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The Denver Restaurant, Bar, and Nightlife Blog

Updated: 2018-04-24T12:52:53-06:00


Where to Find Tableside Service Around Denver



Bar carts, jamón carts, cannoli carts, and more

For better or worse, most of the trappings of traditional fine dining got scrapped some years back as restaurateurs began to take a more casual tack to service. (When was the last time you were presented with a plate beneath a silver cloche by someone wearing white gloves?) But one vestige of old-school showmanship remains: the tableside preparation. In fact, carts are enjoying a bit of a comeback. Here’s where to catch them in action around Denver — and note that, as of May 8, Super Mega Bien will join the list.

Note: Restaurants are ordered geographically rather than ranked. Have another favorite spot for tableside service? Leave a note in the comments or send us a tip.

Santa Fe Cookie Co. Is Bringing $1 Cookies to Golden Triangle



Plus more food news to know today

COOKIE NEWS: Santa Fe Cookie Co. will open a second store by the art museums in May. The cookie company known for its 2-for-$1 treats along the 16th Street Mall will add a location at 144 West 12th Avenue, inside the Bannock building, The Know reports. Founded by Debbie Kuehn in 1986, Santa Fe was taken over by Kuehn’s niece, Alexis McLean, last fall. Kuehn passed away in June. The new Santa Fe Cookie Co. will carry on the “cookie lady’s” legacy and add a gallery space to showcase McLean’s passion for art. [DENVER POST]

COCKTAIL NEWS: By the owners of Carbon Cafe & Bar and Habit Doughnut Dispensary, a new all-day cocktail lounge is coming to Platte Street. The Dead Battery Club opens Friday inside the WeWork building at 2420 17th Street. It’s a cocktail, coffee, and juice bar (see also beer on tap and wines by the glass) with Mediterranean food and baked goods. The space will open daily starting at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends. [303]

FULL-STRENGTH BEER NEWS: Just 15 days before the end of Colorado’s 2018 legislative session, a proposed bill that would regulate the sale of full-strength beer in grocery stores in the state remains in limbo. Denver Business Journal reports that Senate Bill 243 went up for debate on Monday, but a vote on it was ultimately postponed. The bill would require new beer-selling grocery stores to be at least 1,500 feet away from current liquor stores. And it would require clerks in the new beer-selling grocery stores to be at least 21-years-old. Legislation was passed in 2016 allowing grocery chains to begin selling full-strength beer in more than one Colorado location by 2019. [DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL]

PRIME NOW NEWS: In other grocery news, Amazon began delivering groceries to Denverites for free on Tuesday. The Prime Now service offers free two-hour delivery of products from Whole Foods Markets, including flowers, produce, meat, seafood, and dry goods. To qualify, the order must be placed by an Amazon Prime member and cost more than $35. One-hour delivery is also available for $7.99.

Western Daughters Departs From The Source, Expands LoHi Operation



The whole-animal butcher shop is growing its flagship store as well as class offerings

After four years operating in RiNo, Western Daughters Butcher Shoppe is pulling out of The Source and expanding its flagship LoHi location. The 5-year-old meat purveyor will convert an office space behind its existing butcher shop at 3326 Tejon Street. In the expanded store, customers will find more dry goods and educational programming, in addition to the butcher’s animal cuts, bone broths, and deli meats.

Western Daughters at The Source closes on Saturday, April 28.

“We just loved the transparency that (The Source) was bringing to Denver’s food scene,” said Western Daughters co-owner Kate Kavanaugh. Now she and partner Josh Curtiss want to “streamline” their efforts, though, and make the LoHi Western Daughters into a primary production facility as well as a community “beacon of health and wellness.”

At the LoHi shop, they’re focusing on overall wellness, from bone broths made in-house and sold in to-go cups, to sausages stuffed with beets and garlic or lemon, ginger, and turmeric. In addition to traditional butchery classes, they’ll also teach cooking and eating with restrictive diets. Kavanaugh and Curtiss have started a subscription-based meat club, too, where customers can pick up boxes with a selection of their products at various places around the metro area. In their store, other food items, such as probiotic Coconut Cult yogurts and Pearl Butters expand on this wellness vision.

“We’ve always said food has the potential to heal land,” Kavanaugh said of working with sustainable ranchers to source lamb, pork, and beef. “Now we want to focus on how it can heal bodies and communities.”

