Mouth of the south: Suddenly, Parker and its small-town neighbors are hot restaurant locales. In addition to the spots reviewed above, the newcomers include Bandanas Cafe at the Bullpen, at 19552 East Mainstreet in Parker. (It's next door to the Warhorse Inn, which, until recently, was one of the town's two non-chain eateries worth eating in; Los Volcanes, at 10471 South Parker Road, was the other.) The Bullpen is a lounge, while Bandanas Cafe is a cute little space that serves an excellent garlicky New York strip steak ($11.95) stuffed to overflowing with mushrooms, bacon, onions and cheddar. But beef and burgers account for only part of Bandanas's menu. I haven't tried the chicken saltimbocca yet, and the kitchen gets even more daring on Saturday nights, when it offers "ethnic cuisine." April 26, for instance, is billed as "A Taste of Germany," with wiener schnitzel, goulash with spaetzle and braised red cabbage.
French pastries have already invaded, with the addition a few months ago of Dream Pastries, at 10841 South Parker Road in the Crossroads Mall. Owned by Jacques Balleydier, who used to run a pastry shop in Castle Rock, Dream's name says it all. These are some of the finest pastries I've seen anywhere: beautiful citron tarts, amazing chocolate-filled concoctions and incredible raspberry and blueberry turnovers. When I asked Balleydier why he moved to Parker, he blushed and said, "Why not?" I just hope Parker gives him a reason to stay.
Cherry bomb: A mere four days after I wrote here about the new menu at Rattlesnake Grill--at the same time lamenting that Jimmy Schmidt's snazzy eatery still hadn't found its niche--the place lost its niche entirely. The Rattlesnake closed in the middle of the night, reportedly without any warning to employees. The Larimer Group (Cadillac Ranch, Tommy Tsunami's) is supposedly interested in the space; the local investors, who include such power brokers as concert promoter Barry Fey, attorneys Norm Brownstein and Steve Farber and assorted media and sports personalities, would like to see a good steak place move in.
A few blocks away in Cherry Creek North, at 315 Detroit, Scott Miller, who once managed the Wellshire Inn, has bought Soren's from Carmen Jennings and Jean-Paul Beining (who now own the Franktown Grill). He's renamed the space Scotty's Bistro and has changed the food to American-Southwestern-International.
Micronews: Hey, not everyone can afford to eat out, let alone in Cherry Creek. The Food Bank of the Rockies takes care of those people who can't afford to eat in, either. The hunger-relief organization holds its fourth Annual Brewfest fundraiser at Jimmy's Grill, 320 South Birch in Glendale, on April 26 from noon to 5 p.m. Forty microbreweries have donated beer that you can guzzle in exchange for a $15 admission fee; 100 percent of the pot goes to the food bank.
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