Westword Feast Is Just Around The Corner

Denver dining has evolved over the past twenty years -- and so has Westword's annual celebration of the local restaurant scene. On Thursday, October 24, the celebration inside the McNichols Building in Civic Center Park will be a true feast for the senses. Westword's Feast will feature dishes from more than forty favorite restaurants of Westword food writers and readers, as well as beverage samplings and plenty of entertainment. Some of our favorite restaurants and eateries have already signed on to dish out samples at Feast, visit westwordfeast.com for the full lineup.

This year, VIP ticket holders will again be treated to a special menu courtesy of the world-renowned Matsuhisa. Bites from Matsuhisa will include spicy tuna crispy rice, chicken gyoza, black cod miso in limestone lettuce, and more, as well as special VIP cocktails to complement the menu. VIP tickets also include early entry into the event at 6 p.m. and a VIP gift bag.

Be sure to enter PROMO CODE: Ultra5280 for your discounted tickets. Tickets go up in price on Friday, September 13th.

Denver Food + Wine 2019 Grand Tasting

Denver’s annual food and wine week just wrapped up and we were part of the fun at Saturday’s Grand Tasting event. This six-day culinary takeover is courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine and brings Denverites various opportunities to eat and drink, meet celebrity and local chefs, and enjoy exclusive experiences. The festivities begin each year on a Wednesday in mid-September with a curated “Dinner Under the Stars”, continue Thursday with the “Bartender’s Bash” cocktail competition and sampling, Friday you’ll find a fun happy hour at a top restaurant, and Saturday afternoon we recommend attending, “The Grand Tasting.”

With multiple covered tents full of food & booze, taking a moment in the sun to soak it all in.

With multiple covered tents full of food & booze, taking a moment in the sun to soak it all in.

The main event of DF+WF weekend is Saturday’s Grand Tasting where over 40 top restaurants showcase their best bites and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits provide over 700 wines and spirits to sample! Every type of wine is available to taste at the Grand Tasting, from high end reserves, rare wine regions, French Champagnes, to affordable favorites. DF+WF is the most comprehensive “wine tasting” in the state (aside from the prestigious annual Aspen Food + Wine Classic). For the true oenophiles, Denver Food and Wine created a Tasting App to help one navigate and take notes on all the fine wines. There are also QR Codes placed next to each wine for guests to learn more and take screenshots for later, and of course the educated Reps are there ready to tell you all about their products too.


If that weren’t enough to keep you entertained and buzzed all day, the Grand Tasting also features over 200 different spirits ranging from straight samples, liqueurs, and cocktails. We saw the following brands showcase their products with full footprints complete with a branded bar, tables, and decor: Aperol, Atlos Tequila, Chloe Wine, Five Farms Irish Cream, Grey Goose Vodka, Jagermeister, and TX Whiskey.

The food is of course the complimentary component to the copious beverages and one will find bites for all palettes created by Denver’s best chefs. This year’s favorite bites included Avelina’s truffle anglonotti, Kachina’s Fry Bread Taco & guacamole shooters, Hank’s Texas Barbecue Brisket, and the bruschetta from the high school students enrolled in the Colorado ProStart Program. These kids get involved every year manning their bites booths or assisting the celebrity chefs at the Culinary Stage. The Colorado ProStart Program is a two-year foodservice and hospitality management, culinary arts, and business entrepreneurship curriculum offered to high school juniors and seniors in Colorado.

Hanks Texas Barbecue

Hanks Texas Barbecue

The Team at Kachina

The Team at Kachina

Another big draw to the Grand Tasting is the opportunity to watch and learn from the masters; celebrity chefs and master sommeliers and mixologists hold seminars throughout the day. This year’s Wolf Sub Zero/Specialty Appliance Culinary Stage favorite was Jet Tila, a Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine and Food Network star. Recently, Jet partnered with the Wynn Resorts to open Wazuzu, a groundbreaking take on Pan-Asian dining, at the Encore Casino and Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. Jet has also inspired and cultivated multiple concepts in partnership with the largest foodservice company in the world, Compass Group. Jet, along with his wife Ali, showed their captive audience how to make fried chicken and waffles complete with room temp butter, maple syrup and Sriracha!

Jet Tila with wife Ali and a few Colorado ProStart students

Jet Tila with wife Ali and a few Colorado ProStart students

Proceeds from the event always benefit various charities and this year’s recipients are Kroenke Sports Charities, Denver Post Community Foundation and Colorado Restaurant Foundation as chosen by Southern Glazer’s because, “… they are an integral part of our community and reflect our core values while supporting the people that live, work and enjoy our Colorado lifestyle.”

DF+WF events are so much fun and generally more enjoyable than the other food & booze events that have taken over Denver. Everything is top notch, from the food and drink offerings, to the Riedel wine glasses everyone gets, to the layout, the quality interactions with vendors and attendees, and minimal lines (even for the restrooms!)


If you do it right, you’ll end up in bed early after the Grand Tasting. If you’re up for it, the final event is a Sunday Rise + Dine Brunch the next morning with bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s and tasty breakfast bites to wrap up the week.


Written by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB & Photographed by Josh Stephens @freezerfilmfoto

Flight To Luxury: An Event You Do Not Want To Miss


On Friday, September 13, 2019, Flight to Luxury brings together Colorado’s culture makers, movers-and-shakers, and philanthropists for a stunning collaboration.

Through the support of our sponsors and attendees, the event raises millions of dollars for PIVOT, a high-impact 501(c)3 founded by John Elway, Larry Mueller, and George Solich to harness the power of doers and dollars to help Colorado’s NextGen succeed. The yearly event is one of the most popular events in Denver every year and this year should hold the same. Just what is Flight To Luxury?

A ‘Hangar Party’ Benefiting PIVOT held at two of Denver’s private jet hangars: Modern Aviation and Signature Flight Support, at Centennial Airport. The event showcases Denver’s best culinary scene, elite jets, exotic cars, and live entertainment.

The goal is to make Flight to Luxury the largest annual fundraising event for Denver’s youth.

