Monthly Archives: September, 2013

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – Central Bistro

September 27th, 2013 Posted by Denver, restaurants, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

All-American Pleasure

Central Bistro's Nutella Waffle

Central Bistro’s Nutella Waffle

Finding an authentic American restaurant amidst America’s numerous Chinese, Italian, Mexican, and other ethnic food restaurants can be surprisingly difficult. Even restaurants that may claim to serve authentic American food may fail to achieve such standards, unable to successfully capture those flavors that lay the foundation for authentic American cuisine.

For those in search of true American eats, one Denver restaurant has the tastes you are looking for. Denver’s Central Bistro located in the Lo-Hi neighborhood dishes out bite after bite of the classics, each with a touch of modern to keep the taste buds guessing. Beginning with a dish of house roasted peanuts lightly spiced with a touch of honey, an American artisan cheese plate, and/or a bowl of Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese Curds, you may begin to feel a little nostalgia over these American classics.

After you have relived such flavors from an American past, you may look to the future with unexpected accents such as rhubarb chutney or a late harvest vegetable pilaf, both accompanying a plate of pan seared chicken topped with rosemary and everything nice. Since every American meal includes dessert, next you must sink your fork (and knife!) into Central Bistro’s Nutella Waffle. Made with a European staple, Nutella, this waffle comes with flavors intrinsic to American culture including banana butterscotch and pretzel in the form of ice cream. If you can fathom something even more grandiose than this, consider the Central Split, a unique take on the American banana split that is a sort of all-in-one inclusive. That is, the Central Split combines brownies and cookies together with ice cream, banana, whipped cream, and of course, that ole fashioned cherry on top. While the description indeed sounds enticing, a few bites and you will be asking to see Central Bistro’s pastry chef, Danielle St. John, to see what tricks are up her sleeve.

These pastry delights along with Central Bistro’s American bites will be featured this Sunday at Denver’s Taste of the Nation event, an event that was voted best food event in Denver in 2010. This event will help support efforts to end childhood hunger in Colorado, donating its proceeds to Colorado’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.

Central Bistro’s commitment to its community along with its dedication to serve authentic American cuisine, makes Central Bistro a gem within Denver’s ever-growing restaurant scene. Brave enough to do the classics and do them well, Central Bistro proves that the classic American bites will never lose their zest, especially when they are touched up with a few unexpected additions to add that flavor kick your taste buds have been looking for. For that all American pleasure all wrapped up into one meal, head to the Central Bistro and experience American flavors all over again.

Central Bistro is located at 1691 Central St. Denver CO 80211; Tel: 303-477-4582.

Central Bistro's Dining Room

Central Bistro’s Dining Room

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

What city did the vintage pieces seen in the dining room of Central Bistro come from?

Tune in this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to this past Friday’s blog question: “True/False – Before settling at Trillium, Beverage Director Park Ramey did stints at Denver’s Bistro Vendome, Brasserie Rouge, Rioja, Corridor 44, and Colt & Gray.” Answer: “True, Trillium’s Beverage Director Park Ramey made the rounds at some of Denver’s best restaurants before settling at Trillium where he began the now famous Akvavit program.

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – Trillium

September 24th, 2013 Posted by Beer, Cocktails, Denver, restaurants, Where To Drink This Week No Comment yet

 

Drinking with a Nordic Twist

Trillium

The drinking culture of Scandinavia may be largely unknown to the average American, remaining too distant in terms of culture and place to reach the American dinner table. Thanks to niche-restaurants such as Denver’s Trillium, unique drinking cultures such as that of Scandinavia and the other Nordic regions may be experienced first hand by Americans who have never stepped foot into any one of these regions of the world.

In the form of creative cocktails made from traditional Scandinavian spirits and artisanal Nordic beers you would not be able to find anywhere else, Trillium offers its thirsty guests a taste of something absolutely novel, made with that special Nordic twist. Staying true to its roots, Trillium makes their own Akvavit, a traditional spirit central to the Scandinavian drinking culture, where it has been produced since the 15th century.

A glass of Akvavit

A glass of Akvavit

Using an entourage of different spices, herbs and fruits, Trillium’s line-up of Akvavit includes unexpected flavors such as mint, melon, and strawberry peppercorn. Beverage Director Park Ramey uses this eclectic foundation of flavors to create innovative medleys that surprise and entice, introducing the Trillium guest to both flavors intrinsically connected with the Scandinavian culture as well as other flavors that expand well beyond the reaches of the Nordic lands.

