"It was just normal kitchen drama," says Tommy Lee, the owner of Uncle, who fired his longtime chef, Jon Mendoza, earlier today. "I have to do what's best for my team, and there was some tension [between Mendoza] and the staff," he adds. Mendoza, however, who started at Uncle as the sous and was pro ... More >>
Frank Bonanno is driven. As if the chef/entrepreneur isn't busy enough running his ten restaurants (soon to be joined by an eleventh, Salt & Grinder), he's now the star of Chef Driven, a new show that debuts at 6 p.m. Sunday on Colorado Public Television. And he's teaming up with Seattle Fish Co. to ... More >>
You've made a dent in those Thanksgiving leftovers -- it's time to get out and about again and enjoy the wine and beer battles, cooking lessons, vegan dinners and more on this week's culinary calendar. For starters, tonight the various filmmakers and artists involved with the Bolder Life Festival ... More >>
Last fall, the Lancer Lounge suddenly stopped pouring when it was seized by the State of Colorado. In Monopoly terms, this rundown dive bar on East Seventh Avenue was no Boardwalk, but to Frank Bonanno, it was as valuable as one of those highly-frequented reds (Illinois Avenue, perhaps?), given its ... More >>
When the weather starts to cool, kitchens across the city heat up as pastry chefs concoct delicacies with he last late-summer peaches and berries, and start cooking with crisp autumn apples. Here, in no particular order, are ten of our favorite desserts to ease the transition to fall. See also: Fi ... More >>
As Westword's Ask the Bartender columnist, I've talked with many bartenders for Cafe Society's "Behind the Bar" series, posing numerous questions to Denver's top bartenders...and often receiving the same answers: "I love chartreuse," or "I'm really into smoked cocktails/barrel aging/bottled cocktail ... More >>
Last night at Green Russell, six local bartenders -- Joe Hines (Williams & Graham); Kevin Burke (Colt & Gray); Gerard Collier (Corner House); Ragen Horacek (Ace); Randy Layman (Steuben's); and host Adam Hodak, the star bartender of Bonanno Concepts -- battled for supremacy in the Colorado Wine Cock ... More >>
Forty Denver restaurants, including Biker Jim's, Euclid Hall, Jonesy's Eat Bar, Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar, Linger, Panzano and Pinche Tacos, along with beers from Breckenridge Brewery, Great Divide, Mountain Sun Brewery and Wynkoop Brewery, wines from Bookcliff Cellars, Bonacquisti Winery, Cotton ... More >>
Taylor Drew Russell's Smokehouse 1422 Larimer Street 720-524-8050 russellssmokehouse.com This is part two of my interview with Taylor Drew, exec chef of Russell's Smokehouse; part one of our chat ran yesterday. Favorite Denver/Boulder restaurant(s) other than your own: I don't get out to eat nearl ... More >>
In just a few short hours from now, the Best of Denver 2013 will start hitting the street -- and the web. This year's edition is packed with more than 400 winners (we're still counting). One of the most anticipated categories in our Food & Drink section is also one of the the most coveted: Best Chef ... More >>
On Tuesday, February 19, several Denver restaurants -- Mizuna, Luca d'Italia, Bones, Osteria Marco, Russell's Smokehouse, Green Russell, Lou's Food Bar, Vesper Lounge, Barolo Grill and Potager -- will contribute a portion of their sales to Drew Inman, a former Denver chef, now in New York, who's bat ... More >>
When longtime owner Becky Conda was evicted from the Lancer Lounge, the dive bar that resides between Bones and Mizuna, earlier this month, it seemed only natural that Frank and Jacqueline Bonanno, who own those restaurants, along with Luca d'Italia, Osteria Marco, Lou's Food Bar, Wednesday's Pie, G ... More >>
In my next review, I explore a restaurant that's above grade. Despite how that sounds, the term has nothing to do with caliber. "Above grade" is architectural speak for spaces that are above ground. "At grade" is the term for street level and "below grade" is, well, you get it. All of which got me ... More >>
That month at Children's, Luca was surrounded with thoughtful, caring nurses. Nurses who talked him through the wires coming out of his head and the tubes coming out of his arms. Nurses who thoughtfully explained the video monitors and the bathroom protocol and the litany of medicines. Nurses who ha ... More >>
Summer is in full swing -- as evidenced by the blossoming of the local street-food scene -- and its culinary fruits are bountiful. Here's a taste of what's on the calendar for the first week of June) and if you know of one we missed, feel free to share it in the comments section below):
What do Governor John Hickenlooper and chef-restaurateur Frank Bonanno have in common?
In this interview, Pizza Republica's Rona VanSlyck weighs in on the importance of being open-minded, her current back-bar obsession and the dive bar she frequents when she's not at work.
