Valentine’s Day: A Few of Our Favorite Things
Dinner reservations and a bouquet of roses are so, well, predictable. Mix it up this year by surprising your sweetie with a few of our go-to goodies.

  • Telluride Truffle
    Made in Telluride, these delicious triangular sweets are crafted from Belgian chocolate and organic Colorado cream. The shape evokes the Rocky Mountains and each truffle’s flavor is inspired by the slopes—Bunny Hill, Powder Day, Blizzard—our favorite to date is Mud Season, a blend of milk chocolate and hazelnut.; available at The Truffle, 2906 E. Sixth Ave., 303-322-7363,
  • Marramiero Inferi Montepulciano D’Abruzzo (2003). This lusty wine with dark fruit and vanilla nuances makes a fine pairing with an Italian meal or a cheese and salumi plate. Available at Mondo Vino, 3601 W. 32nd Ave., 303-458-3858,
  • Everyday Food’s Great Food Fast
    Our favorite cookbook of late is Everyday Food’s Great Food Fast. We make dinner from its pages at least once a week, and current favorites are the easy and tasty lemon-garlic lamb kebabs, Sloppy Joes, and lemon custard cakes. Available at the Tattered Cover Book Store, 2526 E. Colfax Ave., 303-322-7727; 1628 16th St., 303-436-1070,

Website: Top of the Town and Burning Barbecue Questions
We want to hear about your favorite restaurants, dishes, and secreted-away spots. Starting on Friday, you can log onto 5280‘s 2008 Top of the Town ballot and make your vote count. Voting is simple and when you register you can revisit your ballot (for you indecisive types) February 15 through March 31, 2008.
While your grill may currently be covered in frost, backyard-barbecue season will be here before you know it. And, come warm weather, you’ll be wondering which new grill to invest in, which last-minute marinades are best, and whether or not to use hickory chips. Send us these and other grilling questions to We’ll ask Steven Raichlen, celeb grilling guru (and author of The Barbecue Bible and host of PBS’s Barbecue University), your best questions and run his answers in the June issue. Submit your questions by Friday, February 22. Bonus: Raichlen is teaching a three-day, three-night interactive grilling course at the historic Broadmoor in Colorado Springs June 1–4 and June 4–7. The weekend doesn’t come cheap: Packages start at 2,428.

Recipe: One Hot Martini
If you don’t already have dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, consider wooing your honey at home. Kick off the evening with a sultry Line of Fire martini, designed by celebrity mixologist Alex Ott. Or, head out to Mynt Mojito Lounge, and ask the bartender to shake one up instead. 1424 Market St., 303-825-6968
Line of Fire Martini

  • 3 ounces OLO spiced rum
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces pineapple juice (you can substitute mango, orange, or pear juice)
  • 1 ounce watermelon liqueur (or 2 ounces of fresh watermelon juice)
  • Grenadine

Rim martini glasses with cayenne pepper. Dip the glass rim in grenadine, then immediately dip into a plate filled with sugar. In a shaker, combine OLO with pineapple juice, watermelon liqueur, a splash of grenadine, and ice; shake vigorously. Strain mixture into rimmed martini glasses. Garnish with chile peppers, watermelon slices, or cherries.

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