For a plush taste of Scandinavian drinking magic, Trillium’s cocktail “The Nordic Silk” is a bitter-sweet seductive combination of Trillium’s house Akvavit, orange liquer, Amaro Montenegro, and egg white. Of course, the classic choice is always “The Trillium” made with gin or vodka (your choice), St. Germain, lemon, wild blueberry, lavender syrup, and a dash of the house Akvavit to seal the deal. “The Trillium” takes the center stage on “Trillium Tuesdays” when it serves as the featured beverage of the day. Trillium’s beverage program expands beyond cocktails to include one-of-a-kind Nordic brews such as the “Arctic Circle” made by Havila brewing from Finland. If one-of-a-kind brews are not what you are seeking, you may be intrigued by Trillium’s more local selection of brews that includes such classics as Tivoli Brewing’s Helles Lager made in Denver, Colorado, just a minutes drive away from Trillium.

It is Trillium’s combination of the classics, the one-of-a-kinds, and the more traditional beverages that make drinking at Trillium such a unique experience. Trillium’s novel tasting beverages are concocted with a rare Nordic twist, uncommon among restaurants in America. This unique spin presents guests with Trillium’s own take on Scandinavian drinking culture that brings together tradition and modern creativity with dazzling results.

Trillium is located at 2134 Larimer St. Denver CO 80205; Tel: 303-379-9759. Happy Hour is Tues-Sat 5-7 pm, Sun 5-9 pm and 5-close for all Rockies evening home games.

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

True/False – Before settling at Trillium, Beverage Director Park Ramey did stints at Denver’s Bistro Vendome, Brasserie Rouge, Rioja, Corridor 44, and Colt & Gray.

Tune in this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to this past Friday’s blog question: “The best known chicken and waffle pairing comes from the foldaways of the American soul food traditions. What city in the U.S. is this dish known as a local-custom?” Answer: “The famous pairing, chicken and waffles, is considered a local specialty in Baltimore, Maryland.

Hendrik Smeding – Flying Horse Winery

September 21st, 2013 Posted by Uncategorized No Comment yet

ourWines-rightAn interview with Wild Horse winery owner Hendrik Smeding.  A great story about how he and his wife got into making wine, talk about trial and error!

Rich Byers – The Corner Office

September 21st, 2013 Posted by Culinary Connectors LIVE! No Comment yet
Rich Byers Executive Chef The Corner Office

Rich Byers
Executive Chef
The Corner Office

Executive Chef Rich Byers leads The Corner Office Restaurant + Martini Bar’s global street food preparation, vision and delivery. Byers was selected for the role of Executive Chef after serving as the Sous Chef for the restaurant for more than a year. His passion for unique flavors and creativity in the kitchen are evident throughout his career.

His culinary experience comes from all over: Olives Restaurant at the St. Regis Aspen (CO), Oskar Blues in Lyons (CO), Executive Sous Chef at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, and most notably a Chef in the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.

In his role as Executive Chef for The Corner Office, Byers manages the day-to-day preparation and delivery of the globally inspired breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour and brunch menus. Along with developing the daily menus, Byers will master the cuisine for large events taking place at The Corner Office’s renowned private party and event space. He looks forward to creating a cohesive culinary team that has an edge in global cuisine.

A native of Long Island, NY, Byers studied at The Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY. When he’s not cooking award-winning fare, Byers enjoys Colorado’s Rocky Mountains by skiing, mountain biking and camping.

Cory Morris – Mercat

September 21st, 2013 Posted by Culinary Connectors LIVE! No Comment yet
Cory Morris Chef de Cuisine Mercat

Cory Morris
Chef de Cuisine
Mercat

Chef Morris was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and showed an interest in cooking from a very young age. Growing up, his earliest culinary memories were cooking dinner for his siblings so they could avoid store bought, pre-packaged meals while his parents we busy working. Chef Morris began his culinary career in 2000 as an assistant to the chef at the fine dining restaurant Mariposa in Park City, Utah. In 2004, Morris was appointed executive chef of Red Rock Grille, and later as chef of The Club at Spanish Peak in Big Sky, Montana, where he created seasonal menus and utilized local, organic ingredients. Morris eventually moved to Chicago, where he was named sous chef at Mercat a la Planxa when it opened in early 2008 under the direction of Executive Chef Jose Garces and Chef de Cuisine Michael Fiorello. Now, as chef de cuisine, Morris enjoys adding a modern spin to Catalan classics. Chef Morris’s approach to food is derived from his travels through Spain, France, and the United States, as well as the industry luminaries he has worked alongside, including chefs Jose Garces and Joyce Goldstein. He believes that food is meant not only for consumption but to excite the palate and create memories. In his spare time, Chef Morris enjoys cycling and exploring different cultures through Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods and their food.