It's been nearly two years since the Samba Room, a Cuban restaurant chain based in Dallas, closed in Larimer Square, following a major water leak that dripped...and dripped into the Comedy Space Works space below. The chain's parent company, E-Brands Restaurants, eventually filed for bankruptcy last ... More >>
To give the Colorado Bartenders Guild all the credit for Denver's flourishing cocktail culture would be wrong, says Sean Kenyon, owner of Williams & Graham and one of the founding members of this state's chapter. But it certainly helped. "We were officially chartered in February of 2008," he says, " ... More >>
Jeremy Kittelson Ambria 1201 16th Street 303-623-8646 www.ambriadenver.com This is part one of my chef and tell interview with Jeremy Kittleson, exec chef of Ambria. Part two of our chat will run tomorrow. Before Jeremy Kittelson opened Ambria in mid-November, he conducted a tasting, and while h ... More >>
In this week's Behind the Bar interview, Ghost Plate & Tap consulting bartender Michelle Baldwin -- who also goes by burlesque name Vivienne VaVoom -- weighs in on punch, a party that warped the floors and the ladies' organization that bonds over cocktails while doing good in its community.
Gin may have come from genever, but you can't really put the two in the same box, according to Jacob Grier, Portland-based bartender and brand representative for Bols Genever. "Genever is really its own category," he explains. "We compare it to early tequila importers. They labeled the spirit 'Mexic ... More >>
Jonathan Greschler, who recently landed behind the bar at Fuel Cafe, started bartending right after college. "I was in North Carolina working at a microbrewery," he remembers. "The guys behind the bar were older than me, and they took me under their wing. We had an advantage, because it was a microb ... More >>
'Tis the season to eat, dink, make merry and give generously, and tonight, at Steuben's, you have the opportunity to kill four turtle doves with one toy.
With more snow and cold temperatures in the forecast for the weekend and beyond, we're not really feeling ice cold drinks right this second. And that gives us a good excuse to check out the hot drinks that have popped up on menus around town. Here are a handful of winter warmers that are intr ... More >>
MCA DenverIf you're still trying to figure out what to do tonight, you might want to ingest some culture and pick up some tickets to the booze-themed Mixed Taste lecture tonight at MCA Denver.
My meals at Westerkamps Steakhouse and Meat Market, which I review in this week's Westword, unleashed a strange but insatiable craving for steak -- cheap steak, like a griddled flatiron or hanger, preferably sided by a couple of eggs and a pile of potatoes. Which is how I found myself at LoHi ... More >>
I'm the first one to bitch and moan about how all the great dives in Denver are disappearing -- but then when someone like Frank Bonanno (Mizuna, Luca D'Italia, Osteria Marco, Bones and Green Russell) comes in and gentrifies the hell out of one of those dives, I can't wait to see what he's d ... More >>
Photo: Mark MangerBartender Marnie Ward puts the finishing touches on the Tree Line, her cocktail that won last night's competition. See more photos from the Colorado Cocktail contest.Congrats to Marnie Ward, bartender at Avenue Grill and maker of the Tree Line, which nabbed first place in th ... More >>
The pork udon at Bones.I haven't totally fallen for Lou's Food Bar, which I review this week, and my initial lust for Green Russell has ebbed, at least temporarily. But from my initial meal at Bones, which Frank Bonanno opened in December 2008, it was love at first bite, and my fondness for t ... More >>
The Village Cork, Denver's best first date restaurantHow is a first date different from a blind date? The blind date is basically an interview, after which you decide whether you'd like to go a second round. First dates imply that some level of familiarity and attraction already exists, and y ... More >>
Lori MidsonCochon 555 chefs Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, Kelly Liken, Alex Seidel, Frank Bonanno and Jennifer Jasinski Lard, have mercy on my soul. To say that I pigged out this weekend is the understatement of the year, and if I was porky before, you should see me now. In fact, I'm fairly ... More >>
You be the judge. Cochon 555, the porkeriffic national competition that trots into Denver on Sunday, April 3, recently announced the five Colorado chefs combating for the Prince of Porc title: Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja, Euclid Hall and Bisto Vendome); Kelly Liken (Restaurant Kelly Liken); Alex ... More >>
James Beard FoundationLast November, the James Beard Foundation summoned the public to nominate its favorite chefs, restaurants and industry professionals for the 2011 awards. And after all the self-pimping and ballot-stuffing, the poll is closed. This morning, the foundation announced its ... More >>
Last week Cafe Society served up five Guess Where contests last week, featuring everything from a big buffalo burger at Walk-In Burgers, to the refashioned green chile from Squeaky Bean that one reader compared to a Willy Wonka birthday party plate, to a delicious piece of pie. For correctly identi ... More >>
Ocean Prime now holds down a corner of Larimer Square"I'm looking at it across the street," says Joe Vostrejs, COO of Larimer Associates, gazing through his office window at Ocean Prime, the restaurant in the old Z Gallerie space. "They're ready." Not long after restaurateur Cameron Mitchell ... More >>
Earlier this week, fifteen local mixology magicians converged behind the bar of Steuben's, 523 East Seventeenth Avenue, as part of the retro diner's annual holiday toy drive, a festive, spirited party that involves clever cocktails, lots of willing imbibers, good will, good cheer, generosity ... More >>
As a mixologist, Kevin Burke knows how to pour it on. And yesterday, he was all contrition in his apology to Denver Magazine, the publication that had repeated a bunch of whoppers that Burke, a finalist for the pub's Mixologist of the Year, had fed them for last month's food and drink issue: ... More >>