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 .