2014 is looking to be the year of restaurant openings in Denver, and that trend continues this week with a local favorite expanding to Highland’s Ranch. Discover where you can now grab an Elk Jalapeno Cheddar dog, plus find out which Denver bartenders got kudos for their creativity at the Most Imaginative Bartender Competition & more. 

 

Upcoming Events

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On the Farm, Off the Hook Dinner

When: Wednesday August 13th 6-9pm & Wednesday September 10th 6-9pm

Where: August: Sprout City Farms – Mountair Park Community Farm (5620 West 14th Avenue in Lakewood & September: Denver Urban Gardens (1031 33rd Street)

Cost: $65/person

The Low Down: Sure, Farm to Table is definitely a restaurant industry buzzword, but for an experience that truly lives up to the term, grab a ticket to the On the Farm, Off the Hook dinner series from nonprofit Heroes Like Us. This week’s installment will feature dishes like goat cheese polenta cake and housemade summer squash ravioli by DiFranco’s and the newly opened BSide dessert by The Inventing Room. Each course is also paired with drinks from a local winery, brewery and distillery.

 

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Gourmet on Gore

When: Labor Day Weekend (August 29-September 1)

Where: Various locations in Vail

Cost: Tickets for the various events are sold ala carte and vary in price (though many feature free admission). Click here for a full rundown of all the events and ticket prices for each.

The Low Down: With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, it’s time to secure your plans, and Vail is an enticing choice thanks to the 9th annual Gourmet on Gore. This culinary kick-off to fall in Vail offers four days of food-fueled events like  open-air tastings from local chefs, a kid’s culinary corner, and a brunch on Monday to revive you for the week ahead.

 

Behind the Bar

Ben's Cocktail_The Recluse

Denver’s Most Imaginative Bartender Competition

The Low Down: Last week, ten of Colorado’s most talented bartenders gathered at the Four Seasons to show off their creativity to 500 thirsty attendees at this annual event sponsored by Bombay Sapphire and GQ magazine. The verdict?

La Biblioteca’s Ben Carrington took the popular vote with The Recluse, a concoction that combines Bombay Sapphire gin, smoked hibiscus syrup and sparkling pear cider, served in a glass rimmed with fennel pollen and lime salt and garnished with one thin pear slice.

The Judges Winners:

  • First Place: Tacy Rowland from BOL (Vail)
  • Second Place: Glenn Pollak from Oak at Fourteenth
  • Third Place: Ken Kodys from Breckenridge Brewery Group

 

New Restaurant Openings

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Photo Courtesy of Biker Jim’s

Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs Expands

When: The new location is officially open to the public NOW, hours are Sunday-Thursday 11am-9pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm

Where: 1601 Mayberry Dr. Ste. 103 in Highlands Ranch

The Low Down: Biker Jim’s has been a downtown favorite for years. From the cart that still frequents many stops around town including Auraria campus (where I, among many others, first tasted the joy that is an elk jalapeno cheddar dog with cream cheese and caramelized onions) to its first brick and mortar location off Larimer, Denver is crazy about these gourmet dogs. Now, Highlands Ranch residents can get in on the fun with Biker Jim’s newest location open for business. Stop in for one of the many creative options like the bacon-tastic bat dog (don’t worry, there’s no actual bat-meat included) and the addictive charred tahini cauliflower.

 

Nickel Denver, Nickel Denver review, Hotel Teatro Restaurant Review

Photo by Brittany Werges

Nickel

When: Nickel had its grand opening party last week on August 7th

Where: Inside Hotel Teatro, 1100 14th Street in Denver

The Low Down: Formerly Restaurant Kevin Taylor, this once white-table cloth, dress code only establishment has received a serious face lift. With a serious hipster vibe, Nickel’s interior seems  to appeal to Denver’s younger clientele. Their focus on barrel-aged cocktails and uncomplicated dishes confirms their motivation to downplay the location’s once stuffy past. Hopefully this newest project from Jake Linzinmeir with Blau + Associates will revitalize the space and breathe new life into Denver’s theater district. Go here to check out the menu.

 

Dish of the Week

Hot Chicken plate, August 2014

Photo by Lauren Hendrick

Hot Chicken

Where: Lou’s Food Bar, 1851 W 38th Ave – and look for an Asian version of this dish on special at Bones, 701 Grant Street

When: Available now at Lou’s and on Wednesdays at Bones as part of the new Bones Happy Fantastic Meal: an adult take on the Happy Meal

The Low Down: When Frank Bonanno traveled to Nashville earlier this summer along with Bones chef Johnny Depierro, they got hooked on a classic: Hot Chicken. After tweaking their recipes to perfection, they’ve brought this Nashville-inspired addictive to Denver. Head to Lou’s Food Bar for the dish available in 1/2 and whole chickens, or try Bones on Wednesdays for their Asian-spin on hot chicken served bite-size along with vegetable tempura, a can of beer, a Bones soft serve and a toy (the Happy Meal – for adults).

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