Monthly Archives: July, 2013

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – Pinche Tacos

July 30th, 2013 Posted by Beer, Cocktails, Denver, restaurants, Where To Drink This Week, Wine No Comment yet

 

Tacos & Tequila Revisited

Pinche Tacos

The words taco, tequila, and whiskey wrapped around an image of a donkey has come to represent one of Denver’s most popular restaurants. Nominated in 2012 as one of the 50 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit’s, Pinche Tacos has nailed down the flavors of Mexican street food.

Pinche Tacos Best New Restaurant

To match their award-winning cuisine, Pinche has a selection of quality, small-batch tequila and whiskey that to be frank, might just knock your socks off.

At Pinche, tequila and whiskey are much more than hard liquor that you shoot down your throat, and cringe as the burn creeps its way down. Pinche’s lineup of tequila and whiskey will introduce you to the wide array of flavors present in these two hard liquors that you never saw coming. Flavors such as honey, smoke, floral, tropical, pepper, vanilla, pineapple, earthy, oak, butter, and spearmint are just some of the noted nuisances of flavor present within Pinche’s Tequila.

These flavors can stand on their own or serve as the foundation for a cocktail such as Pinche’s “House Casa Crib Coin Margarita” made with Exotico Blanco Tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and house simple syrup, topped off with a thick rim of salt.

House Margarita at Pinche Tacos

House Margarita at Pinche Tacos

 

For a bit of a shock, you might try Pinche’s “Oaxaca Shocka,” an intense medley of Del Maguey “Vida” Mezal, house habanero & lime liquors, and house grapefruit bitters.

If hard liquor with unexpected flavors is not for you, ask your server for the microbrew of the month or wrap your hands around an ice cold can of the classic Tecate or Old Style. Pinche also takes care of its wine lovers, introducing them to such wines as the Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Washington or the High Note Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina that is guaranteed to take everything up a notch.

Unexpected wines matched with an unexpected palate of flavors from Pinche’s Tequila makes drinking at Pinche’s an adventure for the taste buds. Of course, if you are not looking for an adventure, Pinche always has on hand some of the classics in the form of a cold can of tin filled with a classic brew of comfort. Whether you choose comfort or adventure, Pinche has a drinking experience waiting for you that cannot be missed.

Pinche Tacos has two locations at 1514 York St. Denver 80206 & at their newer location in the Highlands at 3300 W. 32nd Ave.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

True or False – Pinche Tacos began as a food truck, eventually expanding into its signature brick and mortar establishment.

Tune in to this coming Tuesday for the answer!

The answer to last Tuesday’s blog question: “True or False: The Corner Office offers slow cooked duck gravy fries to those who dare.”…Answer: True, The Corner Office offers this heart-stopping gastronomic delight each day.

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – The Corner Office

July 26th, 2013 Posted by Denver, restaurants, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

 

TCO Breathes Life into Office Drab

Rumor has it that the so-called “corner office” your fellow coworkers have been meeting at to go over a “special project” is not the office you might have been picturing. If you want to be a part of this exclusive group, next time you hear the code word “corner office,” you can make your way to The Corner Office (a.k.a. TCO) located at 1401 Curtis Street, steps away from Denver’s Center for Performing Arts.

The Corner Office from outside

As you take your first steps through the door, you will find yourself in a new kind of office complete with retro-chic interior, a bustling bar directly to your left, and tables surfeit with dishes that look and smell of the comfort you may rightly be craving at the end of a long day of work. Always exuding a lively, rather contagious attitude, The Corner Office is the office to be at whether it be for a power breakfast, a working lunch, or a family-style dinner.

 

Dining Room at The Corner Office

Dining Room at The Corner Office

From street food in the form of Baja fish tacos to foods such as Tuscan tomato soup that allow you to keep livin’ light, The Corner Office offers the food that appeals most to you, enabling you to revitalize from the life-sucking office drab. If you successfully coalesced with your coworkers so that you all could make the important meeting held at the “corner office,” then any of the dishes from the “share-ables” menu will do the trick. The lemon edamame or the Mediterranean hummus platter will make sharing with your coworkers a no-brainer.

