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US Foods chef Scott McCurdy demonstrates local food trends on the set at KDVR Fox-31

September 5, 2013


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The phenomenal Railbenders rocking the patio at Elway’s Cherry Creek


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Penny Parker On The Town: Hotel Monaco and Panzano Restaurant celebrating civil unions

In celebration of Colorado passing the Civil Unions Act, long-time supporters of the LGBT community, Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco Denver and Panzano Restaurant will award one couple with an all-expenses paid “Civil Unions Celebration” for up to 50 guests at the hotel and award-winning restaurant.

Everything for the ceremony and reception will be included, and the total package will be worth nearly $20,000. The package includes flowers, photographer, dance floor and honeymoon suite.

Panzano executive chef Elise Wiggins said, “This amazing occasion calls for an amazing menu. I will personally work with the winning couple to create a menu that reflects this historic occasion and their personal dreams.”

Couples interested in entering the giveaway should send their love story in 100 words or less, plus a photo, to robin.ewing@hotelmonaco.com by April 26. A panel of judges will review the submissions and select up to five finalists.

The winning couple will be announced on May 15, and the ceremony will take place before Nov. 30. Interested parties can go to www.monaco-denver.com/civil-union-celebration-giveaway.html for contest details and rules.

Manager Josh Mayo adds a personal touch for Panzano Restaurant guests. Panzano and Hotel Monaco Denver will award one couple with an all-expenses paid "Civil Unions Celebration" for up to 50 guests at the hotel and award-winning restaurant. (photo courtesy of Panzano)


Clothing store closing

Mario DiLeone’s men’s clothing store at 2820 E. Third Avenue (http://cherrycreeknorth.com/shop/details/mario-dileone-mens-store/) is closing. His women’s store in Cherry Creek North and his store in Aspen will remain open. He opened the Aspen store three years ago.

Mario Di Leone, formerly Uomo Elegante, opened in 1979 in Boulder, by an ex-architect with a vision to convert Colorado men from wearing jeans and T-shirts to high fashion Italian clothing.

The success was immense. So in 1981 he added a ladies collection and opened his second store in Cherry Creek. Being an architect and having respect for proportion and design he decided to go over the top and started working with master couturiers such as Gianfranco Ferre and Gianni Versace.

Derby Day

Join the fans and friends of Mariel, the darling women’s boutique at 3000 E. Third Ave., and Castles Home Décor next door for a Derby Day Party, from 2 to 6 p.m. May 4, a benefit for the Volunteers of America Guild.

Watch the Kentucky Derby while shopping at these two beautiful boutiques and enjoy music and mint juleps. In the spirit of the Derby, wear your fanciest hat. Prizes will be given for the smartest chapeaux.

Ten percent of purchases that day will be donated to The Guild Brandon Career Closet. RSVP to Mariel, 303-623-1152, or to Castles Home Décor at 303-989-0801.

New exec chef at The Walnut Room

The Walnut Room, a Denver-based pizzeria and music venue, has appointed Jonah Munson as executive chef. Munson will handle menu creation and will oversee the kitchens at The Walnut Room in Denver’s River North neighborhood and the South Broadway location.

His appointment marks the first time that The Walnut Room has employed an executive chef. Munson, a restaurant industry veteran, most recently served as Marczyk’s Fine Foods bakery manager.

“With his experience and culinary expertise, Jonah is a perfect fit for The Walnut Room,” said Leslie Odell, director of operations of The Walnut Room. “He really understands our business and will allow us to expand our menu to include exciting new offerings.”

An Atlanta native, Munson has been baking since college. For more information, go to www.thewalnutroom.com.

Jonah Munson is the new executive chef of The Walnut Room. Brunson most recently served as Marczyk's Fine Foods bakery manager. (photo courtesy of The Walnut Room)


More restaurant news…

* The Aurora Summit at Havana and Yale in Aurora is running a free six-ounce lobster tail promotion through May 9.

Receive a free petite lobster tail with a purchase of any Summit steak entrée at lunch or dinner all week long.

Happy hour, every day from 3 to 7 p.m., features 50 percent off all cocktails, beer, wine and premium brands. Piano bar entertainment from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

More information at www.aurorasummit.com.

* Coohills, the French-inspired eatery at 1400 Wewatta, has added children’s pricing for kids age 10 and under (at $10 apiece) on the Mother’s Day Buffet Station Brunch.

The brunch is buffet-style with these stations: fresh-baked croissants and granola, eggs or omelets featuring red wine poached organic Eggs Benedict, frittatas and quiche, pit ham and roasted turkey and pastries and desserts.

