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Table Talk for October 2

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RECAP: THE JAMES BEARD DINNER
Denver should be proud: Not only was our city chosen as one of 20 in the U.S. to host last Friday’s James Beard Taste America dinner, it was also the first city to sell out. That indicates just how far the Mile-High City’s dining scene has come in recent years. For 190 lucky diners, the evening was nothing short of spectacular with dishes from Alex Seidel (Fruition), Thomas Salamunovich (Vail’s Larkspur), Frank Bonanno (Mizuna and Luca d’Italia), Elise Wiggins (Panzano), Yasmin Lozada-Hissom (Duo), and guest chef Tim Love (The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and Love Shack in Fort Worth, Texas). Though patrons left with a printed menu detailing each course, the wines—paired by Frasca‘s master sommelier Bobby Stuckey—were left off. So, here, we present the wine and food pairings in full:

NEWS: CHUTNEY’S CLOSES
We learned last week that Chutney’s, a high-end Indian restaurant in Castle Pines Village (and one of 5280‘s Best New Restaurants of 2006) has closed its doors. Managing director Kannan Alagappan (who shuttered the well-liked Denver Woodlands in Aurora to open Chutney’s) explains that the area simply didn’t take to the Indian concept: “We are busy during weekends and slow during weekdays. The reason is Indian food is an experience and not an everyday thing, and we don’t have enough traffic out there to make it work.” Alagappan is regrouping and will be reopen the space as a fine-dining steakhouse (name to be determined) come mid- to late-October. We are happy to hear, however, that some of the more popular Indian dishes (most notably the lamb chop curry and tandoori lobster) will remain on the menu alongside the steaks. 880 Happy Canyon Road, Castle Rock, 303-660-2020

BEST BITES: SMOKIN’ JOES
It’s an exciting time for Denver barbecue lovers—it seems every where you look there’s a new rib-and-brisket joint sprouting up. One of the newcomers, Smokin’ Joes Bar-BQ, at the intersection of Evans and Broadway, offers top-notch hickory-smoked brisket, Memphis-style pulled pork, and country links. Sides are limited (the best of the bunch are the salt-and-peppered fries), but we decided that leaves more room for the smoky and tender spare ribs. Service is speedy, the sweet tea is addictive, and we love the bright decor with ‘cue trivia and piggy pictures gracing the walls. 2103 S. Broadway, 720-570-0911

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