Of course, if you are an overachiever, you may not be able to resist “working” at the “corner office” on Sundays so that you can participate in the “extra meeting” (a.k.a. Disco Brunch). On a Sunday, you might just have to choose the “Shag,” an irresistible option of apple bread pudding french toast replete with cinnamon maple ice cream, with a gluttonous drizzle of applejack syrup. If you would like to indulge in something besides the “Shag,” TCO offers “You Sexy Thing” with Nutella and strawberries between two slices of toasted brioche. Finish that off with a “Staying Alive” espresso to keep the office party alive and kickin’.

Dish by dish, and one by one, The Corner Office helps to breathe new life into the typical desk worker, helping each one in the battle to survive and overcome the normal office drab. Just remember the code word “corner office” and you soon might find yourself in an important meeting at Denver’s The Corner Office.

The Corner Office is located at 1401 Curtis Street Denver CO 80202; Tel: 303-825-6500.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

True or False: The Corner Office offers slow cooked duck gravy fries to those who dare.

Tune in to this coming Tuesday for the answer!

The answer to last Tuesday’s blog question: “Al Lado is owned by what famous chef who will appear on Bravo TV’s top chef masters tomorrow, July 24th at 10/9 central !?!?”…Answer: Richard Sandoval is the celebrity chef at Denver’s Al Lado.

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – Al Lado

July 23rd, 2013 Posted by Chefs, Cocktails, Denver, restaurants, Where To Drink This Week, Wine No Comment yet

Board the Plane for your Latin Wine Adventure

Sitting down to a glass of fine Latin wine at Denver’s Al Lado may be likened to sitting down on a plane headed to Spain or Latin America for an adventure through the rich and plentiful world of Latin wines. Every afternoon and evening, Al Lado takes its guests on a journey of wine exploration spanning the Latin cultures from the robust wines of Argentina to the refined, and yet playful wines of the Iberian Peninsula.

Wine Tasting at Al Lado

Of course, it is up to the diner as to how many stops will be included on this adventure. Wine flights range from 3 to 6 to 8 stops, offering different degrees of exploration. No matter how long you choose to explore, you are sure to get a chance to try wines intrinsic to the Latin culture such as the Verdejo from the Tierra de Costilla of Spain. The Verdejo grape has long been grown in the Rueda region of Spain where it is used to make an aromatic, often soft and yet full bodied wine. Beyond verdejo, you may try Espumosas (Bubbles), Vino Blanco (White Wine), Rosado (Rose), Tinto (Red Wine), and Grandes (bold & unforgettable).

Once you have landed, there is no rule that says you cannot continue the fun with a house-made sangria or a classic Latin cocktail. You might begin with the sweet and spiritous Spanish Calimocho cocktail, a classic among the Spanish women who are looking for a sweet and lively refresher. Another cocktail inspired by the Andalucia region of Southern Spain known specifically as the “Costa del Sol” (Sunny Coast) is concocted to revitalize those who have taken in perhaps a little too much Colorado sunshine. This cocktail named the “Malaga G & T” revitalizes all who succumb to its allure with its healthy dose of Botanist gin, Fever Tree tonic, pink grapefruit, and mint.

Al Lado's Malaga G & T

Al Lado’s Malaga G & T

Whether you have your bags packed and are ready to board the plane for your Latin wine adventure, or are looking to simply relish in a classic house-made sangria or Spanish cocktail, Al Lado offers the experience you have been thirsting for. Set in a sophisticated, yet cozy atmosphere, Al Lado offers a taste of the Latin style that is nothing less than addictive.

Al Lado is located at 1610 Little Raven St. Denver CO 80202; Tel: 303-572-3000.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

Al Lado is owned by what famous chef who will appear on Bravo TV’s top chef masters tomorrow, July 24th at 10/9 central !?!?  Join this chef this Wednesday at Al Lado for the Top Chef Masters viewing party beginning at 7 pm.