 

Frank Bonanno

September 20th, 2013 Posted by Culinary Connectors LIVE! No Comment yet
Frank Bonanno

Frank Bonanno

Join host Becky Creighton as she interviews Denver restauranteur Frank Bonanno.  Frank’s restaurant empire started with Mizuna 13 years ago and has grown into an impressive list of ten restaurants from fine dining to the very casual.  Listen in as we talk about Luca d’ Italia, housemade charcuterie and cheese, why Frank became a chef and much more.

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – Jezebel’s Southern Bistro & Bar

September 20th, 2013 Posted by Denver, restaurants, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

 

Savor the Southern Breeze on the Patio

Jezebel's

Rain, followed by more fall like, cool temperatures serves to remind all those who enjoy a nice and relaxed meal on the patio that time is dwindling for enjoying this warm weather pastime. With little time left, restaurants such as Jezebel’s Southern Bistro & Bar seem to beckon patio lovers in to enjoy a “Sunday on the patio” filled with the pleasures of that ole’ down south cuisine.

Sundays on the patio begin at 10 am with brunch, followed by lunch, happy hour, dinner, and ending at 9pm. Thus from 10am to 9pm, you have the opportunity to feast upon the best of the southern soul food traditions in an inviting outdoor setting. For those southern food lovers, Sunday brunch has everything the southern soul desires. Beginning with a Three Egg Southern Omelet, you can relish in southern specialties such as collard greens, country ham, and red eye gravy all served with a house-made southern-style biscuit. Of course, southern omelets may seem mild and less alluring compared to a well-spiced dish of Jumbo Shrimp ‘n Grits served with andouille sausage, poblano peppers, and vidalia onions. For a more savory forkful, one cannot pass up an opportunity to taste Jezebel’s fried chicken and waffles made with Jezebel’s very own gluten-free fried chicken wings tucked beside hand-pressed Belgian style waffles, served with a side of sweet and savory honey butter. Of course, the lover of the classic south might savor some house-made biscuits and gravy, a traditional pleasure of down south cookin’.

Chicken n' waffles

Lunch and dinner at Jezebel’s keeps the flavors of the south alive with savory southern delights such as the Louisiana Po’ Boys’ sandwich made with cornmeal crusted oysters or fried shrimp plated on top a warm, slightly toasted hoagie roll with a spicy remoulade spread on top. A small bite of spice may also be ordered on the side in the form of a peppadew peppper stuffed with pimiento goat cheese drizzled atop with a slightly sweet balsamic reduction. A basket of warm cornbread fresh out of the oven serves to add an element of southern comfort to any meal.

As a comforting backdrop, Jezebel’s includes a bit of live music on the patio from 4pm to 8pm Sundays. On a cooler Colorado night, the sound of toe tapping along with your fellow diners humming along and perhaps even singing out loud keeps the atmosphere warm at Jezebel’s. Amidst the soul-warming sounds of southern music, you can feast upon the flavors of southern comfort food, taking in that breeze of down south pleasure served right on the patio.

Jezebel’s is located at 3301 Tejon St. Denver 80211; Tel: 303-433-3060. Sunday Brunch is 10 am – 3 pm.

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

The best known chicken and waffle pairing comes from the foldaways of the American soul food traditions. What city in the U.S. is this dish known as a local-custom?

Tune in this coming Tuesday for the answer!

The answer to this past Tuesday’s blog question: “The Three Lions Pub is located just across the street from what other popular spot for thirsty (and hungry) visitors to E. Colfax to frequent? Hint: They are famous for their south of the border cuisine and are a part of Culinary Connector’s E. Colfax Savor the Flavors walking food tour. Answer: The Three Lions Pub is located right across the street from the popular mexican food joint known as Pinche Tacos.

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – the Three Lions Pub

September 17th, 2013 Posted by Denver, Where To Drink This Week No Comment yet

 

A Drinking Safe Haven on Denver’s E. Colfax Ave.

 

Three Lions Pub

There may be few places on Denver’s infamously rough and sometimes wicked street, E. Colfax Ave., where you can feel at complete ease.  However, set amidst the ongoing chaos is a gem known as the Three Lions Pub, one of Denver’s coziest and most welcoming pubs that offers a much needed drinking safe haven for visitors to this colorful and eclectic part of the city of Denver.  The pub is modeled after some of London’s finest pubs, offering a congenial “pub” atmosphere that has been a central part of Britain’s societal infrastructure for as long as the Brits have been drinking.

