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MOUTHING OFF

Subsisting: Finally, downtown Denver has a sub shop worth raving about--Mangia Subs, which opened a few weeks ago at 1730 Glenarm Place. In addition to the fact that owner Dave Cavalaro uses only nitrate-free meats, all the sandwich ingredients are top-drawer in the flavor department. I had a sausage sub ($5.65) with tart peppers, tons of spinach and enough garlic to make me smile (but not to make my co-workers frown). The twelve-ounce glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade ($1.75) was so good I bought another for the road. Even better: I could have had everything delivered. Mangia will drop off food to a limited area, as long as the order fits the three-sub minimum. Get six--they'll go fast.

Free advertising: One cuisine that just hasn't been able to get a cossack's toehold here in Denver is Russian. Although very few Russian restaurants have lasted (okay, okay, the Little Russian Cafe in Larimer Square keeps going strong), for every one that closes, another opens faster than you can say "iced vodka." The latest is Moscow Nights, at 9250 East Hampden Avenue, in the building that oh-so-briefly held Roma's Pizza and, previously, Little Moscow. This "Moscow" purveys $35 black caviar and beef tongue with horseradish as appetizers; the usual borscht, stroganoff and chicken Kiev also appear on the menu...A smorgasbord of dishes awaits at Reflections, 2045 Sheridan in Edgewater. The restaurant is housed in the Sloans Lake Events Center and features a beautiful nighttime view of the lake and the city; the general manager is Tom Mirabito, who won fans as chef at the now-defunct Cafe Milan. Mirabito claims responsibility for Reflections' menu choices, which include swordfish Siciliano and shrimp scampi...Oregon wants Coloradans to like its wines, and to help them along, a slew of Oregon wines will be presented at a public tasting at the Westin Hotel Ballroom from 5:30-8 p.m. on November 2. I and a bunch of other media types who couldn't think of an excuse fast enough will be there to offer recipes we've created for the wines. The cost is $18; call 572-9100 or just show up.

Bird word: It's almost turkey time, so area restaurants are revealing their Thanksgiving plans. One intriguing idea comes from Anastasia Vieux Carre, at 5946 South Holly in Greenwood Village, which will offer two seatings for the day of gratitude, one at 11:30 a.m., the other at 2:30 p.m. For $39.95 per person, you get the whole deal: turkey or ham, stuffing, taters, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet-potato pie and either pumpkin or pecan pie for dessert. The bonus is that you also get the leftovers from your meal, just as if you had cooked--but without making a hot, messy kitchen. Downtown, McCormick's Fish House & Bar, at 1659 Wazee, will do its usual buffet from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for $16.95 per person, $6.95 kids ten and under. In addition to the traditional menu, McCormick's will also be offering cedar-plank salmon with roasted shallots and cabernet sauce. And even though we lost the good man nearly two years ago, the Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving tradition lives on, with this year's meal giveaway occurring November 18. If you'd like to nominate a needy family, send their name, address and phone number to Daddy Bruce Thanksgiving, 1720 Bruce Randolph Avenue, Denver, 80207. And anyone wishing to contribute should send checks to Mountain States Bank, 1635 East Colfax, Denver, 80218.

 
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