The brunch runs from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on May 12. Cost is $30 per adult plus tax, gratuity and additional beverages. Prices includes coffee and hot tea. Reservations at www.coohills.com/reservations or by calling 303-623-5700.

* EDGE Restaurant inside The Four Seasons Hotel Denver (14th and Arapahoe) is introducing a new seasonal menu that highlights fresh spring ingredients. Many of the EDGE popular menu items have been updated with the new finishing touches that are reflective of the season.

New menu highlights include the EDGE version of a Manhattan with halibut, crab, tomato and grilled ciabatta, and the chilled English pea soup with spring mint and lemon crème fraiche.

Appetizers include seared scallops with crimson lentils and English peas, and foie gras PB&J with cashew butter, passion fruit and brioche.

More than 20 items on the EDGE diner menu are gluten free, including the Kobe Beef or Ahi Tuna Hot Stone appetizer, the roasted baby candy striped beet salad, the arugula and watercress salad and several side dishes.

New desserts include the mountain berry panna cotta with honey-lime blackberries and sugar crisp, the EDGE snowball with coconut ice cream, strawberry meringue and chocolate flourless cake, as well as the the red velvet doughnettes with an orange glaze and cinnamon cream cheese dip.

EDGE also has a new chef – Meredith Manee who joins the restaurant from Culina Modern Italian Restaurant at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills.

Manee worked for Culina since its opening in 2010. She will work alongside the hotel’s opening executive chef Simon Purvis.

* Lechuga’s Italian Restaurant & Lounge, the red-sauce joint at 3609 Tejon St., is for sale for $3 million. A gal pal of mine, Juanita Chacon, who loved that place, has the listing. Contact Chacon at 720-297-3005 or at juanitachacon@remax.net.

Westword founder and editor Patty Calhoun, has the story at http://blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2013/04/a_river_of_red_sauce.php.


Note: Cold Crush, the restaurant/nightclub I told you about recently that was supposed to open with a party last week at 2700 Larimer St. in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood, has delayed its opening due to construction issues.

Stay tuned for a new opening date.

Eavesdropping on a woman watching the news: “If you’re a criminal, don’t get tattoos. That will give you up.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: Elway’s on the patio is the place to be during the summer

The hottest patio of the season is Elway’s at Cherry Creek – no doubt, no argument.

Elway’s Cherry Creek summer concerts return with live music, cocktails, the signature menu and beautiful Colorado evenings in the Elway’s backyard starting June 19.

These wildly popular outdoor concerts play each Wednesday night from mid-June through late August including the return of the Railbenders to the Summer Music Series and a special July 3 celebration of Independence Day for 2013 featuring local legends The Samples along with special food and cocktails.

A combination of last year’s favorite bands, the return of one high-profile favorite and a few new acts are on this year’s lineup. perennial favorite The Railbenders bring their outlaw country sound to the Elway’s patio June 26.

Appearing this year are several tribute bands including Message in a Bottle, covering The Police; Forever in Blue Jeans, channeling Neil Diamond standards ; and Under a Blood Red Sky, who rock out U2 hits.

The brotherly harmonies of Something Underground takes stage on July 10. And newcomers, Justin Lane Band, will bring hard-hitting country to the backyard while all-girl band The Trishas deal a combination of tight four-part harmonies in an eclectic soulful sound.

Fans of funk will enjoy Funkiphino, and That Eighties Band promises their namesake rock.

The full schedule is:

June 19 – Message in a Bottle

June 26 – The Railbenders

July 3 – The Samples

July 10 – Something Underground

July 17 – The Justin Lane Band

July 24 – The Trishas

July 31 – That Eighties Band

Aug. 7 – Forever in Blue Jeans

Aug. 14 – Funkiphino

Aug. 21 – Under a Blood Red Sky.

Elway’s backyard opens at 5 p.m., bands play from 6:30 to 9 p.m. For more information, go to www.elways.com or call 303-399-5353.

Tending Tender Belly

Tender Belly, a Colorado-based company that provides the finest pork and cured meats, are selling their products in Tony’s Markets throughout the area Denver Metro locations.

Chef Mick Rosacci of Tony’s Markets said, “Tender Belly is hands down the finest line of pork products I have ever tasted. We’re honored to have some of the area’s savviest foodies shopping our markets, and they’ve made it abundantly clear they can taste the superior quality of these artisan pork products and want them available every day.”

Prices are:

Maple bacon in bulk for $8.98 per pound; habanero bacon in bulk for $9.98 per pound, porterhouse chops for $14.99 per pound, Berkshire boneless shoulder roast for $9.98 per pound and ham for $7.98 per pound.

