Archive for March, 2008
Earth Hour Posted by
Saturday night marked Denver’s participation in “Earth Hour”. You can read about the specifics in this Denver Post article or this Rocky article. Denver residents were asked to turn off all non essential lights and appliances for one hour starting at 8pm.
As it turns out we had 7:15 pm reservations at Strings restaurant at 17th & Humboldt in the UpTown Neighborhood. Just before our appetizers were served the entire restaurant went dark - really dark. The only light I could see came from candles and flashlights. It actually made for a very nice intimate dinner and a great memory (we were celebrating my mom’s birthday).
What’s even better is that it was good for the environment. I had the Ahi Tuna Tartar and their Grilled Pork Loin. I also tried their PEI Mussels and Sauteed Crab Cakes. Everything was great - my tuna was served on a chilled glass block - and they made the table very festive for the occasion.
Did you do anything in the spirit of Earth Hour? Let me know!
Posted in Civic, Culture, Events, Dining | No Comments »
Walgreens Remodel Posted by
Walgreens is getting a facelift! The Walgreens at 16th & Stout is gutting the interior of their store in preparation for the upcoming Democratic National Convention. It does not appear that anything will be changed on the facade (I hope that’s not true) but the interior is in shambles (my request to take photos inside was denied).
Anecdotally I have heard that this location is one of the top grossing locations in the United States which is not surprising given its proximity to light rail and being on the mall. While this by no means is “sexy” or “cool” it is a good sign that retailers are starting to invest some money in their aging infrastructure.
This is evident at the Champa Center just up the block which I have blogged about before. I have also heard a rumor that the McDonald’s location at the top of the 16th St. Mall (16th & Cleveland) will undergo a massive remodel before the Democratic National Convention as well. A while back I did see that building permits had been pulled and posted but since then they have been taken down. I hope they take advantage of the second story and open that space up.
I would like it if more retailers upgraded their spaces which in turn would improve the overall feel on the mall and attract new national credit tenants. I know our retail mix will get better someday but I am not a patient person. If you know someone with H&M or even Old Navy let me know and I will give them a call.
Posted in Development | No Comments »
RiverClay Condominiums Posted by
Last Wednesday I got to go on a preview tour of the RiverClay Condominium project over in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. I don’t get over to that part of Downtown very much so it was great to see how much it is changing.
RiverClay is sited along one of the edges of Jefferson Park right next to where the Chili Pepper and Baby Doe’s Restaurants used to be before their demolition. Even though it is still covered in scaffolding it was easy to get sense of what the completed facade will look like.
Our first stop on the tour was a unit on the second floor which was just getting prepped for flooring. After that unit we went all the way up to the six floor to tour their model unit. It was quite a contract to walk through an active construction zone into the well appointed and decorated unit.
Of course the best thing about this project is the views - awesome! The unit had a great layout and I thought the choice of finishes were very nice. What was interesting to find out was that the unit we were in and in fact the entire building will be LEED certified. Once finished I think this project will really activate the park and surrounding neighborhood.
Posted in Development | 1 Comment »
Osteria Marco Posted by
On Saturday night we finally got to have dinner at Osteria Marco. I first wrote about Osteria in my November 5th post and mentioned it in a post last week as well in the 5280 Best Restaurant post. I had high expectations and was delighted by my experience.
Design wise they have done a phenomenal job in re-designing the space. I really loved the wide plank dark wood floors, exposed brick walls and the use of shear curtains to soften pillars and divide spaces. We got a nice intimate table off of the main dining room. I tried a martini called “Meat & Potatoes” which involved potato vodka, blue cheese stuffed olives and some prosciutto!
What was very nice was how reasonable all of the prices were. Our server advised us to order Antipasti first and then the rest of our meal. We decided to just do a bunch of small plates and try out their menu. We started with their Toasted Marcona Almonds, House Marinated Olives, Roasted Peppers and Marinated Mushrooms. All of the portions were just the right size and great for sharing. Everything was so good!
Our next course involved their chef’s selections of both meats and cheeses - the flavor combinations were very nice. For our “entree” we shared their Wild Mushroom & Robiola pizza which was one of the best pizzas I have had in a long time. The mushrooms combined with the thin crust and the white sauce was addictive - I ate way too much. We were too full to have anything else but there is plenty on the menu to go back for.
I really like that Larimer Square has a more reasonable option for dining and think it compliments all of the other restaurants very well. We used opentable.com to get reservations and they appeared very busy. I know we will probably go back again fairly soon.
