Mouthing Off

Union label: Redfish Seafood Kitchen, reviewed by Robin Chotzinoff in this issue, doesn't look (or taste) like part of a chain--but you sure can tell its public relations firm is from out of town. A release faxed over on July 29 announces, "Soooo, Denver's been having a little heat wave. You think that was hot?? We'll show you hot!!" The release then proceeds to describe Redfish, which opened July 10, as "Denver's newest eatery." Close, but no cigar. Several eateries in Denver's hot, hot restaurant scene come much closer to the title, including Vesta Dipping Grill, which opened a week later close by at 1822 Blake Street.

Contacted at her Ohio office (the chain's Chicago owners recently traded their three Redfish restaurants to a Phoenix-based group, which will soon open a fourth Redfish in Cincinnati), a PR person helpfully pointed out that come September, Redfish's Voodoo Lounge will be the only bar in LoDo offering live blues and jazz--for free. Close, but no cigar bar: Enoteca LoDo, just up the street at 1730 Wynkoop, already features jazz several nights a week.

Redfish is, however, precisely one day newer than Walker's Sports Grill (also reviewed this issue). But could it be that the Rockie is already bored of his namesake, as indicated by a press release announcing that "Larry Walker, Joe Sakic and others team up for opening of new Italian restaurant"? Not according to Amy Nelson, spokeswoman with the (blessedly local) Exline Agency that's handling Santino's, set to open any day at 1939 Blake Street. Walker, Sakic and Rockies ranging from Jason Bates to Bill Swift (with former Av Curtis Leschyshyn thrown in for good measure) have all invested in Santino "Sonny" Rando's place, Nelson says; Rando, formerly of Carmine's on Penn, had cooked privately for the ballplayers at the clubhouse after games. And in fact, Rando has added several of their favorite dishes--Walker's Canadian caribou!--to his traditional Sicilian lineup. "I wanted to create a restaurant that captured the spirit of the Old World," says Rando. "Great atmosphere, family-style dishes and good wines." And lots of Old World athletes.

Another opening, another show: Before Santino's opens, though, yet another restaurant will have assumed the title of "Denver's newest eatery" for, oh, about a second. The latest link in a Dallas-based chain, Dick's Last Resort just debuted at 1909 Blake Street (yes, Blake Street--is there another street in this town?), loading down diners with buckets of ribs, chicken, French fries and beer. Up in Boulder, Diva Restaurant has reopened at 1965 15th Street, where it serves considerably more upscale fare than Dick's down-home stuff, including roasted quail and gnocchi with mushrooms and white truffle oil. And on Sundays and Mondays, Diva chef Juan Martinez offers special meals exploring the world of wine; at $35 (which includes tax and tip), they're cheaper than a summer vacation.

The Bent Noodle, at 3055 South Parker Road in Aurora, just celebrated its first birthday; Chipotle Mexican Grill is marking the fourth anniversary of its original location, at 1644 East Evans, by closing the place for renovations. It's set to reopen August 14; in the meantime, the eight other Chipotle locations in the metro area (with five more set to spring up in the next few months) will keep serving their dachshund-sized burritos.

Sadly, The Profile will never see another birthday. The longtime standby of the power-drinking, power-dinner and power-lunch bunch at 1560 Sherman Street closed for good last month. Petra City Restaurant, at 15064 East Mississippi Avenue, has also apparently served its last supper, and Cafe International, the eclectic little spot at 1630 Welton Street, has closed until further notice. Meanwhile, two other places are sticking around but cutting back: The tandoor has swung shut on the Bombay Clay Oven at 2680 East County Line Road in Littleton, but the BCO at 165 Steele Street is still open. And while there is no longer an Italian Fisherman at 9150 West Cross Drive in Littleton, you can still reel in a meal at the Aurora location, 13250 East Mississippi Avenue. Go fish.


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