Tapping in Taphouse

This week Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center announced the grand opening of its $5 million hotel renovation which includes the new signature restaurant, Root25 Taphouse & Kitchen, as well as a redesigned lobby, guest reception and public spaces.

The celebration includes culinary showcases with Colorado purveyors of local and regional ingredients reflected in the new Root25 Taphouse & Kitchen restaurant concept.

The gastro-pub menu and beer selections give a nod to historic recipes from Colorado pubs, bistros and watering holes. The restaurant space also features several private dining areas that can accommodate groups of 10 to 30 people.

“We are excited to introduce Root25 Taphouse & Kitchen to our guests and the local community,” said Ben Hardaway, director of food and beverage at Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center. “The Taphouse is all about the beers. We feature Colorado craft beer such as Avery and O’Dell’s, as well as craft spirits from the region. The Root25 Taphouse & Kitchen team works with some of Colorado’s best-known local purveyors, including Lombardi Brothers, Haystack Mountain Goat Daily and Udi’s artisan bread.

Haven of hope

Father Woody’s Haven of Hope will honor Rev. Michael J. Sheeran as the 23rd president of Regis University with the 2013 Father Woody’s Humanitarian Award.

The award will be presented to Rev. Sheeran during the third annual Haven of Hope fundraising dinner benefiting the underserved men, women and children in metro Denver.

The dinner will be held May 9 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the new History Colorado Center, 1200 Broadway. Master of ceremonies is Denver’s Channel 7 investigative reporter John Ferrugia.

The event includes catered cuisine and silent and live auctions. Tickets are $150 per person, and the deadline is May 1. For more information: Don Gallegos at 303-550-5788; or don.gallegos@gmail.com.

Kachina restaurant rocks

Spring is in the air at Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster. The doors to the patio are open bartenders are whipping up fresh margaritas and guests are enjoying thee sunshine and cool breezes.

To celebrate the change in season, Kachina will host a spring planting moon party on April 26, featuring live music on the patio, hands-on planting for children in the Taos Lounge, and a celebratory menu featuring seeds for the weekend.

From April 26 through April 28, the chef and butcher menu will be replaced by a seasonal seed planting menu in honor of spring. Dishes will include organic greens with chia seed vinaigrette, watermelon radish and candied sunflower seeds; grilled gulf shrimp with pepita seed mole, pickled cabbage and corn tortillas and grilled pork tenderloin with corn and Anaheim chile, flaxseed pudding and pasado demi-glace.

For reservations and more information go to www.kachinagrill.com or call 303-410-5813. Kachina Southwestern Grill is located inside the Westin Westminster at 10600 Westminster Blvd.

Eavesdropping on a couple celebrating the end of tax season on April 15 at Earl’s in Cherry Creek: The waitress asked the gentleman who was drinking wine, “Can I bring you another glass?”
“Certainly. Can you put something in it?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: Duck Dynasty stars flying into Castle Rock

The Rock Christian Academy in Castle Rock has bagged Phil and Willie Robertson, two of the stars of the wildly popular “Duck Dynasty,” A&E’s reality series, for a speaking engagement and fundraiser beginning at 6:30 p.m. May 19 at The Douglas County Events Center.

Event organizer and Rock Academy parent Michael Brumbaugh took dead aim at the Robertson clan months ago by contacting the family’s agent and refusing to give up. His persistence paid off.

Phil and Willie will speak about “Faith, testimony, business, the importance of raising children with biblical principles and a Christian education.”

“We need to do a big event every year to continue to fund the scholarship fund,” Brumbaugh said. “I thought about it for a couple of months, then started watching ‘Duck Dynasty’. I thought, ‘These guys are great! I wonder if they do speaking engagements since they come from a Christian family?’”

The persistent parent hounded the agent until he got a “confirmed” answer. “When your heart is in something and you believe in something as strong as the Rock Academy, and how God is moving in that school, you fight for what you believe in,” he said. “This year God blessed us with ‘Duck Dynasty.’”

With 8.6 million viewers, A&E’s “Duck Dynasty” is the highest-rated reality show on cable TV. The money raised from the event’s ticket sales will help fund a 10,000-square-foot expansion of the existing building, build the school’s playground and provide financial aid and scholarships to families who can’t afford the $4,700 annual tuition.

VIP tickets (with a pre-event meet and greet) are $150; other tickets are $60 for general admission to $80 for “gold seating” right behind the VIP seats.