Posted in Dining | 1 Comment »
5280 Best Restaurants Posted by
5280 Magazine just published their Best Restaurants issue and I am happy to report that numerous Downtown Denver eateries (many my favorites already) made their list! I have had the pleasure of trying most of them out but there are still some I have to make an effort to go check out.
In the “Twenty Under $30” category, Osteria Marco, Steuben’s and Tamayo made the cut. I have previously blogged about Steuben’s and I have had cocktails at Tamayo - great bloody marys. The more I read about Osteria Marco the more I want to try it - we walked in one night a few weeks ago and it was mobbed.
In their “Top 10 Brunch Spots” list, The Dish Bistro, Ellyngton’s, LoLa and Snooze were all featured. I first went to the Dish Bistro back when it was called The Bench. I had a great first date there and had subsequent anniversary and New Year’s celebrations there as well. We have been back once since the change over to the new name and it was pretty good. Some day I will make it to Ellyngton’s at the Brown Palace Hotel - maybe for Mother’s Day? I have tried to get into Snooze a few times but to no avail - I did get to attend a great party there after hours and enjoyed their food.
In the “Twenty Over $30” category, Bistro Vendome, The Capital Grille, Duo Restaurant, Fruition, Luca d’Italia, Mizuna, Potager, Restaurant Kevin Taylor, Rioja and Table 6 all made the list. I have to admit this category held most of my personal favorites and I have mentioned a number of these establishments in the blog before. Fruition is my newest favorite while Bistro Vendome is our favorite for weekend brunch and dinner.
In the “Eat at the Bar” category; 9th Door, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Vesta Dipping Grill, Vita and Zengo were all listed. I just went to the Oceanaire for Denver Restaurant Week and their bar is a lot of fun. While Zengo’s bar is nice, I really have enjoyed their food - their won ton ahi tuna tacos are to die for. I threw a holiday party at Vita and their views of the Denver skyline are great.
Featured in their “Where Should I Dine If…” side bar at the bottom of the feature, AIX, Panzano’s, Anthony’s Pizza & Pasta, and WaterCourse Foods all got mentioned. I have dined at both AIX and Panzano’s a number of times and always enjoyed myself. I walk by WaterCourse Foods regularly and it is always packed.
I was most excited that 5280 has named Alex Seidel (Executive Chef - Fruition) their Chef of the Year. I could not agree more as every meal I have had at Fruition has been superb. Every time we try to go back it is harder and harder to get a reservation.
Larimer Square won this contest hands down but Uptown, Capitol Hill, Highlands and the Central Platte Valley were all nicely represented. This year marks the most Downtown restaurants on the 5280 list in my recent memory and I cannot wait for more great establishments like those featured to open.
Posted in Dining | No Comments »
Downtown Habitat House Posted by
On Saturday I attended the dedication for a Habitat for Humanity house at 1162 Kalamath St. in the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood in Downtown Denver. I have volunteered time before at other Habitat projects but had never attended a dedication before.
The new house looked great and the family was very proud of their new home. I think projects like this have the power to be a ripple effect in helping to gentrify center city neighborhoods. Located right across from an elementary school, I think this new home will really compliment the surrounding area. Congratulations to the Henry Family!
Posted in Development | No Comments »
Friday night we got our last reservations for Denver Restaurant Week at Kevin Taylor’s At The Opera House. Located in the lower level of the Ellie Caulkins Opera House, which was recently completely remodeled, the dining room was gorgeous. The ceiling was made to look like a starry night and famous costumes from past opera performances lined the walls. The overall vibe was a sophisticated yet modern elegance.
We dined with another couple and I had the roasted pear salad to start, the charbroiled black angus tenderloin for my entree and the pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. Our service was great and the food was delicious - our steaks were cooked to perfection. Our friends tried another amazing looking dish, their pumpkin gnocchi. Having only previously walked through the space it was really fun to have a meal there.
To start off the evening we met our friends at one of our favorite spots - Peaks lounge. Perched 27 floors above the city, Peaks is located in the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center Hotel at the top of their shorter tower. The views of the mountains and Downtown from this spot are stunning. If you can I highly recommend visiting it whenever you have a chance - it’s a great place to take out of town visitors. After dark it is amazing.
After the Peaks Lounge we walked down to another great gathering spot - Limelight Supper Club & Lounge. I have blogged about Limelight a couple of times before and was excited to share it with our friends. I really loved how cool and modern the remodeled space felt. We have only had cocktails there up until now and plan on trying their cuisine soon. It was so convenient to just walk across the plaza for our dinner reservations at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. According to the bartenders they are mobbed before shows at the DCPA and during intermissions. A good time to try it out would be just after the evening’s performances begin.
Posted in Events, Dining | No Comments »