Some of the biggest and boldest national names in food criticism descended on Denver over the weekend to check our city's culinary scene. Why, you ask? Let's just say that they were doing research for the James Beard Foundation Awards. Several of those critics tweeted about their experiences at Fruition, Rioja, Euclid Hall, Colt & Gray, the Wynkoop, Fuel Cafe, Duo and more, which we've captured on the following pages. But before we get to those, here are some things we observed from their time in the Mile High City.
1. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post food critic, alerted us to the fact that vomiting in a Denver cab is punishable by a $100 fine, and that the wait at Williams & Graham stretched to nearly three hours. His reward? A Blue Blazer cocktail.
2. Corby Kummer, food critic for the Atlantic Monthly, seemed genuinely shocked that he didn't overhear one person in Denver utter
God's name Tim Tebow's name. As for restaurant analysis, he was mum.
3. Alison Cook, restaurant critic of the Houston Chronicle, is a Twitter fiend, which is what our web editor here at Westword wishes we were. Damn, girl! When did you have time to actually eat? But eat she did, at Euclid Hall, among other restaurants, where she heaped accolades on chef Jorel Pierce's "fabulous hot Thai pig ears."
4. Brett Anderson, who reviews restaurants for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has a flapjack fetish. "Peace, Love, Pancakes," he wrote after breakfast at Snooze.
5. Rick Nelson, food critic for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, key-stroked a warning to himself after cocktails at Rioja: "Watch the hootch in high altitudes." No shit.
6. Phil Vettel, who writes restaurant reviews for the Chicago Tribune, appeared to be a bit lukewarm -- or at least hesitant -- in his assessment of Denver's culinary climate, writing that "the town is off to a great start."
7. Kate Krater, restaurant editor at Food & Wine magazine, lavished love on Frasca Food & Wine and Little Man Ice Cream. Agreed.
8. S. Irene Virbila, who writes the restaurant reviews at the Los Angeles Times, called Wednesday's Pie -- the pie shop owned by Frank Bonanno -- "fake." True, it's a front for Green Russell, his speakeasy, where Virbila drank cocktails, but there's nothing "fake" about Bonanno's pie shop.
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9. John Edge, whose monthly column "United Tastes" appears in the New York Times, thanked Denver for the "porn belly pigs-in-a-blanket" at Green Russell, but wondered why his saag paneer fries were trashed at Linger.
10. Cheryl Alters, a cookbook author (and recipient of several James Beard Foundation Awards) based in Santa Fe, heaped more praise on Frank Bonanno, calling him a "Denver restaurant genius." Yep.
Herewith, a wrap-up of all the tweets we could round up.