Friday, December 22, 2006

Deluxe Delay

ok here is the long awaited review of Deluxe. 3 weeks ago, some friends went out for drinks at village cork and then dinner at deluxe. it had been quite a few months since my last visit to village cork and i was surprised that they had expanded the seating area at this homey wine bar. the wine menu is always changing and the servers are very helpful picking out a new wine. this is the perfect alternative to the bar scene especially if you want to enjoy a long conversation with friends.

the best advise for going to deluxe is make a reservation. this restaurant has limited seating and is always full. this is a good sign for a new restaurant and i don't think it will be short lived. when we walked in the door, we noticed the leopard print carpet and cozy feel to the dining room with high ceiling and low light. the hostess was so gracious as she had misplaced our reservations so she seated us at the counter over looking the kitchen. the chef and owner dylan apologized again and offered us free appetizers. what a treat this was as we watched the chef at work plating all the entrees. aroma from the grill was amazing as he cooked pork, chicken and steak. i ordered the pumpkin ravioli which was good, but not as good as the pork my boyfriend got or the whole chicken that my friend ate half of and took the rest home. i can't say enough about the delicious food here and outstanding service!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fusion of Slow Service and High Prices

me and a friend tried a new lunch place down in highlands ranch aka suburbia central. in the ranch it is hard to come by a family owned, mom and pop, hole in the restaurant. so we were very excited to try a new restaurant that Duy Pham just bought and redid. apparently Pham has been at various restaurants around colorado, including Opal, sushi den and flow, but this is his first part time ownership.

unfortunately kyoto asian fusion needs to make some adjustments right out of the blocks. we arrived for lunch at 11:40am and found the restaurant completely empty of diners which should have been our first sign. the dining room is tastefully decorated with asian art and a metal sushi bar in the middle. very inviting atmosphere, but the lunch prices are anything but inviting. we each got a chicken bento box for $12.00 which came with egg drop soup, a side salad, rice and chicken as well as cheese wontons. the food was tasty but it took way too long to get to our table especially since we were one of 3 tables. and i don't care how good the food is, i am not willing to pay more than $8 for a lunch dish at any restaurant. if they want my advice they should get a lunch menu that they are able to serve in less than 15 minutes. for the first 3 months they should make it cheap like $5 to get people in the door and then raise the price to $7. i understand that they just had their re-grand opening october 20, but high prices will not bring people in the door. i cannot recommend this restaurant as it is not a good value and an hour and half lunch is unacceptable. teriyaki bowl on mineral and broadway is locally owned and operated for half the price and is only a mile from kyoto.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day!

Today millions of people will have their voices heard when they go to the polls to vote in the midterm elections. i'm a big fan of the push button machines to cast my vote. i went to the United Way office in Denver and i thought it was interesting that maybe 1 of 20 people had any sort of cheat sheet or print out. many other people were picking up the print out ballot as they came in the door. seems weird that if so many people want change why they would not study the issues and the candidates. i guess people are willing to vote their party lines, but how is that thinking for themselves?

it is encouraging to see so many people in Denver turning out to vote that the democrats are asking for an extension tonight.

Monday, November 06, 2006

lunch at jay's

just had lunch at jay's patio cafe on upper 15th street across from forest room for a warm panini on the patio. the barbados chicken with red chili mayo was done well, the only negative is the price. i agree that this is a gourmet sandwich along with soups and salads, but i wonder how the price point for sandwiches became over $5. the inside seating is a little too cramped, but the patio is perfect for a sunny lunch. jay's is only open during the week and closes at 3pm in the afternoon. i really did like this place, but i won't be a regular at jay's.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

2 wins + 5 losses = good football team?

today i had the pleasure of watching the denver broncos beat up on the pittsburgh steelers final score 31-20. nothing much to complain about as champ bailey picked off big ben twice and javon walker's spectacular show on offense, BUT jim nantz and phil simms... come on. when does and 2-5 team still get to be labeled a "good team?" last week big ben and team turned the ball over FOUR times to the awful oakland raiders and had people praising the raiders for their great defense instead of saying how bad ben was. today the steelers turned over the ball SIX times, let me repeat, SIX, seis, sechs, the number greater than 4. nantz and simms continue to say that the defending super bowl champions were a good team they just keep shooting themselves in the foot by turning over the ball. pardon me guys, but a team that turns over the ball more times than they get in the end zone does not come close to a mediocre team. i understand giving them credit as the reigning super bowl champs, but there is giving credit and speaking lies. i mean you can claim the raiders are good, but they just can't get the touchdowns. jim and phil a little lesson in logic, not able to get points = bad team. turning over the ball and in essence giving your opponent points = bad team. throwing interceptions in the red zone and not able to get points = bad team. 2-5 and now 2-6 = bad team.

is it supper time?

imagine a dumb waiter that efficiently transports drinks from the bar on the first floor to the second level loft with black and white tile floors and located in the heart of downtown. think intimate loft seating upstairs with a low ceiling and the antique church pews turned benches downstairs. Wazee Supper Club is often overlooked for other new and trendy restaurants, but should not be forgotten for its delicious food and old time feel.