Benefiting PIVOT

PIVOT was founded in May 2018 and empowers nonprofits to collaborate for impact, allowing the community to provide the full spectrum of what it takes to help children thrive.

PIVOT connects the dots to provide full access to programs focusing on academic success, mental wellness, nutrition, and career readiness.

The foundation works with high-impact organizations to fund alignment, accelerate smart giving, and improve efficiency. At Flight to Luxury 2018, PIVOT catalyzed its aggressive plan and powerful, cohesive movement to raise over 100 million dollars in the next ten years.

The 10th Annual Flight to Luxury - https://www.flighttoluxury.com/

Date: Friday, September 13, 2019Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Centennial Airport’s Modern Aviation and Signature Flight Support Hangars
Address: 8001 S. InterPort Blvd. Englewood, CO 80112 USA



-Explore exotic cars, private jets, and tastings from the top restaurants in Denver.

-Silent Auction: bid on one-of-a-kind international and domestic trips, once-in-a-lifetime experiences, art, the world’s top liquor and more.

-Food Tasting partners include: Elway’s, Ocean Prime, Hearth & Dram, Flagstaff House, Way Back, Urban Farmer, JAX Fish House, La Roux, Coohills, Vital Roots, Chef Dane’s Kitchen, The Good Egg, Del Frisco’s Grille

-Beverage Tasting partners include: Edrington, 7 Cellars, Blanchard Family Wines and Toricano Wines


-Guests love the exhilarating live auction, high-energy fashion show and live entertainment.

Live Auction Lots:

• Cuvee’s stunning residences at St Barth’s, Vail, Royal Island, Tuscany and Hawaii

• Charlie Palmer’s Pigs & Pinot

• Ani Resort Thailand

• Singita South African Gorilla Safari

-Fashion show styled by Betsy Marr of Cherry Creek Magazine. Clothes donated by Andrisen Morton and Perch. Women’s shoes donated by Sarah Flint.

-Performances by local talent, including Kenny Moten and Callie Belo.


-A silent disco under the stars, gourmet after-party treats and cocktails end a phenomenal evening.

Tickets: $500 available at https://bit.ly/2WUWObf

Cochon555's Heritage Fire Culinary Experience

Heritage Fire is a live-fire, open-air culinary experience crafted by Cochon555 and visits 15 major cities across North America annually since 2009. The Cochon555 Tour executes a yearly host of authentic, hyper-local food events focused on raising awareness for heritage breed pigs through an innovative nose-to-tail pig cook-off.

Smoked Tomahawk Ribeye from Chef Will Nolan

Heritage Fire graced Colorado back in June during the acclaimed Aspen Food + Wine Classic and this past Sunday Denverites had their chance to indulge in this meat-based feast at Stem Cider’s Acreage Farms in Lafayette which is perched against a beautiful backdrop of Longs Peak. The whole event was wonderful with various creations and dishes highlighting the farm raised meats in a beautiful setting with limited tickets which meant quick lines and plenty of food and wine.

Heritage Fire always features an all-star cast of chefs and butchers who specialize in whole animal cookery and spend the afternoon grilling heritage-breed animals and serving them up to guests. Guests are able to see the chefs cooking and the animal in its entirety, so there is no doubt they are getting farm fresh food. The list of heritage and heirloom foods includes dry-aged beef, whole pigs, lamb, goat, squab, rabbit, duck, fish, chicken, artisan cheese and heirloom vegetables.

The meats are cookin’

The meats are cookin’


Our favorite dishes were a Buffalo Empanada with Chimichurri from Chef Padillo at Social Fare in Cherry Creek. Shrimp & Grits and a smoked Tomahawk Ribeye by Chef Will Nolan. The charcuterie board by Cured Boulder, a gourmet grocery store & cafe with upscale decor offers hand-picked cheese, charcuterie, & wine. Speaking of wine, Blanchard Wines and Tenuta from Italy were pouring along with Stem Ciders, Wheatley Vodka, El Tosoro Tequila, and premium whiskeys and bourbons and LaCroix Sparkling Waters.

Charcuterie by Cured Boulder

Charcuterie by Cured Boulder

Whiskey & Bourbon tastings

Whiskey & Bourbon tastings

There was one booth dedicated to dessert, an unlikely restaurant to be at this meat-focused event. Uchi is Denver’s hottest sushi restaurant serving incredible Japanese delicacies from James Beard Award-winning chef Tyson Cole. Japanese tradition and culinary innovation fuse at this RiNo restaurant, read our full review here. Uchi’s head pastry chef prepared donut puffs filled with smoked vanilla cream and topped with bacon bits that were irresistible.

Creme filled donuts with bacon bits and raspberry puree from Uchi

Creme filled donuts with bacon bits and raspberry puree from Uchi

Screen Shot 2019-08-12 at 2.32.57 PM.png

The event’s ultimate aim is to provide education to consumers and provide guests with honest food from real farmers. Every event is a fundraiser for Cochon555's sister charity, Piggy Bank — a start-up farm in Missouri that serves as a kickstarter for new family farms and a safety net for those in the wake of a disaster.

For more information, visit www.cochon555.com or follow @cochon555 on Twitter and Instagram.

Article by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB

Ocean Prime's Patio Happy Hour

Ocean Prime is a modern American restaurant and lounge from renowned restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. Located in Denver’s Larimer Square and the Tech Center, Ocean Prime is open for weekday lunch and dinner nightly. Their fine dining menu features seafood and prime cuts of steak, signature cocktails, a Wine Spectator-honored wine list and desserts paired with great service in a lovely setting. Ocean Prime was 5280 magazine’s editor’s pick for “Best Seafood” among many other awards nationwide.

Smoking Shellfish Tower

Smoking Shellfish Tower

The chefs at Ocean Prime take great pride in sourcing the highest quality ingredients available and use simple, pure, local and regional flavors on our made from scratch menu. Seafood is selected daily for freshness and features wild and naturally harvested fish. Steaks include USDA Prime cuts and are aged for maximum tenderness and flavor. This absolutely shines through in the dishes we sampled and during past experiences dining at various Ocean Prime restaurants throughout the country. Yes, they are a chain, and no they didn’t originate in Denver , but Ocean Prime is a superb dining experience which is why Denver has two locations despite the concentration of great restaurants here.