Tune in to this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to last Friday’s blog question: “What unassuming Colorado town did Chef Duy Pham previously own a restaurant at before he returned to his roots in Denver to open Epernay??”…Answer: Chef Duy Pham owned a restaurant in Pueblo before he came back to Denver to open up his very own Epernay.

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – Epernay Lounge

July 19th, 2013 Posted by Chefs, Denver, restaurants, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

Epernay Shines at Center Stage

Epernay Lounge at Night Courtesy of 303 Magazine

Epernay Lounge at Night
Courtesy of 303 Magazine

Steps away from Denver’s finest theatre at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, the restaurant Epernay serves up the final act Tuesday through Sunday beginning at 4 pm. Japanese in theory and technique, and modern American in flavors and presentations, Epernay showcases food that is anything but ordinary, or as Epernay’s chef explains, “nothing plain Jane.”

Thus, it shouldn’t be surprising that Epernay uses a cooking method that is as unique as Epernay’s food itself. Known as the sous-vide method, Epernay uses this way of cooking to sear, roast, and steam all proteins, leaving nothing to be fried or grilled. Ultimately, this leaves the food in a more natural, pure form. It is this technique that allows Epernay to compose healthy food that still exudes its purest flavors.

Pure and raw are the two flavors available at Epernay with classic sushi dishes piled sky high set alongside unique globally inspired sous vide dishes. After slurping down oysters and sipping upon some bubbles (i.e. champagne), you can move on to a piece of sushi as typical or atypical as you would like with options ranging from sea eel and smelt egg to tuna and smoked salmon.

Epernay's Pork Belly

Epernay’s Pork Belly

Next, for something cooked according to the sous vide method, you can dig your fork and knife into “Crispy Pork Belly” served aside truffled mac & cheese. The main course may also be cooked with dishes such as the “Tea Smoked Duck Breast” drizzled in a sweet grape gastrique. Finish off with Epernay’s homemade ice cream or sorbet flight and you will be wondering if you can somehow bring about an encore performance.

Such a performance can only be accomplished with a chef who has quite simply mastered the art of cooking. As Chef Duy Pham explains, “It’s all about the art – the art of poaching, the art of cutting fish, the art of sous-viding, and the art of techniques.” That being said, Chef Duy Pham might have something else up his sleeve, as the food at Denver’s Epernay shines at center stage in a way that only can be described as magic.

Chef Duy Pham

Chef Duy Pham

Epernay is located at 1080 14th St. Denver CO 80202.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

What unassuming Colorado town did Chef Duy Pham previously own a restaurant at before he returned to his roots in Denver to open Epernay?

Tune in to this coming Tuesday for the answer!

The answer to last Tuesday’s blog question: “Approximately how old is the space where Trillium is now located?”…Answer: Over 100 years old. It was once a wheel and deal pawn shop.”

To learn more about Epernay’s sex appeal, check out this previous Culinary Connectors blog post here!

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – Trillium

July 16th, 2013 Posted by Cocktails, Denver, restaurants, Where To Drink This Week No Comment yet

Drink According to the Season,

Scandinavian Style

Akvavit - Trillium

The fine drinking world of Denver is abuzz over a drink that many people cannot even pronounce. Akvavit, a traditional Scandinavian drink, has taken its place at center stage at one of Denver’s best new restaurants, Trillium, since it first opened, and has received an ongoing applause from Denver’s fine drinking community ever since.

As the popularity of this drink has increased continually since Trillium first unveiled this Scandinavian classic, beverage director Parker Ramey has been on a never-ending educational quest to learn as much about Akvavit as possible. In the very beginnings, Trillium imported Akvavit from Scandinavian importers. Unimpressed with the quality of these imports, Ramsey researched how he could make his own Akvavit. This would allow him to have more control over the choice of ingredients, ensuring the highest quality, and would allow him the ability to alter the flavors of the spirit to fit the current menu. Thus, with a high quality neutral spirit and a blend of fresh spices, vegetables and fruits, Ramsey has artfully woven each season’s flavors into an Akvavit variation.

