Flowers (Vineyard), Beer, Spice and All Things Nice on the Culinary Calendar

Categories: Culinary Events

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October starts tomorrow, and then it's full speed ahead to winter. Say so long to September -- and those long days of summer -- at one of three tasty culinary events tonight. Keep reading for the details.

See also: Beer (and Tequila) Here: Ten Top Culinary Events this Week

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Denver Loves Oktoberfest, According to Facebook

Categories: Booze News

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If you're a Denverite who loves social media and German beer, you've probably already hoisted your one-liter mug and toasted "der Gem├╝tlichkeit" at either Denver's official Oktoberfest downtown or at one of the many bars and restaurants partaking in the annual Bavarian festival. We know what you've been up to because you checked in on Facebook to let the world know you've been donning lederhosen or noshing on bratwurst. And according to Facebook's consumer team, you've been doing it more than just about any other city in the world, outside of those in Germany itself. The team's statistics show that Denver ranks fifth in the world for check-ins at locations containing either "Oktoberfest" or "Octoberfest" in the name.

See also: Photos: Oktoberfest at Prost Brewing Brought Out Steins and Good Times

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DinnerLab's Pop-Up Experiment Comes to Denver

Matt Twing
Chef Danny Espinoza walked right off a flight from New York and was shuffled to a cramped kitchen in Arvada to cook for a hundred strangers. It was his first time on the line in Colorado. "I always wanted to come here," the vivacious Chicagoan chef says of Denver. "They're like, 'Hey, you're launching in Denver.' Fuck yeah."

Espinoza is christening a new experiment: a new branch of nation-wide pop-up dinner company DinnerLab. Already running dozens of dinners per week in abandoned office building, distilleries and other unconventional places, the company hopes to make a splash in Denver with its unique business model: one part Silicon Valley industriousness and one part kitchen ingenuity. Locals got their first taste of the new concept on September 26 at Infinite Monkey Theorem in RiNo.

See also: Dinner Lab, a pop-up restaurant concept, expands to Denver

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Photos: Fresh Hop Beer Fest at Falling Rock Tap House

Categories: Photos

All photos by Scott Lentz
Falling Rock Tap House threw its tenth annual Fresh Hop Festival on Saturday, celebrating the bitter and aromatic flower and the beers that are made with only fresh, not dried or pelletized, hops. Beers from 36 Colorado breweries, plus a few from around the country, were pouring; photographer Scott Lentz was there to capture the sights, if not the smells and tastes, of the hop-heavy happening.

See also: Lost Highway Brewing Opens Tonight in Denver -- After Three Years in the Making

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100 Favorite Dishes: Oysters at Jax Fish House Glendale

Danielle Lirette
No. 71 Oysters at Jax Fish House Glendale
650 South Colorado Boulevard

Now that we're back into months containing the letter "r," it's safe to eat oysters again, right? That old superstition hasn't held much water since the advent of modern refrigeration, but there's some truth to the idea that oysters just taste better as the waters they live in cool. Jax Fish House does a great job of bringing in the freshest and most flavorful bivalves year round; we're particular fans of the fish house's newest metro-area location in the CitySet development in Glendale. The wide-open space with its clean, modern lines and ample sunlight seems perfect for knocking back Kumamotos, Wellfleets or whatever other varieties Jax and its knowledgeable staff are serving up.

See also: 100 Favorite Dishes of 2014

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Five of the Best -- and Worst -- Pumpkin Spice Foods This Year


Pumpkin spice season gets earlier and earlier every year, much like the Xmas shopping holiday, and somewhere around mid-August the traditional pumpkin spice goodies appeared on shelves. The beloved PSLs have been shooting through Starbucks drive-throughs like nutmeg-scented balls from a seasonal-favorites cannon. Sadly, the pumpkin spice condoms, tampons, toilet paper and Doritos are all hilarious online hoaxes, but rest assured the pumpkin-spice Oreos are all-too-real. This year's crop of pumpkin spice snacks has turned up some new faves and a few questionable choices, but one thing's for certain: pumpkin-spicing everything ain't going away until at least December.

Here's a list of five of the best -- and worst -- pumpkin spice things this year.

See also: Five reasons why people go out of their gourd over pumpkin-flavored things

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Blackbird Will Land in Former Handlebar Space Next Month

Mark Antonation
Table to Tavern partners Rob Lanphier, Brian Midtbo and Angie Midtbo opened Atticus early this year in a space claimed from the back of Boone's, their University of Denver sports bar. Now they're merging two former restaurant spaces -- the Handlebar & Grill and Abo's Pizza -- into one new concept called Blackbird. The group is set to open the Washington Park restaurant in late October, with artisan pizza, small plates and a bar program designed by Sean Kenyon of Williams & Graham.

See also: Review: Atticus Wants to Be a Grown-up Restaurant, But It's Suffered Growing Pains

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Reader: Denver's Best Old-School Bars Are Disappearing

Mark Antonation
The Wazee's dumbwaiter has been delivering beers for forty years.
Last week we rounded up a dozen restaurants that have lasted at least fifty years in the same family's hands. Compared to those long runs, the Wazee Supper Club is a relative newcomer: It just celebrated its fortieth birthday. And it changed hands more than a decade ago, moving from founder Angelo Karagas to the Wynkoop group.

See also: Breckenridge-Wynkoop CEO Lee Driscoll Talks about Wazee Supper Club's 40th Anniversary

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Beer (and Tequila) Here: Ten Top Culinary Events this Week

Categories: Culinary Events

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The Great American Beer Festival starts Thursday, and beery events will be spilling out all over town. But there are many other events that should whet your appetite, including a celebration of the harvest at Lola. Keep reading for a taste of this week's culinary calendar.

See also: Lost Highway Brewing Opens -- After Three Years in the Making

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From Pizza to Pork Chops, a Second Helping of Cafe Society: September 22-26

Categories: Cafe Society

Danielle Lirette
This week in Cafe Society, Gretchen Kurtz visited Saucy Noodle Ristorante, which just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. It may not be the best red-sauce joint in town, but as she notes in her review of Sauce Noodle, the place has a faithful cadre of fans. For Chef and Tell, Mark Antonation talked with Breckenridge-Wynkoop CEO Lee Driscoll about fortieth anniversary of Wazee Supper Club, and how the place -- and its pizza -- has change over the years.

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