Who let the dogs out…This weekend, August 27-28, Copper Mountain holds its fourth annual Dogs Daze with a celebration of all things canine, and that includes inviting man’s best friend to a dinner party. Saturday’s Canine Wine and Dine dishes up a feast for humans (sautéed chicken with wild-rice pilaf, creamy polenta with spanikopita, cream of potato and leek soup, veggies, and dessert) and our four-legged friends (beef, salmon, and chicken medallions, freeze-dried meat treats, grain and veggie mix, doggie snow cups, and chicken-liver fortune cookies). Dogs must be leashed, have current vaccinations, and wear ID and rabies tags. The 7 p.m. dinner for pooch and person costs $40. To make reservations, contact Carol Padlick at dogpatch@amigo.net or 970-262-2095.

Ready, set, eat…The World Grilled-Cheese-Eating Championship rolls into The Taste of Colorado on Sept. 3. At 2 p.m., cheer on Englewood homeboy Donovan Busta, ranked 27th in the world, as he chomps his way to the $1,750 purse. Why the Mile-High City? George Shea, the chairman of the International Federation of Competitive Eating (did you know there was such a thing?), says “We have always felt that the Denver area is an untapped resource of great eating talent…the Taste of Colorado Festival could unearth tomorrow’s next great champion.” Sounds…cheesy, but there are still slots open. Register at www.ifoce.com or 212-627-5766.

New in town…Via Italian Eatery and Bar opened Monday day in the old Brasserie Rouge space. The favorites thus far: Haystack Mountain ricotta stuffed peppers asaggini, charred octopus with salsa verde and chick peas, and the garganelli pasta with spinach-almond pesto, fingerling potatoes, and string beans. Diners can’t stop talking about the bar and wall that look as if they’re fashioned from stacked firewood—the feel, says publicist Diane Nagler “is SoHo, Milan, and the mountains rolled into one.” 1801 Wynkoop St., 303-295-1488, www.viaitalianeatery.com.

Get saucy…Celebrate Labor Day in backyard barbecue style—on the St. Julien Hotel‘s patio. On Sept. 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. enjoy live jazz and all-you-can-eat burgers, brats, hot dogs, iced tea, lemonade, and soft drinks (draft beers cost $2). All this, and no dirtying up your own kitchen. Admission is $18.50 for adults, $9 for children 5 to 12, kids under 5 are free. 900 Walnut St., Boulder; call Jill’s Restaurant for reservations 720-406-7399.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.