pizza is what's for supper and a favorite for many because of the thin crust, new york style. the pizza is crunchy and ingredients perfectly balanced. make sure you order a large enough size so you aren't left wanting more. the sandwiches and strombolis aren't no slouches either. the stombolis are the size of serving platters and wazee doesn't error by making them overly bready. the salad as a meal should be passed up for the yummy less healthy fares as my boyfriend grazed on his salad and devoured my leftover stomboli. i enjoyed the philly cheese steak on a previous visit and friends liked the hamburgers.

service is good considering we got a table for 6 and somehow sqeezed 10 as friends joined us at the last minute on friday night at 7:30pm. luckily wazee is a little downtown secret that continues to serve the pizza you crave until 1am except sunday nights. so only a block off of 16th street mall, become a regular at wazee supper club.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

what i'm reading now

The 2006 One Book One Denver is The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols. i'm currently in the middle of the book and it is very enjoyable to read. Nichols is a skilled storyteller with an hilarious sense of humor. a favorite quote, "You're just farting words." favorite character is Pacheco's pig which is a living legend or Mercedes Rael "her most far reaching fame was her habit of throwing stones at people." the book was written in 1974, but is still relevent today especially for colorado as it faces the dilemma of water rights. i look forward to finding out how this rag tag community of milagro pulls together to fight off the large development project of their valley.

another oldie, but goodie that i am in the middle of is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. a slower read, but just as enjoyable. the author takes a long distance trek across the country with his son and friends and parallels his motorcycle "adventures" with a character named Phaedrus. Pirsig asks questions about technology and science.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cuba Libre No Bueno!

I had the unfortunately pleasure of accidently wandering into Cuba Libre for dinner. The host showed has to a 4 top table in the middle of the dining room, but then the manager signaled for the host to move us to the back table that turned out to be the worse table in the restaurant right next to the kitchen. We walked in at 5:30pm where there was only a single diner in the whole place. Our dress was casual to business casual with jeans, but apparently that was not dressy enough for the manager. My question is where did the manager learn about restaurant management? This was not even close to a 5 star place and to make your guest feel less worthy in an empty dining hall is apalling. I will tell everyone I know to not go to this restaurant just for this fact alone!

Monday, October 02, 2006

One Book i want to read

Finally Denver Mayor Hickenlooper will be announcing the new 2006 One Book, One Denver title on Tuesday October 17. His record has been one good book, one bad book so we have a 50% chance that this one is a keeper. I loved Peace Like a River and it has become an all time favorite, but Carmelo was so bad, I did not finish it, something I rarely do. After reading the Amazon reviews, I may need to go back to Carmelo and see if I can finish it. I think the first time I didn't like Sandra Cisneros writing style, but I always like to read about new cultures and Mexican culture has always appealed to me. On the other hand Peace Like a River was such an easy read and the characters endeared themselves to me immediately.


i haven't posted anything for a month and half and so much has happened. too much to report on. trip to kentucky state fair, a visit to my new favorite restaurant Cafe Brazil in the Highlands, Mystic Pizza (like the movie) in CT, playa del carmen, a new year of Whiz Kids Tutoring, and a 29th birthday, oh my! i guess in the future i can hope for better success!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

outdoor eatery

Nothing bets eating great Colorado food on a restaurant's patio, but too often I'm in the mood for outdoor eating and my mind blanks on the great places. No longer a problem with a website that lists all of Colorado's patio dining. It also notes the great happy hour specials at a few of the restaurants. Thanks to Colorado Restaurant Association for putting together this handy guide.

Friday, July 07, 2006

fostering community

Denver is so appealing to a native of Colorado because it offers so much in such a small area. Suburbia with it's large houses and even larger yards seem to shout "Leave ME Alone!" Not a good message as people who desire relationships and interaction. I like the thought of knowing my neighbors and walking to the local corner store for a loaf of bread or some Advil. Allowing my kids to play down the street knowing that someone has got their eye on them. Knowing that I'm being a little kinder to the environment by conserving resources and yet building community. I like that Urban planners are thinking the same way.

Denver's future and beyond

Just in case you haven't noticed, I love Denver and I'm so excited to see how it will grow and expand into a city that has so much to offer. That's why I love this website Denver Infill. The site started 1 year ago and has reports and sketches for new building project in and around the downtown area. Somehow this guy seems to have his ear to the sidewalk on all the new condo and loft projects before anyone else. The site is very comprehensive and updated almost daily. I could spend hours just touring the neighborhoods on this site. Personally I would love to see 2 chains downtown: Coldstone Creamery and Whole Foods Market. Keeping my fingers crossed!

rick in the rockies

Rick the Rig got to roam the James Peak Wilderness this past weekend and he loves to stretch his 4x4 wheels. The campsite was recommended in 5280 magazine describing it as
a short half-mile trek from your car (you'll need 4wd) leaves you on the wildflower-swathed banks of a shallow, fish filled lake. Secluded spots abound around the main lake, as well as around the other nearby waterholes. Beautiful, bubbling waterfalls connect the lakes and make for easy water access.