Western Daughters will continue to operate daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 3326 Tejon Street. More information about the meat club can be found on their website. Corrida is the latest restaurant to feature the butcher’s dry-aged, grass-fed beef on its menu.

Denver-Based Choice Market Expands Along the Front Range



The modern food store is heading first to Mariposa

Six months after debuting in downtown Denver, Choice Market has new investors and plans to expand along the Front Range before going national. The modern food store that sells local products and made-to-order meals will open a second shop early next year in the new Denver Housing Authority headquarters at 10th Avenue and Osage Street.

“Affordable housing and availability of fresh food has long been an issue for many Denver communities,” said Choice Market founder and CEO Mike Fogarty. “Our vision for Choice has always been to curate a product selection based on the needs of the neighborhoods we serve and allow our customers to dictate what goes on the shelf, not vice versa.”

Mariposa will be the first stop for Choice Market’s expansion, with at least three more stores planned along the Front Range, Fogarty said. He’s also eyeing the Midwest and Pacific Northwest for markets in need of healthy groceries and prepared foods inside traditional convenience store settings. To handle the growth, Fogarty sold a minority stake in Choice Market to M3 Ventures. Based in New York, the venture capital firm also owns a share of brands such as Guideboat apparel and Ramona canned wine spritzers.

Choice Market opened its first location last fall at 1770 North Broadway. The store sells organic and locally sourced groceries, such as Elevation Meats and Rosenberg’s Bagels, and meals from curry noodle bowls to breakfast tortas. Customers can also find beer and kombucha on tap and fresh-brewed Curvus coffee.

Five Places Worth Trying This Weekend



Two days of sustenance and pick-me-ups

ALL DAY: Watercourse Foods

A plant-based diet doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor and substance for bland boredom. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, ingredients are prepared fresh and crafted into healthy dishes and comfort foods at this Uptown icon. Morning options include the skillet hash, country-fried seitan steak with gravy and hot chili agave nectar, and the loaded breakfast burrito with scrambled tofu. Later on, the tomato curry soup pairs well with a series of sandwiches or seitan wings with barbecue sauce.


For date night, a night out with friends or a solo adventure, try this swanky but unbuttoned lounge that doesn’t take itself too seriously, serving Miller High Life, caviar, and potato chips. Though the signature drink is the Helix negroni, a house favorite, try the other cheeky cocktails such as “an interesting single man,” with reposado tequila and jalapeno-infused agave syrup, or the “come + get it,” with vodka, St. Germain, and a citrus twist.


This family-owned Jewish deli has quick pick-up counter service and booth seating. No frills, but traditional preparations lend themselves to items such as the chopped liver, chicken matzo ball soup, and stacked sandwiches spotlighting brisket, pastrami, and corned beef.


This quaint cafe uses locally sourced ingredients and organic produce in an intimate setting, with a patio that beckons hungry visitors craving some sunshine. Serving brunch, lunch, and an early supper in Wash Park, meals are met by coffee and tea, wine and beer, and an assortment of cocktails. Iconic salads include the honey chicken chop with carrot miso dressing. The sandwich selection includes roast turkey with fig jam and the curry chicken with currants and cashew tarragon pesto.


Though the menu changes often enough to keep Denverites on their toes, this petite eatery owned by a husband-wife team is deliberate with a quick wine list and small plates. For this weekend, fare includes a waldorf salad, cornmeal waffle, crispy sweetbreads, and octopus a la plancha.