We highlight the opening patio party for Ocean Prime’s new DTC location that opened in November. We started with not-yet on the menu margaritas that were full of refreshing flavor and happy hour sushi rolls. Happy hour is weekdays from 4-6pm in the bar and patio and on Friday’s and Saturday’s there’s live music!

Our favorite dishes were the lamb lollipops, mini crab cakes, and ultra creamy lobster mac & cheese. The Smoking Shellfish Tower was also a favorite and great for any party, however is not part of happy hour pricing. One can order $2 oysters, $10 chef sushi roll and other great bites and drinks during happy hour here.

Don’t skip dessert, from chocolate peanut butter pie to NY cheesecake to their ever-popular warm butter cake, we always save room here.


Photos by Josh Stephens


El Five Adds Brunch & it's a Hit

Like its Edible Beats sibling restaurants Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s and Vital Root, this Spanish/Middle Eastern hot spot for tapas transports guests to a unique setting serving amazing dishes and delightful drinks. El Five sits high above the offices of LoHi in a fifth-floor penthouse and is also the fifth restaurant in the Edible Beats family, hence the name El Five. Stepping off the elevator on the 5th floor guests are greeted with the smell of spices coming from the open kitchen and a vibrant atmosphere full of color and a spectacular view.

Dungeness Crab, Shakshuka & Iberico Benedict

Dungeness Crab, Shakshuka & Iberico Benedict

Like Linger next door, El Five capitalizes on their perfectly perched location with a large patio and floor to ceiling windows/doors that showcases Denver’s downtown skyline. The décor is bright, bold and eclectic, the last word describing all of the Edible Beats restaurants. Colorful faces from midcentury Egyptian and Turkish movie posters are painted on the walls and reflected in little hexagon-shaped mirrors. The vibe is fun, funky, swanky and sexy. It’s a great place for a date, whether dinner or just drinks, the setting and menu lends itself perfectly. 

Photo taken from El Five’s website

Photo taken from El Five’s website

We went to try their new Sunday brunch and of course, we were impressed. El Five‘s menu is clearly Mediterranean inspired, but creatively combines flavors and ingredients from multiple countries in that region. Thus, El Five has created a unique cuisine coined Tapas De Gibraltar, as the countries are all connected by this body of water. Indeed, everything we tried here had a unique twist that either tantalized or surprised our taste buds.

 We started with Coda coffee, Bhakti chi and a pastry basket with sweet treats like chocolate Baklava. We then moved on to the Pintxos tasting plate which we noticed all the tables around us had also ordered and was just like the tapas you get in Spain!

Pastry Basket with orange jam

Pastry Basket with orange jam

Pinxtos Plate

Pinxtos Plate

For entrees we selected the Dungeness Crab with Potato Latkes, Iberico Benedict, Garlic Shrimp with Manchebo Polenta (our favorite) and the North African dish Shakshuka. All four dishes contained very different ingredients and flavors, having originated in different parts of the Mediterranean. While the menu is Mediterranean, the 10+ entrees on the menu provide a diverse spectrum to please any palette. 

Garlic Shrimp: Sunny Side Egg, Manchego Polenta, Crispy Ham, Ibérico Brown Butter, Chilis, Salsa Brava

Garlic Shrimp: Sunny Side Egg, Manchego Polenta, Crispy Ham, Ibérico Brown Butter, Chilis, Salsa Brava

To conclude we ordered a Moroccan Pancake, an Apricot FROSÉ (our favorite drink on the menu) and a Sangria con Frutas. A sweet ending indeed!  

The brunch prices are very reasonable, only a few dollars more than their cocktails lol. But don’t let the price steer you away, dining or even just coming for a cocktail is worth every dollar.  

Moroccan Pancake: Farmer's Cheese, Nutella, Apricot, Pistachios, Orange Blossom Syrup

Moroccan Pancake: Farmer's Cheese, Nutella, Apricot, Pistachios, Orange Blossom Syrup

Rooftop Sangria & Apricot Frose

Rooftop Sangria & Apricot Frose


Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesherBliss

Seawell Ballroom Teams Up with Phantom Circus for Two Show Run

Phantom Circus is back after a year plus hiatus of its full-length spectacles in the Mile High City, and the troupe will be taking over Seawell Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex for two all-ages shows on July 13th. Seawell Ballroom, who has signed on as presenting sponsor, will transform into a circus ring and will feature a variety of acts and performances from Colorado’s best aerialists, acrobats, hoopers, stilt walkers, and much more. Phantom premiered in 2016 at the Oriental Theater, and grew audiences over a span of five shows in the succeeding years, filling the theater by the third show and selling out in advance by the fifth.  Phantom set their sights on a larger, more centrally located venue to host their show. “We were bursting at the seams,” Phantom owner and director Natalie Brown explains. “Our acts needed more space, our aerial corps needed more rig points, and our fans needed more seats.”

Phantom Circus and Seawell Ballroom have enjoyed a collaborative working relationship over the past two years on a multitude of private and corporate events.  “We love Seawell; it’s our favorite venue and favorite crew to work with when we’re on the gig circuit,” says Brown. “We’re excited to design this project together.”

Brown has been on a mission to grow her circus since moving to Denver in 2013 and is excited to get back on stage for a public circus performance this summer. “Denver is a big girl city now, and I realized when I moved here that it needed a big girl circus company.” Focusing on diversity of performers, diversity in the style of acts and ensuring that all of her performers are treated well, Brown has made a name for herself across the country for creating a one of a kind experience for attendees and performers alike.

