Denver event to honor winning wines, plus top chefs’ food sampling.
Governor John Hickenlooper was famously a beer guy, opening the Wynkoop Brewery with three colleagues back in 1988, the year that I moved to Colorado. He now presides over a state with a robust wine industry too, and on August 4, the winning wines from the annual Governor’s Cup are revealed in a public tasting event at the Colorado History Center.
The Colorado Wine Governor’s Cup is the only statewide wine- making competition exclusively for the Centennial State’s wines, including 236 wines from 33 local wineries. The panel of such experts as sommeliers, chefs, writers and wine experts annually evaluate the submitted wines to select the 18 (12 grape wines and 6 cider/mead/fruit wines). They are assembled into the “Wine Case” used to promote Colorado’s best.
The Governor’s Cup celebration on August 4 provides the opportunity to taste all the medalists paired with small bites prepared by some of the area’s best chefs. These include Elise Wiggins (formerly Panzano and soon opening Cattivella) , Mark Reggiannini (Cafe Marmotte), Ben Davis (Tony’s Market Dry Creek) and Ashlea Tobeck (Escoffier School of Culinary Arts).
VIP entry ($90) is at 6:30 p.m. and includes a chance to sample 2015 winners paired with an extended menu by Chef Samir Mohammad of the History Colorado Center’s Café Rendezvous. General admission ($45) begins at 7:30 p.m. The event ends at 9:30 p.m. Governor Hickenlooper presents the awards to the wineries. FoMoInfo or tickets, call 303-869-9177 or click here.
Don’t expect to see Canyon Wind Cellars, which is closing on July 31, having planted its first grape vines in 1991, early in the current Colorado wine era. The owners and wine-makers, Jay and Jennifer Christianson, are retiring. I wish them well.
Natural sodas & ice cream team up for summer cooler event at a brewery.
When it’s hot, we want ice cream or beer or lemonade or some combo thereof. The Denver Beer Company and Little Man Ice Cream have teamed up with the Rocky Mountain Soda Company, known for its all-natural sodas, to throw a summer party this Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Rolling off the successes of the Loveland Lemon Lime Shandy at the Sun Drenched Music Festival, the Denver Beer Company hosts what it expects will be the first Annual Ice Cream and Shandy Social on its new patio.
Denver Beer Company brewmasters have crafted five delicious shandies of five different Rocky Mountain Soda flavors, paired with five Little Man ice creams. Click here for tickets ($15) good for five 4-ounce shandies and five mini ice cream scoops. The Denver Beer Company is at 1695 Platte Street, Denver.
Annual festival showcases Denver’s independent restaurants.
The Big Eat on Thursday, July 14 is a collegial culinary festival that celebrates the best of the local dining scene. Fifty bucks buys unlimited bites from more than 50 restaurants including popular favorites and even the not-yet-open Mister Tuna. Colorado wines from the Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, a local craft brews and cocktails starring spirits from the likes of Peach Street Distillers and Distillery 291.
The festival benefits EatDenver, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes the city’s independently run restaurants. This year, The Big Eat groups restaurants by neighborhood — Berkeley, Downtown, RiNo, etc. 6 to 9 p.m. The Big Eat takes places from6 to 9 p.m. at the Garner Galleria at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 1100 13th Street. Click here to purchase tickets
There’s a new French connection in Denver in a few days as Bistro Vendome debuts its Movie Night series with one of my favorite food movies, “Julie & Julia,” made from one of my favorite food books of the same name. The story involves a young woman in New York who embarked on an ambitious project to take her mine off her dreadful job. The project: Julie Powell cooking her way through the Julia Child opus, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Along the way, she started a blog, which caught the right attention that resulted in a book contract and then a movie.
Bistro Vendome’s state-of-the-art audiovisual system in the main dining room is showing the delightful movie on a 103-inch screen. Guests are served the classic culinary comedy paired with a three-course prix fixe menu by chef Adam Branz.
Heirloom tomato bruschetta
Choice of Fillet of Sole with brown butter, lemon, parsley or Boeuf Bourguignon
Apple Tarte Tatin
Show time is 8 p.m. on Monday, July 11. Please make reservations at 303-825-3232. The restaurant promises future movie nights. It is at 1420 Larimer Square, with an entrance via the Sussex Breezeway.
Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel installed four honeybee hives on its roof in 2008. The honey is used for the fabulous high tea in the soaring lobby and also for some spa treatments. Two years ago, Denver’s Warwick Hotel added four beehives to its roof. Executive chef Jesper Jonsson of Randolph’s Restaurant was looking forward to honey harvested from the roof as soon as the hives were installed.
Union Station and its restaurants are now part of the buzz, with its own four hives. The station and the restaurants it houses invested $12,000 to start and maintain the hives. In addition to supplying restaurants under its roof with honey, it joins the Brown, the Warwick and other properties in helping combat the colony collapse that has plagued the pollinator population in recent years. As the saying goes, it’s a win-win situation.
Veteran food journalist to laser in on Denver/Boulder food scene.
Lori Midson, the smart, irreverent and very knowledgeable observer of and reporter on the local food scene, has a new gig: compiling two lists a week of the best of very narrow-focus “bests” in the greater Denver/Boulder metro area for Dining Out’s online feed.
The project is called The List, and it includes not just restaurants but also anything else of interest to diners, cooks and those who just want keep up on all things food-related. It launches on July 5, and I can’t wait to read it. If you are also interested, click here and sign up using the box on the upper right-hand corner of the page. She has let it be known that she is open to reader suggestions, so if you have some, E-mail email@example.com.
The Daily Meal includes Denver eateries on best burger list.
I scan every list of “best” and “top” restaurants for Colorado entries. If there is one, it is usually in Denver or occasionally Boulder, but hardly ever in the mountains. As for the rest of the Rocky Mountain region, those sites do not seem to realize that New Mexico, Wyoming and Montana even exist. Tsk-tsk on coastal provincialism. Enough of that and on to The Daily Meal’s selection of “The 101 Best Burgers in America 2016 .” Steuben’s — a fun Denver spot with Boston roots — makes the list, as do Park Burger’s four locations.
Opened in 2007, but named in honor of a famous restaurant and nightclub co-proprietor Josh Wolkon’s great-uncles owned in Boston for several decades in the middle of the last century, Steuben’s is a neighborhood diner serving American regional specialties. Representing Colorado’s neighbor, New Mexico, the menu presents what is regularly named the best green chile (or chili, as Steuben’s puts it) cheeseburger in Denver. Said to be inspired by the classic version at the Owl Bar in San Antonio, New Mexico, it’s a fat burger patty topped with American cheese into which green chile strips seem to melt. Lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and mustard ornament the burger, which is served on a challah bun.
With four Denver locations, Park Burger has made a name for itself by serving fresh-ground, high-quality Angus beef from Harris Ranch on custom-baked buns. The most creative (and delicious) burger on its menu is the Croque Burger, a third-pound patty that’s given a deep crust and topped with ham, Swiss cheese, and a fried egg. Rich yet not overly so, all the components play perfectly off of each other
Claire Walter's Colorado-oriented but not Colorado-exclusive blog about restaurants, food and wine events, recipes and related news. For address of any restaurant, click on the Zomato icon at the end of the post.