Denver FIVE Class of 2015 Named

Five top Denver chefs to represent city’s culinary scene.

DenverFive-logoLeigh Sullivan, an ardent promoter of Denver’s culinary scene, established the Denver FIVE to showcase the local food and beverage talent.   The “Class of 2015″ with five more Colorado culinarians plus a two-man beverage team has been announced. The chefs are to create five unique dining experiences throughout the city, and then represent the city and state at the swell Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June then a dinner at the storied James Beard House in New York City, in September. Sullivan calls the selection process “a responsibility and a privilege.

I'm afraid I can't identify this line-up, and the announcement didn't help put names fo faces -- but I do like the dramatic image. What a group!

I’m afraid I can’t identify this line-up, and the announcement didn’t help put names fo faces — but I do like the dramatic image. What a group!

The 2015 FIVE

  • Aniedra Nichols. Alumni Chef and Executive Chef, Elway’s Cherry Creek.
  • John Depierro, Executive Chef, Bones.
  • Noah French, Co-owner & Executive Pastry Chef, Sugarmill.
  • Kevin Grossi, Chef de Cuisine, Lola Mexican Fish House.
  • Enrique Socarras, Executive Chef, Suehiro Old Town.  

Beverage Team: 

  • Gerard Collier, “Bar Ninja,” Pinche Taqueria.
  • Aaron Forman, Owner and “Wine Samurai,” Table 6.


Terrific Tabernash Tavern

Casual atmosphere & first-rate fare in tiny mountain town.

P1000270Whenever I visit the greater Winter Park area, eating at the Tabernash Tavern is high on my list . This casual restaurant in a vintage building is loaded with more vintage it — such items as beer cans, jumping skis from the Olympics, fishing memorabilia and other eclectic items decorate the walls and ceilings. Both the bar area in front ad the dining room in back exude casual fun. Five of us went there for happy hour this evening — five different dishes, decent portions and a wonderful variety of styles and tastes. The menu will change tomorrow, so don’t expect to see this exact selection.

Ahi tuna nachos with spicy tuna, wonton and nori chips, cucumbers, sriracha aioli, ponzu, wasabi crema, seaweed, avocado and queso.

Ahi tuna nachos with spicy tuna, wonton and nori chips, cucumbers, sriracha aioli, ponzu, wasabi crema, seaweed, avocado and queso.

Continue reading “Terrific Tabernash Tavern”

Frasca Appears on Another List as One of the Best picks America’s 38 most essential restaurants.

Eater-logoSometimes I think that I could write a blog only about the many honors heaped up Boulder’s Frasca Food & Wine. The latest is “The National 38: Where to Eat in 2015,”’s list of 38 “essential” restaurants distilled from restaurant editor Bill Addison’s odyssey comprising “the 263 on-the-clock meals I consumed in 29 cities during seven months of travel (or, more precisely, 147 days in the field) in 2014.”

The list of the 38 includes long-running legends such as Galatoire’s in New Orleans and the Café at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, the less expensive offshoot of Alice Waters’ renowned restaurant that is credited with launching New American cuisine. It includes newer culinary landmarks like Manhattan’s Momofuku Noodle, Chicago’s Aliena that brought molecular cuisine to the Midwest and beyond, and several that I never heard of. But there, again, is Frasca.

Addison’s full review after dining at Frasca included the usual rapturous compliments about the hospitality, the service, the consistency and the quality. For the 38 essentials thumbnail, Addison wrote:

Frasca Food and Wine

Frasca’s co-owners, front-of-the-house ace Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, handle their respective posts with equal distinction. Stuckey and his team know how to gauge guests and reset their moods with calming assurance. Their affable welcome sets the tone for a spectacular meal of specialties from the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region of northeastern Italy. That translates to dishes like riso marinara, lush with shellfish; speckled buckwheat pasta lacy with chicken and matsutake mushrooms; and roasted pork chop with feisty Friulian pork sausage. Stuckey earned the title of Master Sommelier as well as a James Beard Foundation award for Outstanding Wine Service. The breadth and detail of the beverage list may cause you to drift from table conversation.

Keystone’s Upcoming Savor the Slopes

Each week features a different resort restaurant showcasing food, wine & spirits.

KeystoneResort-logoKeystone was Colorado’s first mountain resort to really emphasize its culinary side with interesting restaurants in the valley and up on the mountain. It long ago began hiring real chefs rather than short order cooks who were frying up burgers in exchange for free skiing. and began beefing up its kitchen staffs with real chefs and culinary school apprentices. As one of the early built-from-the-ground-up full-service resorts, it developed lodging and food and beverage facilities. The high bar Keystone set for itself continues.

