Meat: It's not all that's for dinner -- at least not on Monday nights at Duo and Olivéa, both of which are the first restaurants in Denver to join the campaign to go meatless on Mondays, a nationwide initiative (some would call it a movement without the "moo") to persuade Americans to stick to an all-vegetarian diet one day a week so as to reduce the country's intake of animal protein by 15 percent.
"We're doing this to make a statement," says Stephanie Bonin, who owns Duo and Olivéa with her husband, Keith Arnold. "This is not about the restaurant going meatless. This is about raising awareness and encouraging people, for one night a week, to go meatless," she stresses.
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Meat, we've been told over and over again, can lead to cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity (just ask Mario Batali and Wolfgang Puck!) and, notes Bonin, "Meatless Mondays states loud and clear that going meatless once a week is about eating healthier while simultaneously lessening your environmental impact."
"Our ingredients are not taking the national average of 1,500 miles to arrive in our kitchen," says Bonin. "More precisely, they're traveling about thirty miles, since we pick up our order from our farmers twice a week at the Boulder farmers market." And she, Arnold and the kitchen staff often pluck their ingredients from soil even closer to home. "It's about a fifty-pace walk from the restaurant to Granata Farm, which is the urban farm in back of Olivéa."
And, so, beginning Monday, August 22, Duo and Olivéa will feature two vegetarian dishes, one starter and one main dish, in addition to their regular nightly menus. "Our restaurants have always come out of our personal values," points out Bonin, adding that "Eating meatless is encouraging people to take advantage of the the veggies in our kitchen right now that are bought locally."