The Bar at Three Lions Pub

The Bar at Three Lions Pub

Beyond its much desired friendly and welcoming atmosphere, the Three Lions Pub serves as a major gathering place for European football (as in soccer) fans.  With walls adorned by a superfluous amount of football memorabilia, the Three Lions pub is not shy about its obsession.  Its obsession is taken to a new level with hours that literally revolve around the European football schedule.  The Three Lions Pub will open earlier for European football with opening hours sometimes extending into the wee hours of the morning when the sun is yet to arise.

Naturally, the Three Lions Pub’s obsession for football is connected with its passion for enjoying a refreshing pint as you cheer on your favorite team.  Every quality London pub offers a collection of fine ales, and the Three Lions Pub is no different.  With such classics as Fuller’s independent family brewers, Copenhagen’s Carlsberg beer, and the world famous German wheat beer, Paulaner, the Three Lions pubs offers some of the very same quality European brews that form an intrinsic part of any traditional London pub.

A Tap Table at Three Lions

A Tap Table at Three Lions with Carlsberg & Paulaner

These brews along with wells and wines can be enjoyed for prices that make watching “a bit of footy on the telly” while you enjoy a pint of fine ale a more than affordable hobby.  Enjoy $2 off 20 oz. drafts, $1 off 14 oz drafts, $3 wells, and $3 wines.  With a happy hour every day, two times a day, from 3pm to 7pm and 10pm to 2 am, and on weekends from 7 am to 11 am, you have plenty of chances to enjoy this safe haven as you sip upon the happy hour drink of your choosing.  For those weekend warriors crazy enough about football to awake early morning to root on their team, Three Lions pub offers weekend football specials from 7 to 11 am every weekend.  This weekend special includes $3.50 Bloody Mary’s and $3.75 Mimosas in addition to the regular happy hour specials.

Affordable, high-quality drinks matched with an atmosphere that makes one feel at home makes the Three Lions Pub one of the most popular spots for both Denver-ites and visitors alike.  Set in a more stodgy and yet colorful part of Denver, the Three Lions Pub offers a safe and cozy haven for people to take a much needed hiatus from the craziness of everyday life and enjoy the big game with fellow fans the way the Brits have always done.

The Three Lions Pub is located at 2239 E. Colfax Ave Denver CO 80206; Tel: 303-997-6886.

 

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

The Three Lions Pub is located just across the street from what other popular spot for thirsty (and hungry) visitors to E. Colfax to frequent?  Hint: They are famous for their south of the border cuisine and are a part of Culinary Connector’s E. Colfax Savor the Flavors walking food tour.

Tune in this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to this past Friday’s blog question: “True/False: Second Home Kitchen & Bar’s secret ingredient to their Bread Pudding French Toast is Nutella.

Answer: True – Second Home Kitchen makes their signature Bread Pudding French Toast doused in a sinfully sweet nutella maple syrup accompanied with a generous dollop of creme anglaise.

Where to Eat This Weekend: Denver – Second Home Kitchen & Bar

September 13th, 2013 Posted by Beer, Denver, restaurants, Where To Eat This Weekend No Comment yet

 

Comfort Food that leaves you

“All Shook Up”

 

Everyone has their favorite comfort food that brings them a sense of ease after a busy work week. This might be the food you grew up on or were served at Grandma’s house. Now that you are older, you can find your comfort food outside of the house at restaurants such as Cherry Creek’s Second Home Kitchen & Bar.

Second Home interior

In a setting at once chic and sophisticated and yet relaxed and warm, you can feast upon classic American dishes such as fried chicken or an indulgent full stack of fluffy buttermilk pancakes. On Sundays, Second Home Kitchen & Bar turns into an ongoing celebration of comfort food beginning with “Sunday Pajama Brunch” followed by “All You Can Eat Fried Chicken” on Sunday evenings from 5 to 10 p.m. This means you can potentially begin your Sunday with pancakes in the form of Elvis’ favorite “Graceland Pancakes” made with bananas and topped with peanut butter whipped cream, a side of bacon, and drizzled with enough maple syrup to make the mouth of the “King of Rock and Roll” water. It is a dish sure to leave you “all shook up.”

