Category Archives: Colorado

Renaissance of Rosenberg’s

Five Points bagelry & deli reopening.

001Five months after being burned out in a terrible fire, Rosenberg’s Bagels and Deli is reopening at 6 a.m. tomorrow. Owner Josh Pollack and his 18-person team made good use of the unplanned sabbatical, collectively volunteering some 1,000 hours and raising more than $8,000 for charity.

The new Rosenberg's.
The new Rosenberg’s.

During the  summer, Rosenberg’s hosted pop-ups at the weekly Slow Food Farmers Market at The Source, and at festivals and special events in Denver. All pop-up proceeds went to such local charities as Project Angel Heart, Friends of the Denver Fire Department, Slow Food Denver and Stamp Out Hunger. Each Rosenberg’s staff member volunteered at least 75 hours assisting with food drives, replanting community gardens and feeding the sick for such organizations such as Metro Caring, Project Angel Heart, Food Bank of the Rockies, Denver Parks & Recreation and Extreme Community Makeover. For this commitment to community alone, we should all patronize Rosenberg’s.

A taosted bagel with a cream cheese schmear, lox onion, tomato and capers is about much New York authenticity as is found in Denver.
A toasted bagel with a cream cheese schmear, lox, a bit of sliced onion, tomato and capers is about much New York authenticity as is found in Denver.

But the New York-style bagels and toppings are very good, and Pollack has several other worthy projects underway. These include the City Pretzel cart launched earlier this summer; a second Rosenberg’s coming to the Stanley Marketplace when it openin in Aurora; Lou’s Italian Deli, slated to debut in RiNo in early 201, and what is described as “a joining of forces with The Bagel Store, an iconic, kosher bakery in Southeast Denver.” Not sure what “joining forces” means.

Rosenberg’s is at  725 E. 26th Avenue, Denver.
Rosenberg's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Happy News of 3 Reopenings

Conor O’Neill’s, Rosenberg’s & The Campus Lounge comeback tales.

reopeningjpgI recently posted news of the shuttering of two longtime metro area standbys, Boulder’s Conor O’Neill’s and The Campus Lounge in Denver, but couldn’t bear to write about the devastating fatal fire that closed Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen in Five Points. These three are or soon will be back. I suspect there won’t be Grand Reopenings (that was all I could find online), but the reopenings of these favorites will be grand.

Conor O’Neill’s reopened just a week after it closed, thanks to a deal struck with the Irish pub’s landlord.  The Irish pub rehired staff who rushed to put back everything they had taken down just a few days earlier. The new owners of The Campus Lounge in Denver’s Bonnie Brae area say they are keeping the name, the horseshoe bar and even the landmark sign but are redoing much else.

Rosenberg’s is to rise again in mid-October, having satisfied their loyal customers and perhaps finding new ones with a pop-up at the Slow Food Famers Market in The Source in RiNo and elsewhere , and also donated money, time and effort to various good causes.

Beard Celebrity Chefs in Colorado

1515 Restaurant and Devil’s Thumb Ranch to host some of the best.

JamesBeardFoundation-logoThe James Beard House in New York is one of America’s culinary holy places, and the James Beard Foundation located there is the keeper of the flame. Dining there is a WOW! experience, no matter who is cooking, and the foundation is increasingly spreading the epicurean wealth with events elsewhere.

Coming right up (October 20) is the JBF’s Celebrity Chef Tour at 1515 Restaurant in Denver, when chef/restaurateur Gene Tang  hosts the  following kitchen wizards in what I understand is the only Denver event this year:

  • Gene Tang, Restaurant 1515, Denver
  • Jeff Cleary, Grateful Bread, Denver
  • Stephen Fried,  Gullo Specialty Foods, Hicksville, NY
  • Laurent Mechin,  St Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
  • Mark Monette, Flagstaff House, Boulder
  • Kevin Nashan, The Peacemaker and Sidney Street Cafe, St. Louis
  • Martin Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe
  • Mindy Segal, Mindy’s HotChocolate, Chicago
    JBF Award–Winning Pastry Chef

Click here to buy tickets, which are $115 per person with U.S. Bank FlexPerks Rewards and $175 for everyone else for the dinner, paired wines, gratuities and taxes.

And at Devil’s Thumb Ranch

On Saturday, November 19, Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Taberbash hosts the sixth annual James Beard Foundation Fundraising Dinner, which in format is similar to the Celebrity Chef Tour. Its purpose is to support the JBF’s scholarship fund.

This year’s event will be held in memoriam of the late Chef Evan Treadwell, who was killed in a boating accident on September 6. Like the mission of the James Beard Foundation, Chef Treadwell was dedicated to mentoring professional chefs. His legacy will be honored by his peers from Denver and by the culinary team at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, who — like Chef Treadwell — demonstrate talent, expertise and most importantly, passion for what they do.  Their inventive dishes will be shared with guests, elegantly paired with wines from Joseph Phelps Winery of Napa, presented by Master Sommelier Damon Ornowski.

Participating chefs are:

  • Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver
  • Justin Brunson, Ole Major, Denver
  • Jeff Osaka, Osaka Ramen, Denver
  • Paul Reilly, Beast + Bottle, Denver
  • Natalie, Basarov, Devil’s Thumb Ranch

Tickets cost $150 per person for JBF winners and $200 for the rest of us. Call  970-726-5633 to reserve.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa is at 3530 County Road 83, Tabernash; 970-726-5632.