Beverage Director Parker Ramey

Beverage Director Parker Ramey

Spring was peas, asparagus, and spring garlic that properly showcased those fresh, renewing flavors of spring. This summer, Ramsey has infused the best of summer extracting the flavors of peaches, cherries, watermelon, strawberries, dill, raspberry, and basil to name a few. Rumor has it that sweet corn even plays a part in this summer series. Akvavit also sneaks its way into other cocktails, such as The Trillium, a drink made with gin or vodka (your choice), St. Germain, lemon, wild blueberry, lavender syrup, and a healthy dose of akvavit to complete the restaurant’s signature drink.

With so much versatility, it is no wonder why this drink has formed such a central part to Scandinavian cuisine since the 15th century. Crossing the seas, Akvavit has taken its proper place at center stage in modern American cuisine at eclectic, niche restaurants such as Denver’s Trillium. Trillium’s fresh infusions of each season’s bounty will surely continue to entice and satisfy every diner’s appetite for something novel and foreign that tastes as familiar as the season itself.

Trillium is located at 2134 Larimer St. Denver CO 80205; Tel: 303-379-9759; Email: info@trilliumdenver.com.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

Approximately how old is the space where Trillium is now located?

Tune in to this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to last Friday’s blog question: “True or False: Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern only serves cans – no bottles?”…Answer: True; Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern only serves cans, maintaining that old school style, and recycling the waste so that the proceeds may be donated to local Denver charities. Way to Go Stoney’s!

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern

July 12th, 2013 Posted by Denver, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

 

Not Your Typical Sports Tavern

 

Stoney's Full Steam Tavern

 

From the outside, you might suspect Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern in Denver to be like any regular sports tavern that serves mediocre food to accompany your drink of choice.  However, once you sit down and take a look at Stoney’s rather extensive full menu, you will quickly realize that Stoney’s takes their food a bit more seriously than your normal sports tavern.

Stoney’s allows you to eat as greasy or as greaseless of food as your heart desires.  For those looking to indulge in a heart-stopping remake of a childhood favorite, Stoney’s serves Mac n’ Cheese Cakes stuffed with bacon, coated with a goat cheese cream sauce, all pan seared and garnished with a few sprigs of fresh basil.  Stoney’s extends its creativity to its hummus made with roasted cauliflower, onions, garlic, and tahini sauce that will all together put the typical chickpea hummus to shame.  Served with an onslaught of veggies, you can dip to your own delight.

Unlike many sports taverns, Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern offers an array of dishes that will satisfy your appetite for lunch or dinner.  A summer favorite, fish tacos made with blackened Colorado bass, topped with pico de gallo, shredded cabbage, fresh avocado, and chipotle sour cream is the warm weather dish of the moment, served with three warm corn tortillas for you to fill as full as you can get them.  If you enjoy breakfast for lunch or even for dinner, Stoney’s Breakfast Burger is another heart-stopping dish that shouldn’t be missed.  A generous scoop of crispy hash browns, freshly shaved ham, a few slices of American cheese, and a fried egg all come together to form a breakfast plate that is served atop a perfectly grilled patty.

Stoney's Breakfast Burger

Stoney’s Breakfast Burger

Whether you are in the mood for greasy or greaseless food, Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern has the right dish for you.  With 50 flat screen TV’s and 3 120″ projection screens, you can sit back and slowly chomp your way through an afternoon or evening of relaxation, enjoying your dining experience regardless of whether or not your team wins or not.

Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern is located at 1434 Blake St. Denver CO 80202, Tel: 720-465-9830 and 1111 Lincolin St. Denver CO 80202 Tel: 303-830-6839.  

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

True or False: Stoney’s Full Steam Tavern only serves cans – no bottles.

Tune in to this coming Tuesday for the answer!

