New: Santa Fe Tequila Company
Santa Fe Drive has long been the spot to find authentic Mexican food (think along the lines of El Taco de Mexico) and any number of art galleries, but only recently did the area get its first upscale restaurant. In November, the Santa Fe Tequila Company opened on the corner of 10th Avenue and Santa Fe, effectively providing indie theater-goers and First Friday art walkers a spot to linger before or after the night’s activity.
The gorgeously appointed cantina’s adobe walls, wooden beams, and rustic fixtures transport you straight to New Mexico; and the menu is authentic Santa Fe, with the iconic pinto beans, squash, posole, corn, and green and red chile making a strong showing. We visited the restaurant before a show and only had time for appetizers and margaritas. Of the six apps we ordered, the guacamole stole the show. Denver is no stranger to made-to-order guac (LoLa, Tamayo, and La Sandía dish up the best versions), but the Santa Fe Tequila Company’s starter was excellent with slices of mashed avocado largely left intact, an ample seasoning of lime juice, and a sprinkling of coarse salt. Scooped up with warm homemade blue and white corn chips, this app disappeared firstand is at the top of our list to order again. Our take: We’ll be back for the perfectly tart margs and authentic eatswe’ve got our eye on the ancho-chile barbecue ribs and the Navajo taco made with fry breadbut the deejay spinning beats Friday and Saturday nights is totally out of place. 901 W. 10th Ave., 303-534-7900, www.santafetequilacompany.com
Event: Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen, June 1315
I always know summer is on its way when I begin thinking about the Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen. The 26th annual event is a celebration of all things culinaryall nestled at the base of Aspen Mountain. This year’s lineup is the best I’ve seen, with superchefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Michelle Bernstein, and David Chang joining returning favorites like Jacques Pépin, José Andrés, and Bobby Flay. Tickets are pricey ($1,050) but grant you access to cooking seminars with celeb chefs, wine tastings with top sommeliers, cookbook signings, and an inside look at the year’s hottest trends. Tip: Save $100 if you purchase tickets before March 15that’s when the price goes up to $1,150. To register, call 1-877-900-WINE, www.foodandwine.com/classic
Neighborhood Eats: Adagio Baking Company
Across from the Cherry Tomato restaurant in Park Hill sits the cozy Adagio Baking Company. Cross the bakery’s threshold and you’re welcomed inside with a wave from the counter and the inviting smells of yeast breads rising, brownies baking, and coffee brewing. Though known for their sweetsdon’t miss the chewy ginger-spice cookiesAdagio also builds a mean sandwich. Our favorite of the lunch offerings is the roasted turkey with pesto, provolone, caramelized onion, and tomato on dense panini bread. Bonus: All sandwicheswhich are hugecome with a complimentary cookie. 4628 E. 23rd Ave., 303-388-0904, www.adagiobakery.com