Among other titles, Denver star chef Troy Guard is described as the “Broncos chef,” so it is fitting that he created a big burger as a run-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl. But unless you are flying somewhere, you’ll have to go to the airport to try it — and you’ll have to hurry. The $14.50 “Bronco Burger” will be exclusively served at Lefty’s Colorado Trails, Lefty’s Mile High and Lefty’s Front Range within the Denver International Airport — and only through Super Bowl Sunday, February 7.
The 7-ounce bison burger is topped with Tillamook cheddar cheese, sautéed onions, roasted jalapenos, smoky aioli and is served on a toasted pretzel bun. A problem for burger-loving Broncos fans is that all three are on DIA’s airside, meaning that burger lovers have to pass through security in order to enjoy this short-run burger. But Guard does know his burgers, event though nothing similar appears on the menus of TAG Burger Bar in Congress Park or Highlands. Sigh.
Expanded, enhanced branch of Boulder restaurant in Ballpark area.
When they selected February 1, sisters Bo Bean and Arisa Chanchokpong didn’t pick the most auspicious day to open Aloy Modern Thai, an uptick from their Boulder eatery. Big snows are forecast for this evening, and I’m not sure what the chefs they’ve brought in from Asia will make of it. But snow melts and warm weather will arrive, and by then, I’m guessing that Denverites will have come to appreciate Aloy’s food, as Boulderites have taken to the original. Smaller than the Denver location and set in a Boulder strip mall, it certainly is one of the best in town.
I got a chance to sample an infinite procession of dishes during a media preview last week on an evening mild enough for a pleasant walk from the 16th Street Mall. Located in in the former Trillium space on Larimer Street, its decorative makeover was largely cosmetic. In addition to Thai classics, there is a definite Japanese undercurrent that appears here and there on the menu.
Guests were presented with 18 courses along with sips of a like number of excellent and unusual beverages to match. Even with modest tasting samples. The menu boasts of a farm-to-table connection and lists farms from which they source seasonal ingredients are sourced. The food was dazzling. Here goes with a sample of the sampling, as it were:
New lounge look, plus new happy hour dishes and cocktails
Panzano has put out some of Denver’s best (and best-priced) happy hour dishes for years. With a classy renovated bar, this excellent Italian eatery in Denver’s Hotel Monaco has also expanded and enhanced happy hour food and drink offerings. In short, the very good happy hour just got better.
Chef Elise Wiggins puts out sophisticated Continental specialties in what she calls “happy hour-sized portions” at happy hour prices from 2:30 to 6 p.m. every night. Wiggins’ front-of-house ally in enhancing the happy hour experience is Derek Lovell, the new bar manager. I’m seeing this as the ideal pre-theater watering hole for the many shows with 6:30 curtains at the nearby Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Lift a glass of a special drink to honor David Bowie.
David Bowie’s recent death at the age of 69, just after releasing his final album on last Friday, which was also his birthday, shocked and saddened his legions of fans. To commemorate the loss of this unforgettable icon, The Squeaky Bean created not just one, but for the first time, an entire menu of cocktails — pretty appropriate for a rocker who lived large.
The Squeaky Bean launches its Bowie tribute and shrine by introducing the David Bowie cocktail list on January 19, when it is offered special. The Bean will also play David Bowie’s music from 4 p.m. t o close. Guests are invited to dress “in David Bowie fashion,” which can mean that anything outrageous goes. The special cocktail list will be available from at least until the end of January.
Heroes: Woody Creek vodka, blood orange, honey, pear eau de vie, Moscato
Young Americans: Squeaky Bean Barrel Elmer T Lee bourbon, Amontillado sherry, orange olio sacchrum, bitters
Life on Mars?: Reposado tequila, Nardini Amaro, orgeat, lime
Space Oddity: Pisco, Meyer lemon, mandorla, egg white
Let’s Dance: Lillet Blanc, lemon oil, house apple liquor
Golden Years: Reagan Orange Bitters, Ron Zacapa Rum, Pommadine, lemon
Bowie isn’t the first star to be honored with a Shrine Cocktail. The current one is Meadowlark Limoncello in commemoration of the late Harlem Globetrotters star. And there will be a Shrine Cocktail during Denver Restaurant Week (February 26to March 6) commemorating the passing of Penny Parker, Denver’s beloved woman about town gathering news for her columns in the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News.
New upscale international Aspen eatery with Alpine roots.
Restaurateur and executive chef Nello Balan opened his namesake Nello Alpine in Aspen just before the New Year. His partner is his daughter. The restaurant, which press announcement describes as “inspired by Swiss alpine chic,” is at the base of Aspen Mountain. The press release further declares, “Reminiscent of a modern European chalet, Nello Alpine is inspired by Balan’s European upbringing, welcoming locals and jetsetters alike with a glamorous and authentic Aspen experience by way of the European Alps.” How very right for Aspen.
Nello Alpine has two menus: Alpine-inspired dishes in the dining room, and an international “Trails” menu offered at the bar. This is an international mélange of signature dishes from mountain regions of the world, including Japan, the Rockies, Switzerland and Peru. The wine program is equally international, including Balan’s own favorites from Campagna, Tuscany, Sonoma, Willamette Valley and the Russian River Valley. Nothing from the nearby Palisade area, it seems. The cocktail program is ambitious, but I don’t know whether Colorado spirits are included, I hope so.
Offshoot of Post Brewing Company comes to Longmont.
Now that I finally got to the Post Brewing Company in Lafayette (see “Post Brewing Company on New Year’s Day“), my enthusiasm for GoodBird Kitchen has increased. It’s another worthy food destination in Longmont. Specializing in fried and rotisserie chicken, it opened yesterday at 1258 Hover Road, and I’m guessing it won’t take me two years to get there.
This latest venture of chef/restaurateur David Query’s Big Red F Restaurant Group and chef Bret Smith is an appropriately casual setting for a specialist in this classic American specialty. Inside, the booths are reportedly commodious, and outside, picnic tables await on the patio await for warm weather. Reports are that a roaming cart dispenses beer, and it is geared up for a big take-out business. Super Bowl Sunday, anyone?
Natural, healthy and “clean” food right in mid-holiday season, when we need it most.
Holidays are the time for eating and drinking and cooking and baking and eating and drinking and…. Today, it all got to me, and I really craved natural, healthy fare — mostly vegetables. We were going for a walk this afternoon as the sun finally showed its warming face, so we headed to Boulder’s East Pearl and ZEAL, where my craving was satisfied. My husband’s steady appetite for beef was also met, with a burger made from first-rate ground meat.
Price check: At lunch and dinner, “Up Front” (which seems to designate small plates, $4-$9; soups and salads, $4-$10; soup or salad add-ins, $1-$6; bowls, $10-$16 for small and $13-$19 for large; Hot Plates (entrées), $14-$21; sandwiches and wraps, $9-$14.
1710 Pearl Street, Boulder; 720-708-6309.
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.