Brown was working in New Orleans as a journalist when Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Permanently displaced in Columbia, South Carolina, Brown started her first circus in a bar parking lot a block from the Confederate Flag on the Statehouse steps in 2007, and began advocating for performing arts legislation. After diligently working to build the arts community, she set her sights on Colorado and creating a new and improved circus experience. She completed Pro Track "circus school" aerial intensive training at Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance in Boulder in 2015, and started her dream company The Phantom Circus in 2016. Phantom has performed all over the state privately and publicly and has become a favorite among locals and event planners. Their most recent endeavor had Natalie and aerialists dancing off the roof and on the side of the new Hilton Garden Inn Union Station for their grand opening.

The Seawell ballroom show will feature their VIP ticket packages, which includes aerial bartending at intermission. VIP Ringmaster gets you premier seats, a goodie bag from sponsors and drink tickets to aerial bartending. The shows at will run 2 hours long and has a 2pm matinee for families and an 8pm evening showing. Tickets: $30-$35 (GA) $50- $100 (VIP) Kids: $12 www.phantomcircus.com

Sips N’ Cinema - A Tasteful Experience

Our friends at the Oriental Theater are cooking up some pretty awesome Summer events. Curated drinks and some cult movies, count us in.

Come experience a very special tasting and you favorite movies at Sips N’ Cinema. Working with some awesome liquor brands we have created a experience like you have never tasted before. Every month we will be showcasing one brand and pairing it with a movie. For just $20 a ticket you get access to taste each brand’s portfolio, a cocktail, and a movie showing. There are a very limited number of tickets to this event.

The Summer Series includes the following pairings.

- July 11: Fernet & Dr. Strangelove

- August 15: Ilegal Mezcal & Nacho Libre

- September 19: Barr Hill Gin & Honey I Shrunk The Kids

Tamayo's New Taco Party & Spring Menu

One of the longest-running restaurants on Larimer Square is Tamayo Modern Mexican Kitchen & Tequieria by world-renowned Chef Richard Sandoval. Opened in 2003, the restaurant’s longevity and popularity are a testament to the fantastic food, drinks and service at Tamayo. The ever-innovative menu has been carefully crafted by Chef Sandoval since the start along with the Chef de Cuisine, currently Antonio Tevillo.

Taquiza photo by Matt Ritscher

Taquiza photo by Matt Ritscher

We went in last week to try Tamayo’s new tableside taco experience “Taquiza” translated as “taco party” added as a fun dining experience for groups of four or more. The party starts with Chef Tevillo greeting diners at their table and setting up the taquiza, which is an authentic Mexican taco grill. He then places premium cuts of meats, seasonal accompaniments and tortillas on the taquiza, creating a street taco party from the comfort of your table where diners build their own tacos. The traditional taquiza experience at Tamayo includes grilled skirt steak, beef Cecina, Mexican chorizo, asadero cheese, grilled nopales, charred spring onions, jalapeno, house tortillas, tableside molcajete salsa and traditional garnishments. The premium taquiza upgrades the skirt steak and Cecina to NY Strip and shrimp. This interactive experience is inspired by the authentic taquiza street taco parties of Mexico, where friends and family gather to enjoy tacos, tequila and great company.

Mahi Mahi Ceviche, roasted beet salad (top) and baby kale salad. Photo by Tiffany Candelaria

Mahi Mahi Ceviche, roasted beet salad (top) and baby kale salad. Photo by Tiffany Candelaria

In addition to the new Taquiza option, the standard dinner menu at Tamayo features a wide range of options for eaters and appetites of all types within the following sections: Guacamoles, Antojitos (starters), Sopas y Ensalada, Especialidades, Tacos y Enchiladas. We started with the sweet corn guacamole with chips and salsa to and a variety of amazing margaritas. We recommend the Spicy Mango, the Tamayo or one of their house-infused tequilas mixed into a margarita, like the pineapple-thyme or strawberry-basil. Next, we enjoyed Mahi Mahi Ceviche, the roasted beet salad and baby kale salad with strawberries, which were all so refreshing and flavor-filled.

For our main event, we experienced the taco party and met Chef Padilla who told us all about the ingredients and his joy of cooking at Tamayo. The tacos were fantastic and everyone loved getting to pick and choose their ingredients, one lady even made a mean quesadilla.

We knew dessert was coming, so we saved room for the three treats that arrived: Tres Leches Bread Pudding, Empanadas de Platano and Pastel de Mousse. Holy moly were these all decadently delicious! The pastel de Mousse was the lightest as it is a peanut butter chocolate mousse between crispy layers. The Bread Pudding and banana Empanadas were a true indulgence, served warm and gooey with a small side of ice cream. Try it with a cup of café or an after-dinner digestivo.

Tres Leches Bread Pudding & Empanadas de Platano

Tres Leches Bread Pudding & Empanadas de Platano

You can’t go wrong with their daily Happy Hour either from 2-6pm that includes $4 beers and $5 select margaritas, $2 Taco Tuesdays, and Bottomless Margarita Brunch every Saturday & Sunday from 10:30am-2:30pm.


Words & photos by Tiffany Candelaria

LOLA Coastal Mexican has Been Fully Refreshed

LOLA Coastal Mexican, which jump-started the now-thriving LoHi neighborhood’s growth when it opened there 13 years ago, has undergone a full remodel of both their interior and their menu.

Charred Octopus

Charred Octopus

The remodel was executed by one of Hollywood’s most sought-after interior designers, Kari Whitman. “We used organic materials such as twine, bamboo fabrics, and earth-friendly lighting to transport you to coastal Mexico,” Kari says. Oceanic blue tones, brass lights, and large-format photography from internationally acclaimed artist Roberto Dutesco complete the vibe.

Surf & Turf Tostada

Surf & Turf Tostada

The new menu is created by LOLA’s new Chef/Partner, Javier Placencia, internationally recognized as Baja’s culinary ambassador and as the inventor of Baja-Med cuisine, a fusion of the culinary traditions of Baja California and the Mediterranean. Javier also runs restaurants in California and his San Diego restaurant Bracero Cocina de Raíz was nominated for a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Best New Restaurant. Javier says, “I saw how the food scene in Denver was growing, and that got me excited to share the good cuisine of Mexico here.”

