateries

February 21, 2014

Denver’s reputation for the thinnest residents in the nation may go on hold for seven days, when more than 300 of the city’s top eateries offer an astonishing array of steaks, fish, pasta, sushi, desserts, drinks, and more for Denver Restaurant Week.

Organized by Visit Denver, the 10th annual Denver Restaurant Week will run from Feb. 22-28.  During DRW, some 313 participating restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for the fixed price of $30 per person, tax and tip not included.

“The fun of restaurant week is to grab some friends, go to the website, and go out on the town,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver. “You’ll get a great deal and a bill that is very easy to split.”

Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock wore chef’s “whites” and joined 50 of the participating chefs at a kick-off event, stating, “Denver Restaurant Week is a gift from restaurants to their most loyal patrons, the people who live, work and play in Denver.  In great cities, the chefs are as popular as the sports heroes, and we encourage everyone in the city to get out this week and be a restaurant fan,” he said.

DRW was created by Visit Denver in 2005 to elevate Denver’s dining reputation both locally and nationally.

Here are some tips to make Denver Restaurant Week be your best experience. Speakers at the press event stressed proper etiquette for DRW including:

  • Never make more than one reservation for each night;
  • If you cannot honor your reservation, cancel as soon as possible;
  • Remember to tip your server on what the meal would cost without the Restaurant Week discount;
  • Consider getting a bottle of wine with dinner (under Colorado law, you can take any unfinished wine with you.

All year long, but particularly during DRW, restaurants and diners alike are encouraged to use the new #denverYUM hashtag when posting photos of delicious food on all social media platforms, including Instagram.

Denver Restaurant Week is not possible without the support of sponsors including: Lexus, Alamos Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Mirassou Winery, Louis M. Martini Winery, William Hill Winery, US Foods, Frontier Airlines Johnson & Wales University, Open Table, the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Media partners include Westword/Westword.com, 5280 The Denver Magazine, the Denver Post and Comcast.

For more information, visit: www.DenverRestaurantWeek.com, or www.EatDrinkDenver.com.


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Denver Restaurant Week kicks off with a mayoral sword to a champagne bottle

February 17, 2014

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will join dozens of Denver’s top chefs during a press conference at 1 p.m. Tuesday at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, 1937 Market St., to officially announce Denver Restaurant Week, Denver’s largest annual culinary celebration.

Hancock will learn how to open a champagne bottle with a sword and offer a toast to the chefs. There also will be instruction in the proper way to open, decant and pour wine, as well as foods to serve with wine to draw out the taste.

Denver Restaurant Week runs from Feb. 22-28 at more than 300 eateries throughout the Mile High City offer a multi-course dinner for just $30. The full list of participating restaurants can be found at: www.DenverRestaurantWeek.com.

The Mayor will offer a toast to participating chefs in the kitchen classroom at Cook Street with wine supplied by sponsors Alamos Winery, Mirassou Winery, Louis M. Martini and William Hill Estates Wines.

Denver Restaurant Week is not possible without the support of sponsors including: Lexus, Alamos Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Mirassou Winery, Louis M. Martini Winery, William Hill Winery, US Foods, Johnson & Wales University, the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District. Media partners include Westword/Westword.com, 5280 The Denver Magazine, The Denver Post, Comcast and Open Table.

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Chef Troy Guard’s steakhouse opening delayed

February 7, 2014

Because of construction delays, Guard and Grace (1801 California), the much anticipated steakhouse from super chef Troy Guard (TAG, TAG Raw Bar, TAG Burger Bar, Los Chingones, Sugarmill) will not open on Feb. 13 as was the plan.

The restaurant’s opening has been pushed back to early March. Valentine’s Day diners who had reservations at Guard and Grace will be welcomed at TAG restaurant.

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Wheat Ridge retailers need snappy name

February 5, 2014

A group of Wheat Ridge retailers needs your help to select a catchy, memorable name to brand themselves.

The collection of unique shops, which are located on West 29th Avenue between Sheridan and Fenton, includes newcomers West 29th Restaurant & Bar, People’s Market and Twisted Smoothie, as well as mainstays Wheat Ridge Poultry and Meat.

Stop by any of these merchants during the month of February and vote for a name from a field of six  that the shops have selected. Or, feel free to thrown in your own suggestion. You could win a gift certificate just for participating.


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Robert Thompson restaurant empire is on a RiNo roll

February 3, 2014

Eater Denver reports that Robert Thompson, the restaurateur who owns Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar and Punch Bowl Social, will open the Griffin, a modern German beer hall in a complex at 3001 Brighton Blvd., in RiNo, the ever-increasing popular restaurant destination in Denver.

“Brighton (boulevard) is the new Bohemia,” Thompson told Eater. “There’s a lot of artistic integrity in RiNo and a lot of commercial activism. Several people have pioneered this neighborhood for years and it doesn’t take a lot of vision to see what the neighborhood will become in the next year or two years.”

The building that will house the Griffin will open to office tenants, some 500 projected workers, in late March/early April. Thompson plans to start serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, plus weekend brunch in September.

The 5,500-square-foot space includes six floor-to-ceiling glass garage doors and a 2,500-square-foot outdoor beer garden. Thompson told Eater he plans to create a restaurant and beer hall serving food rooted in the cuisines of Germany, Denmark and Turkey.

“Our cuisine will have a German, Alsacian, and Danish basis with Middle-Eastern influences. We are not trying to do a German sausage house, but rather to create a food board reflective of how Germany eats today. That, of course, includes Germany’s zestier, spicier younger brother, Turkish food,” Thompson said. The menu is developed by chef John Broening,  co-owner of Spuntino and culinary director for Thompson’s other restaurants, Le Grand Bistro and soon-to-open Argyll Whisky Beer.

The space is being designed in collaboration with Becky Stone of OZ Architecture.

Forty beers will be sold on tap.

Griffin will open in September and will reflect a German beer garden in its food and beers.

Griffin will open in September and will reflect a German beer garden in its food and beers.

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Forbes taps Boulder as one of the Five Secret Foodie Cities

January 27, 2014

Who knew?

Forbes Travel Guide blog has named Boulder as one of the Five Secret Foodie Cities in a recent post. Here’s what it said:

“Boulder may have a reputation for snow bunnies and tapping the Rockies, but there’s much more happening here than ski lifts and beer (what ski lifts?).

“Flagstaff House Restaurant, the Forbes Travel Guide Four-star rated restaurant and Boulder staple for fine cuts of meat and perfectly prepared seafood, is undergoing an extensive renovation that will be complete in February.

“Chef Corey Buck recently opened a breakfast and lunch restaurant called Food at the Riversides.

“And local foodies won’t let you leave until you know that Boulder is also home to five out of the country’s 118 master sommeliers. Boulder’s not just for skiing, folks (where, exactly?). Not anymore.”

To see the rest of the story, go to http://blog.forbestravelguide.com/five-secret-foodie-cities.

Just ignore the skiing references, which clearly came from an out-of-towner. The nearest ski resort to Boulder is Eldora Mountain resort, about a 40-minute drive to the west (depending on the weather) in Nederland.

One of the glorious meat course dishes (duck) served at Flagstaff House restaurant in Boulder. (Flagstaff House photo)

One of the glorious meat course dishes (duck) served at Flagstaff House restaurant in Boulder. (Flagstaff House photo)


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