Elvis Presley

If later on on Sunday night, you find yourself listening to Elvis’ “Are Your Lonesome Tonight?” as you sit cooped up in the “Heartbreak Hotel,” make yourself back out to Second Home for some more dressed up comfort. Though it’s always crowded, you are sure to find some room to cozy up to a table to enjoy all the fried chicken and fixings your heart can bear. Hot chicken blanketed in a layer of crispy, breaded pleasure comes served aside classic garlic mashed potatoes whipped to a heavenly creaminess. Fresh green beans, house made coleslaw, and buttery, flaky biscuits come with a side of Stranahan’s maple syrup to tie it all together with just a little extra sweetness. To wash it all down, enjoy bottled beers half off with the purchase of a fried chicken dinner.

One Sunday at Second Home Kitchen & Bar and you will be blanketed with the ease delivered by the pleasures of American comfort food so good it could have come right out of your own home kitchen, albeit with a lot less work. Without having to even enter into a kitchen, you can enjoy home cooking that is served with unexpected twists that even Elvis would approve of. In the end, it is sure to take you away to a place far from “Heartbreak Hotel,” leaving you “all shook up” and ready for more Second Home comfort.

Second Home Kitchen & Bar is located in Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood at 150 Clayton Lane Denver CO 80206, Tel: 303-253-3000.

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

True/False: Second Home Kitchen & Bar’s secret ingredient to their Bread Pudding French Toast is Nutella.

Tune in this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to this past Friday’s blog question: “Where did the giant red letters hanging above Central Bistro & Bar’s open kitchen originally come from? …Answer: The giant red letters that spell the word “HOT” were scavenged from a hotel sign discovered by long-time North Denver resident and owner/managing partner, Isiah Salazar.

Where to Drink This Week: Denver – Central Bistro & Bar

September 10th, 2013 Posted by Beer, Cocktails, Denver, restaurants, Where To Drink This Week No Comment yet

Central’s Bar: Central to Denver’s Well-being

Central Bistro & Bar

Front Patio of Central Bistro & Bar

In a busy work week, taking the time to settle down into a chair on an outdoor patio facing a stunning view of Denver while you sip upon the beverage of your choice can be nothing less than central to your well-being. In the bustling city of Denver, it can be difficult to find such an oasis where this situation might transcend upon you. Luckily, for Denver-ites and visitors to Denver, the Central Bar & Bistro offers the perfect setting to do just that.

Located in Denver’s hippest Lo-Hi neighborhood, the Central Bar & Bistro has an outdoor patio situated right in front with view of downtown Denver that is just beckoning you in for “just a drink” (or two…). When you finally submit to temptation and enter into Central, you will be taken away by a chic dining room with sleek lines punctuated with unexpected vintage accents that add to the novelty of the atmosphere. Central’s overall unique appearance is further encapsulated in the giant, red letters hanging above the open kitchen that spell out “H-O-T” in a way that captures every diner’s attention.

Dining Room of Central Bistro & Bar

Dining Room of Central Bistro & Bar

Amidst this heat, Central Bar offers a signature cocktail, the “Cold Toddy” made with Bulleit Bourbon, lemon, cinnamon, and clove. Other signature cocktails include their “Central 75” made with Cap Rock Gin, hibiscus, and a splash of sparkling to further enliven the mix. Beyond signature cocktails, Central Bar has a beer to increase your good karma aptly named the “Karma Belgian Pale Ale” from the land of good karma – Boulder, of course. Beer is also sold in the form of bottles and cans for those who enjoy swigging down the brew the ole way, with the head tipped back to let pleasure run in. Too much pleasure and you will need the “Morning Restorative,” a mix of carrot and ginger juice that comes virgin for those who have already had their share, and with booze for those who are still in the mood for more.

If you have not yet experienced Central’s drinking experience for yourself, you might be in for an extra treat this coming Saturday September 14, 2013 when Central Bistro & Bar will be participating in the first annual Denver Beerathon. Central Bistro & Bar will be a part of the 26 bar route that is included in this “beer run” that is designed to mimic a marathon of sorts. Proceeds will go to the local charity, “Excelsior Youth Center,” and the pleasures of endurance drinking will go towards your well-being, as well as the well-being of Denver’s youth!

Central Bistro & Bar is located at 1691 Central St. Denver CO 80211; Tel: 303-477-4582. Email: Hello@CentralBistroBar.com.

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

Where did the giant red letters hanging above Central Bistro & Bar’s open kitchen originally come from?

Tune in this coming Friday for the answer!

The answer to this past Friday’s blog question: “Which menu item at Rosa Linda’s has won the most awards by Westword Magazine? …Answer: Rosa Linda’s famous Chile Relleno has won the most awards by Westword magazine. One taste and you will know why!