Keystone Resort’s distinct signature restaurants are on display during this season’s Savor the Slopes, an upcoming multi-week rotating showcase featuring food, wine, beer and spirits. Each the host restaurant organizes its tasting event with its own unique theme that promises to be both informative and delicious. Award-winning, mountaintop locations, historical buildings and two distinct village settings host a combined 17 tasting events. All events begin at 4 p.m., so they are an excellent après-ski option. I love that several feature Colorado beer, wine and spirits. Resort guests might even want to ski off a little of the Savor the Slopes calories, while cay skiers can linger and avoid some of the eastbound I-70 traffic — of course, being  very conservative adult beverages.

Each event costs $25 (a tab easily reached by ordering some beer and munchies during conventional après-ski.  Reservations for individual Savor the Slopes tasting events are required, and can be made by calling 970-496-4386. Continue reading “Keystone’s Upcoming Savor the Slopes”

All About Iceland’s Hot Dogs

Mostly lamb, steamed buns and distinctive condiments.

Reykjavik hot dog stand -- one of several.

Reykjavik hot dog stand — one of several.

When we were in Iceland last September, the most-raved-about foods were the seafood (natch) and hot dogs (who knew?). The Icelandic word for hot dog is pylsa, but it isn’t necessary to know that, because you can’t miss the hot dog stands that dot Reykjavik, and for road trippers, there’s a hot dog counter at nearly every convenience store/gas station around the island. The most popular of the stands would have lines out the door if outdoor stands had doors. I have been intending to research what makes them so special, but Icelandair Hotels has done the work for me. I didn’t buy any at the airport, but I kind of wish I had. So thanks to Icelandair Hotels for the Iceland hot dog story.

Ramen is Sushi Tora’s Weekend Lunch Special

Longtime downtown Boulder sushi fave offers ramen bowls.

001Like many foodies, I was quite fascinated when New York restaurateur David Chang launched Momofuku, an epicurean ramen restaurant on First Avenue in the “Far East Village” a decade or more ago. He re-elevated the classic Japanese noodle dish from the depths it has sunk to as super-cheap cellophane-wrapped dried noodles to be mixed with a flavor packet whose operative flavor is salt. Sure, I’ve boiled up many a packet of those soulless ramen noodles for a quick, cheap lunch, but the only way I could stomach them was when enhanced with Chinese sesame oil. How I longed to have a Momofuku clone down the street.

Now there is one, at least at lunch on weekends, when the estimable Sushi Tora has a small ramen menu at lunch. On a cold, gray winter day, my husband and I and another couple could think of little better than hot, filling ramen that had never met cellophane. And it is down the street — just five blocks away. The ramen dishes are rated like ski runs, but instead of green, blue and black, Sushi Tora rates shoyu for guests with “a lighter palate,” miso for those with “a stronger palate” and tonkutsu for those with “a strong palate.” The menu goes with a more detailed explanation of what these all mean.

Green tea comes in green pottery cups; green tea with roasted rice in brown cups.

Green tea comes in green pottery cups; green tea with roasted rice in brown cups.

The one-page weekend ramen menu explains a lot about the specific dishes.

The one-page weekend ramen menu explains a lot about the specific dishes.

Continue reading “Ramen is Sushi Tora’s Weekend Lunch Special”

Thrillist Calls Buckhorn Exchange State’s ‘Iconic’ Restaurant

Thrillist-logoI’ve taken a holiday hiatus from posting, but not from eating or cooking, but now I’m back on duty with a New Year’s post that cites Denver’s oldest restaurant. just put up a list of the “most iconic” restaurant in each of the 50 state s and the District of Columbia. Not only did the site pick the venerable Buckhorn Exchange for Colorado, but an image of the restaurant with its signature red-checked tablecloths and walls covered with framed pictures, awards and trophy heads. Here’s Thrillist’s post:


Buckhorn Exchange

Denver (Est. 1893)
The Colorado dining scene has come a long way since the Buckhorn Exchange opened. There’s practically a brewery and a buzzed-about restaurant on every street corner in Denver these days. But the Buckhorn Exchange is a glimpse into what Colorado restaurants used to be famous for — giant portions of steak that will feed you, your friends, and your friends’ friends. Beyond the steak, there’s also the opportunity to eat practically every animal that was on Noah’s ark. And eating here puts you in good company, as Teddy Roosevelt and Eisenhower both dined here.