The answer to last Tuesday’s blog question: “What can be found throughout the Ale House at Amato’s that pays homage to its past identity before it was made into the Ale House in 2011?”…Answer: Sculptures from the former business ‘Amato of Denver,’ a family-owned fountain and statuary business that operated from 1947 to 2010 where the Ale House at Amato’s now stands.  The Amato tradition still continues one block north of the Ale House.

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – The Ale House at Amato’s

July 9th, 2013 Posted by Beer, Cocktails, Denver, Where To Drink This Week, Wine No Comment yet

 

Amato’s Stays True to its Colorado Roots

Located in the hip lower Highlands neighborhood that outskirts downtown Denver, the Ale House at Amato’s is the newest addition to the Breckenridge Brewery family of brewpubs and ale houses. With a roof-top patio and open-air bar, the Ale House at Amato’s has quickly become the place to take in the sights of downtown Denver as you take in the flavors and aromas of some of Colorado’s best beer, wine, and small-batch liquors.

Patio at Amato's

The Patio Abuzz at Amato’s

The Ale House at Amato’s is dedicated to its Colorado roots, choosing to showcase Colorado’s top craft brews, always displaying 42 beers on tap. This line-up not only includes their own brews from Breckenridge Brewery but extends beyond with beers from such local competitors as Boulder Beer, Odell, Ska, and Oskar Blues among many others. In addition, beer lineups are changed daily so that all together, the Ale House at Amato’s offers a wider variety of beer than most anywhere in town.

Ale House at Amato's

Amato’s also keeps things local when it comes to wine, even offering its very own ‘House Wine’ made by one of Denver’s favorite local wineries, the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Named the Infinite Monkey Theorem Monkeyshine, it is available in red or white, and is always available on tap. Beyond the infinite flow of Monkeyshine, wine lovers can reach for a local bubbly, white, or red since each wine category on the menu features one or two local wines.

In line with the local theme underlying everything that is offered at Amato’s, handcrafted cocktails are made with small-batch, Colorado made liquors and other local ingredients whenever possible. For a classic choice you are sure to be pleased with, enjoy a “Mules Rule” cocktail made of a refreshing swirl of Colorado vodka, fresh lime, and ginger beer.

Mules Rule at Amato's

Mules Rule at Amato’s

Mule or no mule, guests to the Ale House will surely find satisfaction with a drink crafted in Colorado. Staying true to its roots, the Ale House at Amato’s artfully showcases all Colorado has to offer for drinking pleasure, acting as a sort of cooperative between Colorado’s skilled lineup of winemakers, brewers, and distillers. Best of all, drinking locally has never been so easy.

The Ale House at Amato’s is located at 2501 16th St. Denver CO 80211; Tel:303-433-9734.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

What can be found throughout the Ale House at Amato’s that pays homage to its past identity before it was made into the Ale House in 2011?

Tune in to this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to last Friday’s blog question: “In addition to sheep and lamb, what other animals inhabit Fruition’s farm?”… Answer: Bees and Heritage Breed Pigs!

 

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – Fruition Restaurant

July 5th, 2013 Posted by Denver, restaurants, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

Fruition’s Own Taste of Colorado

Fruition

You can go to many restaurants in Denver that proclaim to serve local food. Of course, this can range from having a handful of items that include a few local foods in the ingredient list to serving mainly local products. However, you won’t find many other restaurants that take the local food movement to heart as much as Denver’s Fruition. That’s because Fruition has its own farm. In fact, Fruition even has its own sheep!

Fruition's Sheep

Fruition began Colorado’s first artisanal sheep dairy and creamery in 2010, and has been making their own cheese ever since. Fruition’s award-winning sheep’s milk ricotta speckles the menu, adding that touch of ripe, creamy goodness to plates such as the “Spring Asparagus Salad” with asparagus gelée, spring radish, and Beluga lentil vinaigrette. Two other cheeses, “Cacio Pecora,” translation Farmstead Sheep’s Cheese, and the bloomy rind cheese known as “Shepherd’s Halo” complement Fruition’s locally grown vegetables.