Javier’s new menu focuses on ingredients and preparations unique to Baja, incorporating the fresh seafood the region is known. In addition, Javier’s food features Asian and Mediterranean ingredients, including ponzu and olives, which are entrenched in Baja’s immigrant-influenced cuisine. Executive Chef Sheila Lucero will oversee LOLA’s  kitchen and continue the sustainable seafood sourcing standards she’s known for at Jax Fish House. Together these two chefs have created and executed deliciously fresh, flavorful and colorful dishes. We especially loved the Surf & Turf Tostada with ahi tuna and beef machaca and the variety of colorful cocktails.

Scallop Tiradito with a Smoke & Mirrors cocktail

Scallop Tiradito with a Smoke & Mirrors cocktail

From dinner to brunch to happy hour, LOLA offers a taste of Mexico’s coast right here in the Mile High City. For more information and to make reservations please contact LOLA at (720) 570-8686, 1575 Boulder Street, Denver, CO 80211. For more information, please visit http://www.loladenver.com

Photos by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB

Brass Tacks | The New Hangout on Blake Street

From the group behind Curio, comes a full scale bar, eatery and hip hangout named Brass Tacks. It’s a cool, open yet cozy space with an amazingly stocked bar showcasing over 300 spirits and a counter-service kitchen making sandwiches, sides and a few large-scale “family meals”. They opened early February, transforming the former Blake Street Vault in LoDo.


The idea behind Brass Tacks was creating a place where people can feel comfortable coming in any time of day by providing delicious food and drink options from mid morning till past midnight in a comfortable, laid back setting. In the morning try a Vietnamese coffee, nitro cold brew or kombucha on tap with a $3 egg and cheese sandwich. For lunch we tried a couple sides and sandwiches, which are available all day. Happy hour is daily from 3-6pm and again Sun-Thu 10pm to close with $1 off beers, $2 off wine and cocktails and a few food specials. The variety of seating options, a couple TVs, free foosball upstairs, and no wait staff give guests the sense they can hang out for as long as they’d like.


The lovely bar features 20 beers on tap and a few wines and cocktails. We tried the sour on tap which was so refreshing and effervescent and a Saison which went well with our creamy Mac & Cheese and flavor-filled chicken wings. They also feature a whole fridge of bottled cocktails; one side has mixed, carbonated style cocktails, the other side has stronger, stirred cocktails. We went for the tequila based Cobble Hill which was very smooth, a bit sweet like honey, and overall amazing. One of their featured nitro cocktails on tap was a Peanut infused bourbon with Coca Cola which we had to sample. It was sweet and savory and we learned mixing peanuts with Coca Cola is a popular thing people do in Florida.


For our entrees (pictured above) we selected the turkey sandwich which came with alfalfa sprouts, thin sliced cucumber, avocado, havarti cheese, and basil aioli. We tried this on their soft gluten free ciabatta and we were impressed by the flavor and texture of this gluten free bread. We also ordered the Chimichurri steak sandwich containing marinated grilled flank steak, chimichurri, roasted piquillo peppers, arugula, jalapeno on a fresh baguette that was tasty and very filling.

In addition to good eats and an endless drink selection, the bar features a frozen cocktail machine with rotating monthly concoctions for $9 ($7 during happy hour). For May, they’re serving up a delicious frozen margarita featuring a 100% agave tequila and quality mixers that are worth coming for this summer. Definitely check out this cool new hangout, we loved kicking back and watching the Nuggets play while eating and drinking the afternoon away at Brass Tacks.



Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB

Photos by Josh Stephens @freezerfilmfoto

Upstairs private party area

Upstairs private party area

Breckenridge Brewery and Pop Culture Con Launch 2019 Pop Culture Con Beer: Bocks Machina

Breckenridge Brewery and Pop Culture Con (PCC) will officially launch the 2019 Pop Culture Con Beer, Bocks Machina, on May 25th at Monkey Barrel with music, games, cosplay, and the first collectible pint glass giveaway. The beer’s name was the winner of the annual “Name the Beer” contest which beat out hundreds of submissions during the online contest. “Bocks Machina” is a play on the adventure group Vox Machina from the widely popular web series “Critical Role.” The entire cast of the series will be appearing at Pop Culture Con (Critical Role is not affiliated with this promotion).

The 2019 PCC beer features Breckenridge Brewery’s Maibock recipe, which won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival. The party is challenged with concocting a malty lager that casts a joyful spell on all whom taste it. Maibock  is a refreshing golden liquid which tastes of honey and grain and smells of sweet fruit.

For the eighth straight year, Breck will be releasing the beer along with limited edition PCC pint glasses. This year’s glass features artwork by local artist Nick Hughes.

After the launch party, Bocks Machina will stay on tap at Monkey Barrel through Pop Culture Con. Other pubs within walking distance to the Colorado Convention Center will serve the beer leading up to and during the event. Follow Breckenridge Brewery on Facebook and Twitter for information on other pint glass giveaway events during Pop Culture Con. This information will also be posted on breckbrew.com in the weeks prior to the PCC.


For eight Breckenridge Brewery has brewed a special beer exclusively for Pop Culture Con (formally Denver Comic Con). The first 200 people to this FREE event will receive a limited collector’s seriesBock Machina” pint glass featuring custom design by Colorado artist Nick Hughes. The event will feature an LED Dance Floor, Cosplay contest and a DJ.


Monkey Barrel

4401 Tejon St.

Denver, CO


Saturday,  May 25th

- Doors 7pm

-Cosplay Contest: Winners will get tickets to Pop Culture Con  

- LED Dance Floor

About “Bock Machina!”

Past winners of the "Name the Comic Con Beer" contest are Razznarock, The Fantastic Pour, The Caped Brewsader, Brews Wayne, Hulk's Mash, Snape-ricot, and I Am Brewt.

Denver Mini Derby Review

In our opinion, Denver’s best KY Derby party is the Denver Mini Derby. This event started a couple years ago by Eleven Creative, the same group who created the Mile High Beer Festival, Whiskey+Doughnuts, and RiNo Prom (to name a few). This year’s Mini Derby moved from its former location at Stanley Marketplace to the bigger Conservatory Green Park in Stapleton.

