NEW: BERKELEY OFFERS UP TASTES
Labor Day marked the opening of Tastes, a wine and dessert bistro on bustling Tennyson Street. In the airy, art gallery-like space, all the paintings on the walls and the handcrafted tables are for sale. The menu changes nearly every day but always features a vast selection of wine, beer, cordials, single malt Scotches, cheeses, tapas, and desserts. Stop in before dinner for a drink and a small plate (marinated mozzarella balls get my vote) or afterwards for a glass of wine and dessert (pastries are procured from a number of local bakeries). Good bets: the fruit mousse and the almond fruit tart. 4267 Tennyson St., 303-458-0209.
OPENING SOON: INDIAN IN CASTLE PINES
Ever since owner Kannan Alagappan closed Denver Woodlands, his Indian restaurant in Aurora (and one of Denver’s best), I’ve awaited the opening of Alagappan’s new eatery. Last week he called with the good news that Chutney’s, a re-imagined Woodlands, will open in Castle Pines Village on Sept. 29. Look for classic Indian cuisine with a continental twist, white tablecloths, mountain views, and a full bar. With chefs Ravi Chandra and Dan Brown in the kitchen, the restaurant promises a full menu (Denver Woodlands was 100 percent vegetarian), and I’m already looking forward to a dosa, a crepe-like treat filled with goodies such as curried potatoes, or sautéed onions chutney, or green chile. 880 Happy Canyon Road, Castle Rock, 303-660-2020, www.chutneysfoodandwine.com.
NEW: AQUA SETS SAIL
With fresh oysters, sashimi, peel-n-eats, lobster, crab cakes, and seafood pot pie, the two-week-old Aqua Oyster Bar & Lounge becomes another anchor for the Golden Triangle neighborhood. But with little else on the menu (the only non-seafood dish is a make-your-own salad) the eatery will have a hard time appealing to steak lovers and vegetarians. That said, Aqua’s dining space seems to be a means to an end rather than a full-fledged restaurantthe compact dining room is glossy and chic but the bar with a 600-gallon fish tank dominates the space. With a nightclub in the back (DJ gets started at 10:30 each night), the seafood menu will provide ample snacks the to night owls. Should you venture in for dinner alone, the $10 tuna tataki with arugula salad, ponzu, and saikyo miso is a hit. 925 Lincoln St, Unit A, 303-839-0034, www.aquadenver.com.