Striking out: So if Denver's such a major-league city, why was much of LoDo closed up tighter than a drum by 1 a.m. after the All-Star Game? As the clock struck twelve, we left Above the Dove, the roof of the Soiled Dove (1949 Market Street), which not only had provided an excellent view of the post-game fireworks, but also fine Rum Runner slushes (excellent guac, too--very fresh and chunky). In search of a cooling, cool-down martini, we first ventured to Herb's Hideout (2057 Larimer Street) but were warned at the alley entrance by a few kids who looked younger than the latest Beanie Babies that it was "hip-hop night." In other words, hit the road, Pops. We did, and headed over to 17th and Wazee streets, where we weren't surprised to find that Jax Fish House (1539 17th Street) and McCormick's Fish House & Bar (1659 Wazee Street) had already closed. However, we were stunned to learn that the Cruise Room, next door in the Oxford Hotel (1600 17th Street), hadn't stayed open late enough to serve the liquid needs of all those visiting celebs.
So we waddled on down to Wynkoop Street but had no luck at Sostanza (1699 17th Street), Trios Enoteca (1730 Wynkoop Street) or even at Morton's (1710 Wynkoop Street), which had been cooking up big slabs of beef for bigwigs for days and apparently needed to give the staff a breather. Finally, we found a bartender willing to show us mercy at the Wynkoop Brewing Co. (1634 18th Street), which had just issued last call almost an hour before its official closing time--the late-night crowd had been that slow, the bartender said.
That complaint was echoed at bars across LoDo--where some restaurant owners are still lamenting how slow business was in the days leading up to the game. This despite the fact that city boosters had pushed the nit-witted notion that non-ticketholding residents would be drawn downtown just to take in the excitement of it all--sort of like in Paris last weekend, one says, or last year in Cleveland, where residents took advantage of their city hosting the 1997 All-Star Game and made the town a nonstop party. But Denver isn't Cleveland, the All-Star Game isn't exactly a World Cup victory, and most Denverites stayed home--or frequented their neighborhood taverns. Although media accounts of the LoDo parking nightmare were greatly exaggerated, twenty bucks is still twenty bucks. Or, more to the point, a bunch of beers at your neighborhood bar, where parking was free and there was no danger of getting caught in a melee over flying Beanie Babies.
But you had to be outside Coors Field (20th and Wynkoop entrance) to catch our favorite sight of the series: gaucho-clad waiters from Rodizio (1801 Wynkoop Street), who, skewers of sizzling meat held high, tried to bluff their way into the Home Run Derby by insisting that Ken Griffey Jr. or some other heavy-hitter had just ordered a side of beef. They were turned away.
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The rest of the Best, part three: Reader Rick wrote to share his astonishment that, once again, Westword readers had rated Bennett's Pit Bar-B-Que the Best of Denver. "Come on!" he said. "You've got to be kidding! With BBQ in this town like M&D Cafe's and Sam Taylor's?" Get used to it, Rick. (And note that we picked M&D's, at 2004 East 28th Avenue, for Best Barbecued Ribs.) After all, readers just voted for McDonald's and Taco Bell for Best French Fries and Best Taco, respectively, for the fifteenth year running.
Meanwhile, Rose from New York called to take issue with the editorial choice for Best New York-Style Pizza, New York Pizzeria (4990 Leetsdale Drive). "I went, and it was the most horrible pizza I've ever had," she complained, while praising Pasquini's and Anthony's. "I want no one else from New York to go to this pizzeria."
Good. More for us.
Mark your datebooks: No sooner had we declared our love of Mediterra, at 1475 Lawrence Street, this spring than the owners, the brothers Momo, changed the concept. And now they've added the swell Med Lounge, where at 8 p.m. July 16, a fountainside fashion show kicks off a new series of Thursday-night entertainments. Also that night, the Gold Lake Mountain Resort & Spa outside Ward celebrates the arrivals of new executive chef Ron Pickarski and sous chef Eric Skokan, as well as two new tasting menus (one veggie) at Alice's Restaurant; call 303-459-3544. At 6:30 p.m. July 18, Julia Child will be the guest of honor at the Mountain Ranch Club as part of the Classic Rocky Mountain Evening at Coors Field, sponsored by the Colorado Chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food. The evening is $52 for AIWF members, $62 for others; call 333-2378. On July 21, Mel's Bar and Grill (235 Fillmore) hosts Jeff Drew, executive chef of Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe; Drew and Mel's chef Tyler Wiard will be cooking up a special $39-per-person meal. Call 285-1800 for information.
And the Savoy Restaurant in Berthoud not only remodeled its interior during a brief summer break, but it expanded its offerings as well. Starting July 22, the Savoy's Wednesday lunch will feature a regional French special as well as the regular lunch menu; beginning July 25, the Savoy will also host a French brunch Sundays from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Call 970-532-4095 for reservations.