Table Talk for April 1

April 2008
Uptown Update: Strings, D Bar, and Tastes There are exciting things happening on 17th Avenue. Of note, Strings' head chef Aaron Whitcomb (formerly of Table 6) is working his culinary magic by simplifying the menu. For proof, check out the refreshing chicken salad sandwich with basil pesto and fresh mozzarella or the divine Lola Rosa salad with avocado, cucumber, pancetta, and Maytag blue cheese dressing. 1700 Humboldt St., 303-831-7310, www.stringsrestaurant.com    Meanwhile, next door bustles with activity and will soon open as D Bar Desserts. We anxiously await the day when renowned pastry chefs Keegan Gerhard (Food Network host) and Lisa Bailey will wow us with all things sweet. I had the lucky fortune of previewing Bailey's piping hot brioche donut and her delicate apple torte topped with Apple Jacks ice cream. This icy treat is blended from the sugary, slightly apple-y milk that Apple Jacks cereal leaves behind. Gerhard and Bailey reportedly make an ice cream from Froot Loops milk too. 1475 E. 17th Ave., www.dbardesserts.com    Just down the street, Tastes Wine Bar & Bistro is getting ready to open on April 7. Brought to us by Kristel Deckx and Daniel Kuhlman, this is the second outpost for Tastes (the first being on Tennyson Street), and the concept—international-style tapas, wine, and dessert—will be similar, says general manager Dan Charland. The Uptown location will also serve brunch. 4267 Tennyson St., 303-952-9590 and 17th Avenue and Downing Street, www.tasteswinebar.com —Amanda M. Faison Best Bites: Gelato Bacio's California Fig A recent trip to Boulder found us ordering an after-lunch treat at Gelato Bacio, a gelateria that opened on Pearl Street in December. The sleek space feels oh-so-Italian, thanks to David Cohen and Mike O'Brien's (from Spruce Confections) attention to detail. The same thought goes into the all-natural gelato, which is made each morning. Flavors range from perfectly creamy Indonesian vanilla to lightly sweet California fig (a perfect fix for Fig Newton fans). Bonus: The frozen case is low enough to the ground that kiddos can easily peruse flavors. 1021 Pearl St., Boulder —AMF Roundup: Denver's Egg Sandwiches When we learned last week that Herb Peterson, founder of the McDonald's Egg McMuffin, passed away, it got us thinking about our favorite riffs on the breakfast sandwich. While McDonald's has a corner on the market (franchises reportedly sell an average of 21,000 McMuffins a month), here are our go-tos:
  • Annie's Cafe's open-face Billy-Joe with a scrambled egg, bacon, and Cheddar on an English muffin. 4012 E. Eighth Ave., 303-355-8197, www.annies-cafe.com
  • Café Caliente's egg, cheese, and ham on a bagel. 3701 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-2500, www.lacafecaliente.com
  • Mona's egg sandwich on wheat toast with peppered bacon. 2364 15th St., 303-455-4503 and 141 S. Broadway, 303-778-1111, www.monasrestaurant.com
  • Pete's Kitchen's ham and fried-egg sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and fries (because everyone needs fries in the morning). 1962 E. Colfax Ave., 303-321-3139, www.petesrestaurantstoo.com
  • Zaidy's fried-egg sandwich with smokehouse bacon, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayo on a Kaiser roll. 121 Adams St., 303-333-5336 and 15th & Lawrence, 303-893-3600, www.zaidysdeli.com
  • —AMF
News: James Beard Gives Nod to Westword Each year New York City's James Beard Foundation awards the best and brightest of the food world for their contribution to cookbooks, restaurants, and food writing. Food cities like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and San Francisco tend to snag the recognition, but this year Denver gets a nod. Westword's restaurant critic Jason Sheehan is nominated for best restaurant reviews against Gourmet's Colman Andrews (former editor-in-chief of Saveur), and the L.A. magazine Angeleno's Brad A. Johnson. We wish Sheehan the best of luck—and we love the national eyes he's turning toward our smaller but noteworthy food scene. Bonus: Several Colorado names—Frasca's master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and Montagna's executive chef Ryan Hardy among them—are up for also awards. www.jamesbeard.org —Kazia Jankowski Rumor Mill: Chinook, Closing or Moving? Word on the street says that Cherry Creek North's cozy German staple Chinook Tavern is closing its doors for good. Not true, says Chinook owner Clemens Georg. Although high rent prices will temporarily close the restaurant in July, watch for a fall reopening in at The Village Shops at the Landmark in Greenwood Village. 265 Detroit St., 303-394-0044, www.chinooktavern.com —KJ Correction: Last week's Table Talk mentioned the St Julien Hotel & Spa's Boulder Biking & BBQ package. Please note the hotel's full name, and that the $250 price tag includes a 50-minute post biking massage.