 “Duck Dynasty” stars Willie Robertson, top, and his dad, Phil, above, will speak at the Rock Christian Academy in Castle Rock on May 19. (A&E network photos)


Die-hard dancing Dyer

He didn’t win, but he nearly died trying. Denver philanthropist and Bouquets flowers owner BJ Dyer donned his dancing shoes and black tux to dance with partner and Colorado Ballet’s professional ballerina Casey Dalton Saturday night to compete in Dancing With Our Stars, part of Balletto di Gala, a benefit for the Colorado Ballet’s education and outreach programs.

Community leaders were paired with pro dancers to give a short performance of traditional ballroom dances such as tango, waltz, samba and more.

Each pair spent roughly six to eight hours in rehearsal and dance lessons to create a routine. The dancing amateurs were: Holly Baroway, VP investments, Stifel Nicolaus and Company, Inc.; Amelia Earhart, 9News reporter; Kathy Konopka, Denver Ballet Guild incoming president; Terri Lombardi, actress/wife of CBS4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi; Joe Maslowski, Colorado manager, Key Private Bank; Scott Sax, VP First Choice Bank/First Choice Investments; Douglas Tisdale, Cherry Hills Village mayor and Dyer.

Baroway and Colorado Ballet dancer Jesse Marks won the coveted “mirror ball trophy,” so to speak.

Though Dyer didn’t end up a dancing trophy, he did leave with his dignity in tact.

“The choreographers (said) that I had the most complicated choreography of the eight dances, as well as the most tricks (I flipped Casey over my arm, swept her through my legs, bounced her off both hips, caught her in a mid-air jump, etc. etc.),” Dyer said. “This is work for a 25-year-old, and I’m twice that. It was loads of fun, but the body didn’t recover as quickly after rehearsals as I expected. Yup … dang middle age.”

Nonetheless, Dyer played the Fred Astaire part by dancing jive to “Puttin’ on The Ritz” (the remix disco version) at The Ritz-Carlton Denver.

“The biggest winner was The Ballet, raising $140,000,” Dyer said. “I have a raised respect for the dancers and their talent. Dancing is tough on the body.”

Denver philanthropist and Bouquets flowers owner BJ Dyer, right, teamed with ballerina Casey Dalton Saturday night in Dancing With Our Stars, part of Balletto di Gala, a benefit for the Colorado Ballet’s education and outreach programs.


Dine out on April 25 

Denver-native and Project Runway All-Star winner Mondo Guerra is Dining Out for Life in Denver on April 25, and so should you.

“Dining Out for Life is our opportunity to celebrate friends, food and being truly fabulous in helping others,” says the designer, who revealed his HIV-positive status on Runway and has since become a forerunner in HIV/AIDS advocacy.

With 300 participating restaurants all over metro-Denver and Boulder donating 25 percent of the day’s sales to Project Angel Heart, there are no excuses for not dining out. So grab your family and friends and make plans to go out for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on April 25.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, go to http://www.diningoutforlife.com/denver/restaurants.

Mittleman’s da man

Carl Mittleman, regional vice president for Aramark Sports and Entertainment, a provider of hospitality services at more than 150 sports and entertainment venues throughout North America (including the Pepsi Center and Coors Field), has been selected as a recipient of the “SportsBusiness Journal” Forty Under 40 Award in the Class of 2013.

The prestigious award recognizes the best and the brightest of the rising generation in sports business under the age of 40. Mittleman received the award at a ceremony earlier this month in Naples, Fla.

“Carl’s passion for and dedication to enhancing the fan experience have been instrumental in helping position Aramark as a leading hospitality partner in the sports and entertainment industry,” said Marc Bruno, president of Aramark Sports and Entertainment and a member of the Forty Under 40 Class of 2010. “This well-deserved honor not only recognizes Carl’s industry contributions, but celebrates Aramark’s commitment to nurturing talent, promoting innovation and delivering meaningful client results.”

Mittleman has spent his entire sports and entertainment career with Aramark. As a regional vice president, he is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and management at more than 60 sports venues, amphitheaters and convention centers spanning the Midwest from Colorado to Ohio.

A pairing a mother can love

Treat the mother in your life to laughs and lunch (rather, brunch, but it doesn’t rhyme) on Mother’s Day May 12.

Comedy Works South in the Landmark development is having a special brunch (www.lucyrestaurant.com) followed by a matinee show with Stand-up comedian and my former Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post colleague Sam Adams.

Reservations: www.comedyworks.com/comedians/706.

Eavesdropping on a wife and husband: “What are you making for breakfast on International Women’s Day?”

“I’m making you an apron so that you can put it on and make me breakfast.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. I’m now the social-media liaison for the Mile High Chapter of the Colorado Restaurant Association, so read my latest restaurant news there. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com.

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