Proceeds from the ticket sales helped support their charity partners Next Step Horse Rescue and Minds Matter of Denver. The Mini Derby is names such because the event actually has a mini horse race: mini-sized race course with mini-sized horses! The horses are all rescue horses from Next Step Horse Rescue and guests could visit with them before and after the race and take photos with the little cuties.



One of the best parts is all tickets included open bar access complete with Bulleit Frontier Whiskey mint juleps, Smirnoff vodka cocktails, Avery Brewing Company beer, wines, champagne, Red Bull and KeVita kombucha! I’d argue this open bar was better than at most events and kept everyone refreshed, energized and extra-cheery. 


Petting the ponies

Petting the ponies

And boy was there plenty to cheer for! The 145th annual Running of the Kentucky Derby was just one of the races at the Denver Mini Derby. The real reason people pick this Derby party over any other is to see the live mini horse race and Corgi race take place on the greens right in front of them! Guys and gals alike we’re so excited to see these races and exuberantly cheered the cute animals on. It was adorable. 


The Corgis line up

The Corgis line up


Prizes were awarded for Best Dressed Woman, Best Dressed Man, Best Hat, and Cutest Couple which made for a beautiful event. Rollin Smoke BBQ and Infinitus Pie’s food trucks sold tasty eats and Groove ‘N Motion provided the live music before the race.  We had a fantastic time and we highly recommend you join in the fun next May!

Live music before the race!

Live music before the race!

Bottomless Bar Car Brunch at The Nickel

If you're looking for a booze infused brunch, The Nickel, inside Hotel Teatro, provides guests with three great bottomless beverage options. Even better, each is customizable and interchangeable, meaning guests can bounce from sophisticated mimosas to punchy Bloody Mary's to sweet cereal-infused White Russians!

Coco Puff’s infused White Russian

Coco Puff’s infused White Russian

Mimosa & Bombolone

Mimosa & Bombolone

Located within Denver’s historic Tramway Building, now Hotel Teatro, The Nickel pays homage to the space that was once used to collect fare from customers riding its resident streetcars: a nickel. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday's from 10am- 3pm and the Nickel is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Their full menu incorporates quality ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, distillers and craft producers, and is comprised of dishes that make guests feel the warmth of familiarity. The Nickel also has happy hour daily complete with cocktails, charcuterie, Colorado craft beer and wine from 3pm-5pm.

Biscuits & Gravy. Chicken & Waffles. Bloody Mary.

Biscuits & Gravy. Chicken & Waffles. Bloody Mary.

We thoroughly enjoyed all the bar car drinks and fixings and found many diners around us doing the same. For sustenance we ordered the Biscuits & (duck confit) Gravy which was good but not as decadent and delicious as we’re used to. Our other dish was Chicken & Waffles which had very lightly battered/fried chicken, with waffles that were nicely golden crisp on the outside and soft inside. We took our time enjoying the food, the ambience and the bottomless bar car. The restaurant was pretty busy with a diverse mix of diners; young and old, boozers and non-boozers, hotel guests and Denver locals.

The Barrel Bar

The Barrel Bar

Coda coffee & side of bacon.

Coda coffee & side of bacon.

At the end of the month Hotel Teatro, being one of Denver’s most pup-friendly hotels, will be hosting their third annual puppy brunch Sunday, April 28th! During this special brunch, puppies will be available to play with and adopt in the lobby in celebration of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. To help raise money for Underdogs Animal Rescue, there is a $5 suggested donation to play with the pups and The Nickel will then treat you to a mimosa for donating! More info on the event here.

Dog In Lobby of Hotel Teatro


Words & Photos by Tiffany Candelaria

The Passport Program Supper Social Program: Smök, The Family Jones Spirit House and New Belgium


BBQ, Booze and fun……Don’t threaten us with a good time!

Join us for The Passport Program Supper Social, a shared dining experience exclusively for Passport insiders. We're teaming up with our friends at Smōk for a night of tasty barbecue paired with a cocktail from The Family Jones Spirit House and beers from New Belgium Brewing, and you're invited! Tickets to this event are limited, so get them before they're gone!

Your $50 Ticket Includes:
→ Automatic Jones “Rock and Rye” cocktail from The Family Jones Spirit House
→ Three-course meal from Smōk
→ Two beers from New Belgium Brewery including the debut of their Smoked Banana Stout brewed downstairs in The Source Hotel

First Course
Paired with a cocktail from The Family Jones Spirit House
→ Jalapeño Poppers -or- Deviled Eggs

Second Course
Paired with an Astral Traveler DIPA from New Belgium Brewing
→ Two Meats and Two Sides
Choose 2: brisket, pulled pork, pork belly, turkey, chicken, burnt ends, and sausage.
Choose 2: creamed corn, mac & cheese, coleslaw, pit beans, cornbread, and potato salad.

Paired with a Smoked Banana Stout from New Belgium Brewing
→ Banana Pudding

Things To Remember:
→ All guests must be 21+ and are required to have a valid ID with proof of age.
→ We ask that you arrive at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start of your session.
→ You must have a Denver Passport Winter Edition and a ticket to attend.

DVSN WEST x Be A Good Person Celebrate Air Max Day With The Art Max Gallery

DVSN West was transformed into a sneaker heads paradise with amazing art celebrating the much heralded and iconic sneaker the Air Max. In conjunction with Be A Good Person the event helped raise money via a silent auction to help local schools in our community, local art by local artists featured Air Max themed exclusives for this event with one of a kind pieces. The event took place on what is known as Air Max Day  all over the world. It is celebrated every year on March 26th (1987) the day the Air Max 1 was released. Themed pieces featuring the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, Air Max 97 and more adorned the walls while patrons enjoyed complimentary cocktails courtesy of Deep Eddy Vodka and Waterloo Sparkling Water. Local DJ KDJ Above had to the music bumping all night long for what may become an annual tradition here in Denver. (Words and Images: Robert Castro)

Top Taco: A Culinary Extravaganza Like No Other


Top Taco has quickly earned a spot as the "can't miss" tasting party of the summer. This culinary throwdown takes place on the evening of Thursday, June 27th, when more than 50 restaurants -- including Comida, Dos Santos, Margs, Los Chingones Tamayo, and Los Dos Potrillos -- compete head to head for the Top Taco title in the Creative Taco, Traditional, Vegetarian Taco and Signature Tequila Cocktail categories.