Awesome Avelina Launches in LoDo

New LoDo eatery with sterling pedigree.

Avelina executive chef John Broening.
Avelina executive chef John Broening.

Chef John Broening and pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, partners in life and in business, are the culinary brains behind Avelina, a big new restaurant carrying a name that means “little bird.” Individually and together, they have produced exquisite fare in a number of restaurants, and Yasmin has been a James Beard finalist/semi-finalist pastry chef more times than I can recall.

Chef de cuisine John Broening and sous-chef Bradley Yard in the large, open kitchen.
Thumbs-up-from chef de cuisine John Broening  (ight) and sous-chef Bradley Yard in the large, open kitchen.

I first encountered Broening at Primitivo, at the time the only fine-dining restaurant in downtown Colorado Springs, and again at Brasserie Rouge in the Ice House before Union Station’s major make-over.  He joined Udi’s on Broadway, where and Yasmin met.  They were in turn at Duo, Olivéa, Spuntino and now Avelina, which is owned by North Carolina-based Urban Food Group out but thanks to them and their team, it has a distinct Colorado flair.

A quiet moment before Avelina's opening party gets roaring.
A quiet moment before Avelina’s opening party gets roaring.

The enormous space. which is proportioned like a big bank with high ceilings, large light fixtures and commodious furnishings, made for a grand setting for the grand opening party. The food — small bites or this and that — was as delicious as  it was beautiful and vice versa. The servers were busy as worker bees ferrying out platter after platter (and beverages as well).  Sometimes they  had time to let guests know what we were eating. Other times not, so here are some uncaptioned food pictures.

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Price check: Shared plates, $5-$16, charcuterie, $11-$12; large plates, $19-$39.

Avelina is one block from Union Station at 1550 17th Street (entrance at Wazee Street),  Denver; 720-904-6711.

Luxury Touch at Navy Mess

Submarine  cooks to get tips on Colorado cuisine.

nuclearnavy-logoWhen the “USS Colorado,” America’s newest Virginia Class nuclear submarine, is launched later this year,  its cooks will have in their repertoire recipes that enhance the submarine service’s reputation for some of the best food in the Navy. Since a nuclear submarine produces its own air and water, it can stay submerged for as long as they have food. It’s not uncommon for submarines to stay under water for weeks at a time. Therefore, food is a top priority.

Chef Michael Wright of The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa meets with two members of the crew today for cooking lessons on how to prepare some traditional Colorado dishes. These include Brown Palace and Colorado specialties such as the Ship Tavern’s famous Prime Rib and Rocky Mountain Trout and Ellyngton’s classic Eggs Benedict, house-made sausage, Brown Palace granola and of course, the Denver omelet. The crew will then be able to serve these dishes at sea — or more accurately, under the sea.

In addition to the Brown, two other iconic Colorado hotels were selected to provide the cooking lessons: The Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs and the Four Seasons in Vail. I’m not sure what the Broadmoor and the Four Seasons will do as a follow-up, but the Brown is putting on a Chef’s Table luncheon for 20 or so invited guests.

‘5280’ Reveals Top 25 Restaurants of 2016

New list features returning and new restaurants.

5280-cover-oct2016The new issue of 5280 Magazine features its annual list of the 25 best restaurants in the Denver area — “area” meaning that Boulder is well represented. It is also the swan song for food editor Amanda Faison piloting this formidable project. After 20 years in the Denver office, she is leaving an in-house staff position and moving to the mountains, but she will still be contributing investigative and other features to the magazine.

The list, which must be more difficult every year as the local food scene keeps growing and improving, includes new names and  returning ones as well:

  1. Hop Alley
  2. Basta
  3. Frasca Food and Wine
  4. Mercantile Dining Room & Provision
  5. Acorn
  6. Bar Dough
  7. The Plimoth
  8. Beast + Bottle
  9. Sushi Ronin
  10. Work & Class
  11. Oak at Fourteenth
  12. Fruition Restaurant
  13. Guard and Grace
  14. Blackbelly Market
  15. Pizzeria Locale Boulder
  16. To the Wind Bistro
  17. Sushi Den
  18. The Populist
  19. Stoic & Genuine
  20. Bittersweet
  21. Old Major
  22. Barolo Grill
  23. Mizuna
  24. Bistro Barbès



The Bell Tolls for Conor O’Neill’s

Boulder Irish pub to close after 17 years.

conoroneill-logoConor O’Neill’s, downtown Boulder’s Irish pub, has that time-worn ambiance of a place that’s been around for decades. In truth, became an instant institution a mere 17 years ago. It is closing on October 2, collateral damage from Boulder’s construction boom. First, its cozy back room and congenial patio fell victim to demolition/construction virtually in its backyard.

Little wonder that it felt so genuinely Irish. The owners has the whole restaurant built in Ireland. “The light fixtures, the furniture, the antiques and even the paintings on the walls were all made in Ireland and shipped over,” co-founder Colm O`Neill told the Daily Camera in 1999. “We even have four Irish bartenders who have come over to the states to work for us.”

With the shuttering of the pub, the fate of the World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade that “marches up and down the block is in  question. Meanwhile, the other Conor ONeiil’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan presumably will remain open.1922 13th Street, Boulder; 303- 449-1922.

…and in Denver
The Campus Lounge, a popular Bonnie Brae watering hole, closed yesterday after 40 years. Click here for the local CBS News report on its last day.