Smokin' deals at Central Bistro & Bar, Bruxie this 4/20 weekend

While some restaurants are focusing on throwing a major Easter brunch bash, others are rolling out deals related to that other Sunday holiday: 4/20. Among the latter are Central Bar & Bistro, which is hosting a front-patio party on Saturday, and Bruxie, which is cooking up a special 4/20 deal.

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The twelve best stoner spots to cure the munchies on 4/20 in Denver

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Bread pudding can be a savoury as well as sweet treat -- but not at Braun

Danielle Lirette
The pretzels at Braun Taphaus & Grille are better on their own than in the bread pudding.
Like vegetables, desserts are seasonal. Just as we're moving out of winter's root vegetables and into spring's pea shoots and asparagus, we're also moving towards refreshing sweets such as berry tarts and ice cream.

But we're not there yet, which is why you'll still see heavier fare such as bread pudding on dessert menus, where I found it recently when reviewing Braun Taphaus & Grille.

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Braun Taphaus & Grille: Can the Bar-On family give this place a sporting chance?

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Nooch Vegan Market reopens in new space in Baker

Nooch Vegan Market, the vegan store owned and operated by Joshua LaBure and Vanessa Gochnour since August 2012, left its original home in RiNo last month and is reopening today in the Baker neighborhood, at 10 East Ellsworth Avenue. With twice the space they had at their original store, Labure and Gochnour plan on keep providing vegan goodies to the growing Denver vegan population while also educating the community on the benefits of a vegan diet.

See also: Chomp! founder embarks on a new adventure: Nooch Vegan Market

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After nearly six years as exec chef at WaterCourse Foods, Rachel Kesley gets the boot

Lori Midson

"I like a good impromptu dance party," Rachel Kesley acknowledged last year when I asked her to reveal something about herself that most people weren't aware of. And while Kesley got the boot last week from WaterCourse Foods, the venerable vegetarian restaurant in Uptown, whose kitchen Kesley spearheaded for nearly six years, she's still dancing. "You know me: I'll try to dance through it with my head up," she says, despite admitting that "last week was a bad week."

See also: Rachel Kesley, exec chef of WaterCourse Foods, on produce-driven menus, vegetarianism and her fascination with figs

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Adrian Miller will serve up the history of soul food at Cora Faye's

Grab a seat at Cora Faye's Cafe to celebrate soul food.
Lawyer/politico and certified barbecue judge has added another accolade to his resume: His first book, Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time, is a finalist for the James Beard award; the winners will be named the first weekend in May. But first, on April 3, he'll be at one of his favorite soul-food restaurants in Denver when Slow Food Denver hosts "An Evening at Cora Faye's with Adrian Miller, Soul-Food Scholar."

"We're going to eat, and we're going to talk about where soul food is going," promises Miller. And where is it going?

See also: Adrian Miller nabs James Beard finalist spot

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From Morocco to Mexico, a second helping of Cafe Society: March 17-21

Danielle Lirette
Sultani kabob at Mecca Grill.
Cafe Society was busy eating its last meals for the Best of Denver 2014 this week, but didn't ignore its normal duties. In her current review, Gretchen Kurtz visits Mecca Grill, which changed owners last year and is slowly switching from the old emphasis on Lebanese food to Moroccan cuisine. In Chef and Tell, Lori Midson talks to chef Robert Alfaro of Atticus, the new restaurant in the University of Denver neighborhood, about his humble beginnings at Taco Bell and his current obsession with herbs.

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Mecca Grill will soon serve more Moroccan food -- what else does Denver need?

Danielle Lirette
Inside Mecca Grill.
When I was growing up, in a town far, far from the coasts, pretty much all cuisines other than Chinese and Mexican were underrepresented, and the few ethnic restaurants that were there could hardly be considered authentic. In Denver today, we slurp pho, gnaw on Korean kalbi, and savor the richness of aji de gallina in restaurants that are more numerous than parking spots at Trader Joe's. But some foods still remain underrepresented in Denver, and Moroccan is one of them.

See also: Mecca Grill is changing course from Lebanon to Morocco

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Zanzibar rescues its original name, free pool from Bar Rescue makeover

Jon Solomon
Zanzibar a year after its rescue.
The 2000 block of Larimer Street was ready for its closeup last March when the Spike Network featured Zanzibar Billiards on its popular reality series, Bar Rescue. As part of a five-day overhaul of the bar in December 2012, show host Jon Taffer, a longtime bar-and-club consultant who has transformed a number of failing bars on the series, gave the place a major makeover, and even changed its name to Solids & Stripes Badass Billiards. A year later, how many of those changes remain?

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Photos of Zanzibar Billiards turning badass

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After six years as executive chef, Pete List parts ways with Beatrice & Woodsley

Lori Midson

After a half-dozen years commanding the line at Beatrice & Woodsley, opening exec chef Pete List, whose impressive resume also includes gigs at the Empire in Louisville and the long-gone Papillon Cafe Cafe, has departed that kitchen, he says, to "spread my wings and explore new opportunities." The decision to leave, which transpired last Thursday, was "absolutely amicable with no animosity," stresses List, who describes his tenure at Beatrice & Woodsley as a "positive experience and a really great fit for the six years I was there."

See also: Pete List, exec chef of Beatrice & Woodsley, on handling customer complaints, the pitfalls of social-network review sites and the feathers that flew in his kitchen

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USA Today picks Denver's top ten foodie spots -- but eat fast!

Chef Jen Jasinski has made Rioja one of Denver's top five tourist attractions.
Last week USA Today came out with its "10 Best Foodie Spots in Denver." But you'd better move fast if you want to hit two of them: D Bar is closing this coming weekend in anticipation of a move, and Restaurant Kevin Taylor is closing for good at the end of March. And two others -- the Cherry Creek Farmer's Market and Civic Center Eats -- are on hiatus until spring and summer, respectively. Keep reading for Denver's other six "hottest dining spots and underground favorites" -- at least according to USA Today.

See also:
Restaurant Kevin Taylor closing at Hotel Teatro

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