As a guest, you'll enjoy unlimited samples of all the tacos and margaritas, along with unique tequila samples, beer, wine and more. Be sure to dance away the evening to the live rhythm and beat of La Candela, Denver's hottest salsa band!

Ticket Types:

VIP: Early entry at 6pm plus a separate tasting area inside the festival with additional taco and tequila tastings, lounge and separate bathrooms.

First Taste: Early Entry at 6pm, plus tastings from our 50 restaurants

General Admission: 7pm entry and tastings from our 50 restaurants


Restaurant list: Coming Soon


• When: Thursday, June 27th • Entrance Times: 6:00pm VIP/First Taste, 7:00pm GA

• Where: Stanley Market Place Lawn

• Bring your ID. This event is 21+ only and you will not be able to enter without it.

• We highly suggest you take cab, Uber or Lyft. Paid parking info and directions at TopTacoDenver.com

• You will have an e-ticket furnished by EventBrite sent to your email. If you have multiple tickets, screenshot them and save them on your phone for faster entry. If you have purchased a Double Down ticket, you will receive your Chicken Fight ticket after separately.

• The festival is rain or shine. It is never a bad idea to bring a rain jacket or layers depending on the weather report. Colorado springs mean varied weather.

• We will have water stations in various locations, clearly marked, around the festival.

• No kids allowed. This is an over 21-year-old event. Please leave your children at home. We aren’t afraid they will drink, we just don’t want them in the vicinity of adults who are drinking.

• NO PETS! Pets are not permitted. Service and working animals are not considered pets and are exempt from this policy.

• No smoking. Smoking is not allowed.


• Weapons of any kind

• Illegal substances

• Squirt guns, misters, spray bottles, etc.

• Laser pens and similar focused-light devices

• Chairs

• Pets (service and working animals are not considered pets and are exempt from this policy)

• Bicycles, scooters, personal motorized vehicles need to be parked outside of festival grounds (bike parking will be available).

• Musical instruments

• Fake IDs (these will be confiscated and your wristband will be cut without refund)

• Outside food or drink

Discount Tickets Click Here

Zeal, "Food for Enthusiasts"

A healthy new Denver restaurant has been on our radar long before opening here. Zeal, Food for Enthusiasts, is a casual Boulder-based food and juice spot attracting health conscious foodies for the past five years. Due to its popularity, owners Wayde Jester and Chelsea Norton decided to try out the Denver market and opened in the Tech Center’s Landmark development last Fall.


Zeal offers the best in flavor and quality thanks to their organic ingredients and superb chef. Zeal uses local and organic ingredients, much of which come from their small farm north of Boulder. Their Chef, aka Enthusiast de Cuisine, John Broening grew up in France, the Soviet Union and Portugal where his father was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press. Broening has worked in several top restaurants in New York, San Francisco, Paris and Denver and has been a featured guest chef at the James Beard House several times.

During our dinner we enjoyed a range of veggie, fish, meat and vegan dishes as well as their cold-pressed juice and house made Kombucha. Their current juices were kale and ginger, beet juice, and carrot based and are available as a flight or stand alone. They also serve as flavor additions to their green tea-based Kombucha. These aren’t the only offerings on tap at the bar, Zeal DTC offers a selection of craft beer, wine and cocktails and offer happy hour 2:30-5:30pm daily.

Mussels with rosemary and white wine, pickled sweet peppers, anchovy, touch of butter

Mussels with rosemary and white wine, pickled sweet peppers, anchovy, touch of butter

We began with a bowl of marvelous mussels and their popular Conscious Kale Salad that’s been a staple since opening in Boulder. We saw, even before eating, how this salad has remained a staple for so long with its colorful array of superfoods portioned out artfully in the bowl. The salad is kale based and features bright pickled carrots, sweet golden beets, crunchy walnuts and sprouted lentils.

For our main we ordered the Lamb Burger and the Poke Bowl. The Lamb Burger comes topped with tzatziki and a tomato jam served with either greens or a side of scrumptious chimichurri smashed potatoes. The Poke Bowl was laid out like the salad with its colorful ingredients portioned out atop a bed of brown rice. The crisp cucumbers and drizzle of spicy aioli were a great flavor addition.

Lamb Burger (right) and the Poke Bowl (left)

Lamb Burger (right) and the Poke Bowl (left)

Our sweet ending was a not-so-sweet, but very much a treat, cashew-based cheesecake. This vegan dessert mimics the real thing in its creamy texture but with much less sugar and no dairy. With a walnut crust, fresh berries and agave drizzle, we loved every last bite of this delicious creamy treat.

Zeal’s casual farm to table restaurant will be opening a new Boulder location this summer and just launched weekend brunch in their DTC location. From 9:30am-2:30pm enjoy their popular Acai bowls and bullet coffee along with new items like Eggs Benedict, pancakes three ways, bacon fried rice, and $14 bottomless mimosas.


Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @redcapturesherbliss

Juice flight and Conscious Kale Salad

Juice flight and Conscious Kale Salad

Broadway Market | Denver's Newest Food Hall

The Bar

The Bar

The Food Hall trend has steadily made its way across the country and has found a warm welcome from Denverites. From The Source’s opening in 2013 to the brand new Broadway Market opening today, there are now over a handful of deliciously cool food halls to spend your day or night.