The Ramble Hotel, Death and Co., and Super Mega Bien Are About to Open in RiNo


They’re three of the most anticipated openings of 2018, and they finally have dates and details Prior to opening its doors at the end of the month, RiNo’s The Ramble Hotel has made quite a splash both locally and on the national level. Its restaurant, Super Mega Bien, was listed as one of Eater’s 19 most anticipated openings (around the country) of 2018. Its bar, Death & Co., is the first outpost by the same name of the famed New York cocktail destination. Together with those food and beverage offerings, the 50-room boutique hotel at the corner of 25th and Larimer Streets has already made it to the pages of Architectural Digest, Travel & Leisure, Vogue, and The New York Times, among other publications. Now the wait is nearly over. The Ramble is accepting reservations for Monday, April 30 and beyond. Death & Co. will open to the public on Tuesday, May 1. And Super Mega Bien will debut there the following week, by Tuesday, May 8. Super Mega Bien is the much anticipated second restaurant by Denver chef Dana Rodriguez, of Work & Class fame. At this new spot, Rodriguez will offer pan-Latin dim sum, with carts of small plates circulating the dining room, along with bigger, shareable dishes. Diners can expect Brazilian fish stew, Puerto Rican mofongo, and Mexican barbecued mixiote, among other regional specialties. “Denver is growing so much,” Rodriguez told Eater back in January. “We’re working to keep it affordable, so all people can come and eat a good meal.” With Death & Co., drinkers will have a few options from these 11-year New York cocktail veterans. The Death and Co. Denver lobby bar will be customers’ main point of access, along with a breakfast and lunch cafe run by the same team, called DC/AM. Later in May, a 20-seat “immersive cocktail experience” known as Suite 6A will also open by the same team inside The Ramble. It sounds similar in style to L.A.’s Walker Inn, a 20-some-seat, back-room bar started by some of Death & Co.’s owners and located inside the Hotel Normandie. That bar offers reservation-based cocktail tastings in addition to a la carte items. As for The Ramble itself, the decor is inspired by 17th Century French salon society. Chandeliers and makeup vanities will add to the guest rooms, and their bars will be stocked with Death and Co.-approved bottles and mixers. The hotel’s courtyard bar and outdoor seating area, The Garden, will open in the coming weeks, with room for nearly 100 people. And the Vauxhall ballroom, theater, and music venue will offer space for another 60 patrons. Stay tuned for menus, photos, and more opening information. Updating the Progress of RiNo’s Super Mega Bien [EDEN] The 19 Most Anticipated Restaurants of 2018 [EATER] [...]

The Guide to Eating and Drinking on 4/20



From infused drinks to edible treats and cooking classes

It’s that time of year again, the previously semi-mysterious now highly ubiquitous “holiday” of 4/20. While natives flock to their favorite spots to celebrate and neophytes venture out to discover new places, there is always room to revisit a favorite classic or be surprised by something different.

From coffee shops brewing CBD-infused cups and breweries pouring hemp IPAs to sushi and joint-rolling classes and staycation bud and breakfasts, Colorado has it all. Here are nine food and drink-driven hot spots for 4/20 adventurers looking to eat, drink, and indulge in all of Colorado’s legal cannabis goodness.

A New Taco Shop by the Owner of ChoLon Is Coming to Avanti



BorraCho Tacos sort of translates to drunk tacos, and other things to learn today

DRUNK ON TACOS NEWS: Early next month, Denver chef Lon Symensma will replace his Asian street food stall Kaya Kitchen with a taco shop called BorraCho Tacos at Avanti Food & Beverage. Loosely translated to “drunk tacos,” the shop will serve boundary-pushing tacos that are “drunk with flavor,” according to Symensma. Traditional varieties, such as al pastor with spit-roasted pork, also will be available. Kaya will open in a brick-and-mortar location this summer.

KITCHEN REBOOT NEWS: The original Kitchen in Boulder is now open again after a week-long renovation that overhauled its menu, kitchen equipment, and some restaurant decor. After 14 years in business, this early adopter of the farm-to-table movement has updated its space with new chandeliers and bar seating and dishes such as a grilled piri piri chicken sandwich, blistered beets, and Gulf shrimp hushpuppies. The new menu items (and some classics) by culinary director Meg Grace Larcom are now available on Pearl Street.

CITY O’ SALE NEWS: After closing his updated Campus Lounge last month, local restaurateur Dan Landes has also sold his flagship restaurant City, O’ City and its neighboring Make, Believe Bakery. Having already sold his first restaurant, WaterCourse Foods, Landes is getting out of the business in Colorado, Westword reports. Lauren Roberts and Jennifer Byers now own the two restaurants, and Landes will head to Mexico with his two sons to renovate a hostel. [Westword]

SLOW FOOD NEWS: For the second year in a row, Slow Food Nations will return to Denver, bringing with it big-name chefs such as Massimo Bottura, Rick Bayless, and Alon Shaya. The educational festival will take place around Larimer Square from July 13-15. Both free and ticketed events will be offered, including workshops, tastings, panel discussions, dinners, and an open-air marketplace. Tickets and more information are now available on the Slow Food Nations website. [303]