July 12 2005, 10:00 PM
Le Tour...If you can pull yourself away from watching Lance's quest for the yellow jersey, Bistro Vendôme is offering its own version of the Tour de France. As the peloton races through 12 regions of France, Larimer Square's Bistro Vendôme will feature and serve wine from each area. Patrons will receive a stamp for each "visit" to a region. Stamps translate to 10 percent off a dinner in August or Septemberthe more stamps you collect, the cheaper the meal (two stamps equals 20 percent off, eight stamps means 80 percent off, etc.). Bistro Vendôme's Le Tour de Vin Francais lasts through July 24. 1424 Larimer Square, 303-825-3232, www.bistrovendome.com. A rare find...With the opening of Black Pearl on South Pearl Street new life was breathed into the old Oodles space. The open-air concept and outdoor patio are enticingplus, placing the hostess stand on the sidewalk to catch passersby was a brilliant maneuver. The New American menu includes fresh-from-the-sea oysters, a divine burger (with caramelized onion, apple-smoked bacon, Gruyère, and blue cheese compote), decadent lobster BLT, and the ultimate veggie sandwich (with asparagus, roasted pepper, Humboldt Fog goat cheese). For now Black Pearl is only open for dinner, but look for lunch to be added soon. 1529 S. Pearl St., 303-777-0500, www.blackpearldenver.com. Food for thought...With more than 27 percent of Denver's children living in poverty, do your part to end hunger. On Sunday, July 17 Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation makes it easy to put your money where your mouth is. Sample food from more than 40 Denver restaurants and sip on wine from 60-some wineries while strolling the event. This year's Taste is designed to represent Denver's culinary neighborhoodsevent-goers can identify each area (such as Wash Park, Cherry Creek, the Golden Triangle, etc.) by street signs and landmarks. Tickets are still available$60 if you buy now, $65 at the door. One hundred percent of proceeds go to charities such as Food Bank of the Rockies, Women's Bean Project, Operation Frontline, and Volunteers of America. The Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th St., 303-297-0408, www.denvertasteofthenation.org. Rock on...Yet another reason to go to the mountainsRocks Modern Grill opened on July 1 in Beaver Creek. True to its name, the menu is broken into three sections: pebbles (small stuff like appetizers, sandwiches, and salads), boulders (entrées), and rock candy (dessert).We're looking forward to trying the warm crab and artichoke dip on garlic toasts, the venison flank steak salad, and the slow-roasted "fork & knife" baby back ribs. Located in the Beaver Creek Lodge, 26 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek, 970-845-1730.