Broadway Market was inspired by village food halls where people have been gathering to eat and mingle for centuries, but puts a Mile High spin on its global cuisine and communal setting. Broadway Market comes from developer Mark Shaker of Stanley Marketplace and Brad Arguello, co-founder of Avanti Food & Beverage, along with Snooze’s Adam Schlegel helping curate the concepts. “We opened Broadway Market as a food hall and community gathering place that’s also a celebration of Denver’s best chefs. They have worked in this type of concept before which means they can focus on the food and their customers,” says Mark Shaker. We noticed a few of the restaurants overlap from Stanley Marketplace such as Maria Empanada, Misaki Sushi, Mondo Mini (Market), and Miette Et Chocolat. In addition to their tasty food, there’s pizza and pasta, doner kebabs and falafel, burgers and tots, tikka masala and curry, and even a cold-pressed juicery! We tried it all and loved the variety and quality of food to choose from here.

The nine restaurants in Broadway Market

The nine restaurants in Broadway Market

In addition to their nine restaurants, there’s two locally owned boutiques and a full bar in the center of it all with craft cocktails, lots of wine and even a sake on the menu. Beer lovers have their own special spot, an entire “Bottoms Up” beer wall with a dozen Colorado beers and ciders on tap. The do-it-yourself beer wall lets you fill your glass with however much you want and is priced per ounce, so you can pick and choose! Making this extra fun is your glass fills from the bottom up by way of a magnetic stopper - I’m telling you this so you don’t end up with beer all over your table like we did after curiously/drunkenly poking the bottom of our glass.


Broadway Market makes it easy for guests to purchase from multiple vendors with an optional fob card that can link to your credit card. This card allows you to swipe away with only one charge to your credit card and if you plan on using the beer wall, the card is necessary to activate it and will show you your running total with each pour, thankfully.

As Denver, and the world, expands so too does our interest in sustainability. Broadway Market aims to be as close to zero waste as possible with the help of their local compost partner Scraps. By using real dishes and utensils Broadway Market avoids all single-use plastics: no plastic straws, no plastic condiment packets, nothing that gets used just once and then thrown in the landfill. From sourcing to preparation to dining and plate-scraping, just about everything at Broadway Market that can be disposed of can be composted or recycled. They plan to examine their operations during the first three months for the best ways to live up to their zero waste goals.

Add this new food hall to your list of hangouts as it’s perfect for a causal breakfast with your laptop, lunch with a diverse group of eaters, or a fun dinner date or drink stop. Another reason to go, it’s easy to get to -with a central location on Broadway and 9th and a free parking lot, it’s definitely our new hang out spot!

Misaki Sushi

Misaki Sushi


Review by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesHerBliss

Uchi Denver | Modern Japanese Cuisine

Japanese tradition and culinary innovation fuse at the award-winning Uchi restaurant in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood. Uchi Denver is the fourth Uchi concept from Austin-based restaurant group Hai Hospitality, and the first outside of Texas. From the spices and sauces used to enhance their nigiri, sashimi and makimono, to the flair they pair with their specialty dishes, Uchi’s menu is diverse and interesting. You won’t find the regular rolls you’re used to seeing here, only expertly crafted dishes with the finest ingredients from around the world.

Hama Chili (top left), Suzuki Yaki (top right), Machi Cure (center)

Uchi Denver is the first to have a full bar and cocktail program, I guess they know Denverites like to drink, in addition to their comprehensive offering of sakes, beer, and wine. To our delight, they uphold the tradition of sake social with Happy Hour from 5-6:30pm nightly with $3 sake and Kirin beer, $7 wine, and a great selection of sushi and other tasty bites!

Uchi’s fabulous food and fish is due to their close relationships with local farmers and the Fukuoka and Tsukiji markets in Japan from which they fly in seafood every day. Combining seasonal ingredients with a spectrum of seafood from around the globe, Uchi invites diners to expand their expectations and boundaries. We were recommended to experience the Omakase – Chef’s Tasting of 10 courses – and we were surprised and delighted by the diverse dishes. Uchi also offers a smaller Signature Tasting (six courses) and a Vegetarian Tasting (six course) in addition to their full menu.

Kinoko Nabe - 5 types of mushroom, crunchy rice, mushroom tentsuyu (broth) and egg yolk that is mixed in at your table.

We started with a Social Hour roll and the Machi Cure (pictured below) composed of yucca chips, smoked yellowtail, pear and Marcona almonds. This dish looked like a contemporary art piece and was just as intriguing on the palate. Next was their house named Uchi Salad, beautiful local greens wrapped around jicama with a cashew pesto sauce. The greens in this salad are sourced directly from the restaurant’s rooftop greenhouse, a partnership with Altius Farms and the only Hai property to have such a feature!

Machi Cure

James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole leads the team in Denver with his signature non-traditional take on Japanese food. Having trained for more than 10 years in Tokyo, New York, and Austin under two different sushi masters, he continues his path of study and experimentation each day at the restaurants in the Hai Hospitality family. Employing classical cooking techniques with a Pacific Rim perspective, Cole marries global ingredients with traditional Japanese flavors, resulting in inspired combinations of flavor, texture, color, technique, and style.

Fried Milk

If someone in your group prefers a heartier alternative to sashimi and sushi, Uchi doesn’t disappoint there either. The menu features savory meat and vegetable dishes like their Wagyu beef taster, insanely good Brussels Sprouts, tempura veggies, chicken wings, and a 72-hour braised short rib sushi.

Everyone should save a little room for dessert as these sweet endings are just as inventive and flavor-dynamic as the rest of the menu. Options range from the decadent Fried Milk (pictured above), those golden balls are the fried milk cream, with chocolate ganache and vanilla custard. Or go light with a gluten free, dairy free dessert such as the coconut tapioca, or meet in the middle with their lovely jasmine cream (pictured below) with pineapple and a honey crumble base.

Uchi Denver has become one of Denver’s hottest restaurants, with eager eaters lining up at all hours of the night to get a taste. They do accept limited reservations, so we suggest you pick a date a couple weeks out and secure a spot!

Jasmine Cream

Words by Tiffany Candelaria @TCdoesFnB Photos by Samantha Bliss @RedCapturesherBliss