By Jonathan Shikes
By Alex Brown
By Cafe Society
By Samantha Alviani
By Lori Midson
By Mark Antonation
By Loren Lorenzo
By Nate Hemmert
Foodfest: The sixteenth annual Food & Wine Classic has been set for June 12-14 in Aspen. Three days of foodie folks and fun, plus all the wine and gourmet eats you can ingest, all for the low price of $565 (the fee includes access to all of the cooking and wine seminars and tastings; lodging is extra and sometimes hard to come by). Expected to appear this year are Jacques Pepin, Patricia Wells, Frank Prial, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay (owner of the hot New York restaurants Mesa Grill, Bolo and Mesa City), Sheila Lukins, Charlie Palmer (owner of New York's Aureole), Mary Ewing Mulligan (America's only female Master of Wine) and Danny Meyer of the Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, which were awarded the number-one and number-four spots in Zagat's most recent list of the top five restaurants in New York.
Another fifteen or so well-known and well-respected chefs, wine experts and cookbook authors will also be on hand. The only notable person missing is Julia Child, but with the exception of Prial, who is one of the most boring people in the universe but who nonetheless knows everything about wine, all of the participants are interesting and fun. If you're a true foodie and have never been to the Food & Wine Classic, I recommend it as one of those things you should check out, if only once in your life.
Open 'house: At the end of the month, the new Firehouse Bar & Grill, at 8130 South University Boulevard in Littleton, will be up and running. Same menu, same theme as the one downtown at 1525 Blake Street.
5970 S. Holly St.
Englewood, CO 80111
Region: Southeast Denver Suburbs
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Eat at Mel's: Mel's Bar and Grill (235 Fillmore) will donate 25 percent of its dinner revenues on April 20 to the Teens for Tomorrow organization, which helps at-risk youth. The next night, April 21, Mel's will host a Beaujolais dinner. The cost is $39.50 per person, which includes dishes from the region and wines to match, as well as a chance to talk to owner Mel Master about the meal; call 285-1800 for reservations.
The Easter parade: If you're looking for an Easter Sunday brunch, one of my top choices would be the Garden Terrace at the Inverness Hotel & Golf Club (200 Inverness Drive West, Englewood). At the "Easter Bunny Brunch," a kid's buffet--set up on a 24-inch-high table so kids can help themselves--will feature French-toast sticks, fresh-fruit cups, PB&J sandwiches and jelly beans, as well as the opportunity to meet the Big Bunny himself. And right next to the children's spread is the Garden Terrace's usual blowout buffet, which is nearly unrivaled in town for both quality and quantity. The Easter tab runs $26.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids four to ten; call 799-5800 to make the much-needed reservations.
My second choice would be the Augusta at the Westin Hotel Tabor Center, where $24.95 for adults and $12.95 for kids ages six to twelve nets a bounty of well-prepared foods, including Caribbean paella with crayfish, osso buco and fondue, along with the extraordinary pastries made by the Augusta's talented pastry chef, Vinnie Tomlin. Call 572-7222 for reservations. Other Easter brunches: The Fort, at 19192 Route 8 in Morrison (the a la carte menu includes lamb chops and mesquite-grilled Schaller & Weber Virginia-style ham); Maverick's, at 4851 East Virginia (the buffet is $18.95 for adults, $9.95 for kids 6-10 p.m.); McCormick's Fish House & Bar, at 1659 Wazee Street (the buffet is $16.95 for adults, $10.95 for kids six to twelve, and $5.95 for five and under); Bella Ristorante, at 1920 Market Street and Park Meadows Mall, both of which will feature the Easter Bunny and kids' buffets ($19.95 adults, $9.95 for kids over five); and the Plaza at the Adam's Mark Hotel, 1550 Court Place ($23.95 for adults, $10.95 for kids over five), where the special guest is an eight-foot-high chocolate egg.