With a 10 acre farm just south of Denver in Larkspur, Colorado, Fruition has access to the freshest, most seasonal produce picked at the peak of ripeness. Every season, the menu changes to accommodate the produce the farm will be producing. In addition, there is always something locally raised being showcased on the menu such as Colorado spring lamb.

If that is not enough, Fruition adds in some finishing touches, incorporating its sheep’s milk ricotta into its “Lemon Madeleine” dessert topped off with strawberry rhubarb compote and a healthy dose of pistachio ice cream. This final act to the symphony of flavors Fruition offers with every dish makes eating seasonally and locally even more alluring. Through its own farm, dairy, and creamery, Fruition is quickly paving a new path in the local food movement, one that breeds a more sustainable relationship between farm and restaurant, and one that lends the diner a local, Colorado dining experience that can’t be matched.

Fruition Restaurant is located at 1313 E. 6th Ave. Denver CO 80203; Tel: 303-831-1962.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

In addition to sheep and lamb, what other animals inhabit Fruition’s farm?

Tune in to this coming Tuesday for the answer!

The answer to last Tuesday’s blog question: “Jezebel’s occupies the space of what former restaurant that has since relocated?”…Answer: the restaurant The Squeaky Bean.

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – Jezebel’s

July 2nd, 2013 Posted by Cocktails, Denver, restaurants, Where To Drink This Week, Wine No Comment yet

 

LoHi’s Southern Drinking Well

Cool off at the bar at Jezebel's

Cool off at the bar at Jezebel’s

When the heat is on every city needs that ole’ southern well to keep its inhabitants cool and content.  In Denver, the southern drinking well can be found at Jezebel’s, the southern bistro and bar located in Denver’s hip, trendy, and friendly LoHi neighborhood.  Jezebel’s southern well is always flowing with signature libations that will adequately refresh and yet taste so good that you get lured in for more.

Right when you walk through the doors, Jezebel’s bartender will have you doing the Texas Two Step, a drink made with Republic Plata Tequila, watermelon puree, jalapeno, and a generous squirt or two of lime that will make you smack those lips with every sip.  For a little less pow, Jezebel’s can make you something real sweet such as their “Honey Cup,” a harmonious mix of Spring 44 Honey Vodka, Ginger Beer, and a dash of lime.  Of course, if you came to this Southern well looking for that classic southern refreshment, you won’t want to miss Jezebel’s Southern Mule with its medley of Deep Eddy Sweet Tea, Ginger Beer, and sour lemon.

These drinks and more are offered every day, including happy hour.  Happy hour at Jezebel’s makes drinking away the summer heat an affordable activity with well drinks, house red and house white wine all priced at just $4.  Beyond their House White and Red Wines, Jezebel’s features a short but eclectic list of wines ranging from a light and cheery Organic Tiamo Prosecco from Italy to a big and bold Diseno Malbec from the untamed gaucho ridden lands of Argentina.

Coming from a culture well-acquainted with the challenges of unbearable heat, Jezebel’s has much to offer to the wary, overheated city-dweller of Denver.  Jezebel’s Southern drinking well is rich and flowing with flavors such as watermelon, lime, lemon, honey, and ginger that will surely cool the body and raise the spirits.  Southern libations, house wines, and a wine selection that satisfies but does not overwhelm form the solid foundation of LoHi’s vital Southern well.

Jezebel’s is located at 3301 Tejon St. Denver 80211; Tel: 303-433-3060.

Now for the Denver foodie trivia question to see how educated of a foodie you are!

Jezebel’s occupies the space of what former restaurant that has since relocated?

Tune in to this Friday for the answer!

The answer to Friday’s blog question: “Al Lado’s owner, Richard Sandoval, will be appearing on what popular TV series this summer?“…The Answer: Bravo TV’s Top Chef Masters beginning Wednesday, July 24th.