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That's one salad, on the rocks.
Champps Americana Restaurant also offers an eye-opening Bloody Mary bar, and you can now imbibe at two locations, since a second Champps recently opened at 7301 South Santa Fe Drive in Littleton. (The original Colorado outpost debuted in late 1996 at 8325 Park Meadows Center Drive, also in Littleton.) Champps' Bloody Mary bar has more expansive hours (Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), but also a more expensive tab: $4.25 for the glass and vodka, with another $2.25 for a trip to the table with all of the trimmings.
14065 W. Colfax Drive
Golden, CO 80401
Region: West Denver Suburbs
Chef and tell:As promised last week, the Fourth Story(2955 East First Avenue) has a new chef -- but one with a familiar name. Tyler Wiard wowed diners years ago at Napa Cafe (2033 East Colfax Avenue), an ambitious Cliff Young eatery; from there, he went to Mel's Restaurant and Bar (235 Fillmore Street), where he and Frank Bonanno gave the kitchen a real one-two punch. But Wiard left and wound up in California last year, with his own venture outside of San Luis Obispo; Bonanno departed Mel's a few weeks later and ultimately opened his own place, Mizuna (225 East Seventh Avenue), with fellow Mel's veteran Doug Fleischmann.
What goes around comes around, however: Former Mizuna sous chef Jeffrey Saudois now head chef at Mel's, replacing Ben Davison; Alex DeRosierof Vail's Sweet Basil takes Saudo's spot at Mizuna. He made the switch just in time for the Mizuna staff's trip to the Napa Valley -- and to make that trip possible, Mizuna will be closed June 30 through July 10. Also closed from July 1 through July 10 for a staff trip to Italy is Blair Taylor's Barolo Grill (3030 East Sixth Avenue).
And now Wiard has ended his culinary wandering and returned to Denver. While he hasn't worked at the Fourth Story before, he once shared the Napa Cafe kitchen with pastry chef Jess Roybal, who went on to become a beloved fixture at the Fourth Story before he was killed by lightning five years ago next month.
Book cooks: Chipotle, the homegrown chain that made such a success of burritos the size of your head that it went into business with McDonald'sa few years ago, hosts the "Size Matters Singles Mixer" at two downtown locations -- 1480 16th Street and 1600 California Street -- from 5 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 28. The offerings includes giant margs, also known as Fire Extinguishers, and two-for-one beer specials, as well as free guac, chips and salsas. On Saturday, June 29, from 2 to 6 p.m., the 1600 block of the alley between Wazee and Wynkoop streets (that's by the LoDo Tattered Cover) will feature live jazz, a book sale, wine tastings (compliments of Wines Off Wynkoop) and a book signing with Alta and Brad Smith, authors of The Guide to Colorado Wineries. The Smiths will also be signing their book from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at Creekside Cellars (28036 Highway 74 in Evergreen). And yes, wine will be served.