Mouthing Off

Top this: The tapas craze continues as a new bar pops up in Denver about every forty seconds. Add Sevilla at the Ice House (1801 Wynkoop Street) to the list; it opened last week in the mini-restaurant row that's formed at the base of the historic building (Sevilla joins Rodizio and Cucina!Cucina!). A Spanish-style restaurant in the basement space once occupied by Shivers, Sevilla is yet another in what's probably going to be a long line of eateries with Kevin Taylor's name attached--even though he doesn't own them or spend any time in them after they're up and running. Instead, Taylor is hired to create the menu, offer advice and recipes and generally oversee the opening, and he and his people sometimes stay on a bit to make sure things go smoothly. Then the restaurants are pretty much on their own--but they still get to drop Taylor's name.

At least Sevilla is offering authentic tapas, such as $2 samplers of fried almonds and pickled vegetables, or, for $3.50, serrano ham and toast and tomato salad with sheep cheese. The rest of the menu is tiny, with a few salads and three varieties of paella, this year's answer to last year's mashed-potatoes-with-horseradish fad.

Meanwhile, over at what was once called "Denver's restaurant row," on East 17th Avenue, Dante Bichette is batting cleanup for the building that houses Cliff Young's. Cliff Young himself hasn't been there in years, of course; his namesake restaurant, along with Vino Vino, has been owned by Stewart Jackson for the past seven years. Now Jackson is turning what was called the Amethyst Room at Cliff Young's into Cliff Young's. Then he and Dante will open Dante Bichette's Restaurant in what was Cliff Young's--with the old Crystal Room being made into a private party area for what controller Jason Marquez calls "Dante and his friends." And Vino Vino's name has changed to Dante & Stew's Vino Vino Ristorante Italiano.

The chefs at Cliff's and Vino Vino--Juan Castaneda and Roberto Ravara, respectively--will remain the same, and they're looking to hire a co-executive chef to help oversee all three operations. As a sports establishment, Dante Bichette's will offer a "steak-heavy" menu. "We're looking to do Continental food--not the usual sandwiches and bar food, but more like a grill," says Marquez. "We haven't really decided what our niche is going to be there yet." The menus at Cliff Young's and Vino Vino will change in the next few weeks, too, and Marquez says they hope to have everything complete in five weeks.

That's probably how long it will take them to decide where to "discreetly" place--as Marquez says they intend to--Dante memorabilia in Vino Vino, which is highly conceptualized, with clouds and faux-Italian courtyard themes. But if there isn't enough Dante product there to suit fans, the building will also field a retail Dante Bichette store inside the sports bar.

Free advertising: Rockies fans can get to the game through a promotion at Bourbon Street Pizzabar & Grill's two locations (5117 South Yosemite in Greenwood Village and 10158 Parker Road in Parker). Join their Frequent Diner program and accumulate points that can be redeemed for free food, Rockies tickets, a buffet for fifteen people or a trip to Las Vegas.

On Rockies home-game days, Jax Fish House (1539 17th Street) will offer a "Boardwalk Menu" on the patio starting an hour and a half before game time and featuring peel-and-eat shrimp, smoked salmon Niçoise, crab-salad sandwiches and spicy peanuts. And drinks, of course.

And in case there's just not enough sports stuff going on for you, CU Buffs fans can schmooze with coach Rick Neuheisel at Dolan's Restaurant in Boulder (2319 Arapahoe Road), where he'll tend bar on April 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Neuheisel's helping the bar celebrate its fourth anniversary; during that week, Guinness and Harp draws are $2.50, and they're offering lobster or prime rib for $15.95.

Another Guinness, the Guinness Book of Records, is the target of the American Homebrewers Association, which has organized a homebrewing day, called "Big Brew '98," to record the largest number of homebrewers making beer at the same time. In order to qualify for the record, which Guinness officials say has never been attempted before, homebrewers must begin brewing at 2 p.m. on May 2, have a site director and two independent witnesses, and use the same beer recipe as everyone else. Call 447-0816 for details and the recipe.



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