They forgot the wonderful nighttime view of the stars away from the city light pollution. The site was situated perfectly next to a babbling brook and under the canopy of the trees. Warning: off-road 4x4 passed the site every hour or two heading down a trail. Other than the annoying engine sounds, this was a wonderful campsite to relax, hike, fish, and mtn bike.

Friday, June 30, 2006

unfinished business

I have been lazy and have so many opinions on places I have visited in the last month, so here goes:

Snooze: chic diner with lots of modern flair to go along with the peanut butter and jelly pancakes. highly recommended before a browse thru the Ballpark market.

Aztec Sol: a wannabe authentic taqueria that falls short. the food was americanized with little spice or taste. the plus was the patio seating with the party atomsphere outside. still need to visit Taqueria Patzuaro also on 32nd and Tacos Jalisco is an all time favorite visited just last night.

Peaks Lounge: still a hidden gem in Denver offering expansive views of the city with the mountains in the backdrop. located on the 27th floor of the new Hyatt downtown, a cocktail at sunset would be drinking in Denver!

Jazz in the Park
: finally got around to this citywide picnic in the park. apparently if your intent is to actually listen to the live jazz, you need to show up early to get prime real estate in front of the bandstand. otherwise bring your cooler, blanket and dog to people watch and enjoy denver's fine city park.

My Brother's Bar: watch out you might miss this bar on the corner of 15th and Platte without a sign over the door (SE corner), but when you have found your way to the patio, you know you are home. a little classical music faintly heard mixed with the chatter. my personal favorite is the J.C.B. burger with jalapano cream cheese, but unfortunately the burger is sometimes over-cooked and dried out. i will continue to go back for the laid back neighborhood-bar-feel.

The Homestead Golf Course: since in my very short golfing career, i have only played par 3 nine holes, this was quite a treat to play 18 with my dad for father's day. lovely course with up-close view of the foothills.

Tifah: wednesday night the fox had the honor of hosting the sounds of Tifah and band. the only way to listen to this girl's voice is live to capture the full, rich texture and the added violinist rocked! keep your ears open for this girl...

Monday, June 12, 2006

shining a mile high

My friend from childhood came into town for the weekend and Denver was the star. I understand how the Denver area has placed in the top five places to live for singles year after year. Growing up in Colorado I take for granted everything it has to offer. And as chefs continue to open wonderfully delicious restaurants in various neighborhoods, this only supplements the recreational activities that abound both in the mountains and the city.

Thursday night we headed to a Uptown Tavern which is just that, a local tavern with lots of T.V.s showing the current sporting events. This night was the NBA finals so the place was packed out including the large outdoor patio and the 2 lanes of miniture bowling. The food is regular bar food with nothing extraordinary. A fun bar to hang out with friends.

Have you heard of LoHi? The new name for the Lower Highlands which borders are I-25, Speer, Federal, and 38th. New restaurants are popping up all over the place which is making this a very appealing neighborhood with it's close vicinty to downtown and the amazing city views. Duo Restaurant at 32nd Ave and Zuni Street is a welcomed addition. The warm goat cheese served with pistachios and sour cherry vinaigrette was a wonderful starter and I could not get enough of the grilled pork chops on mash potatoes and had a dipping sauce that tasted like wasabi and cider. There were antique windows hanging as a partition between the bar and dining area which added a great touch to the decor.

more weekend to come...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

my favorite pastime

Any restaurant named after the activity I spend most of my nights doing has to be good. Snooze just opened in the Ballpark neighborhood and the breakfast menu sounds yummy with Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pancakes! I'll check it out and report back soon...

Monday, June 05, 2006

sunday jazz in the park

I cannot wait to have a picnic Sunday evening in City Park and listen to live jazz music. The best part, it's free! So bring your blanket, picnic and good bottle of wine to enjoy After Midnight this Sunday and other fun bands throughout the summer.

Friday, June 02, 2006

salud napa valley

I never knew I liked wine so much until I went to Napa Valley last weekend. To taste the pepper and chocolate in red wines and the honey and vanilla in white wines, all my favorite flavors wrapped up into one sip. And I think the beautiful setting definately helps the tasting process. Favorite memory of the weekend was jogging in the evening down a dirt road with grapes on either side of me taking in the smell as the sun slipped from the valley... close to heaven.
So I was sad to hear that the global warming could effect the wines coming out of Napa Valley and France. As the temperature slowly creeps up across the globe, the temperature-sensitive grapes may not be in their optimum climate and new areas could be known for great wine.
But if Napa's out, other North American regions may take its place, Jones says, such as: British Columbia's Okanagan valley, Washington's Puget Sound area, upstate New York and Long Island, Michigan's coastal zone and Virginia.
I have my doubts that a weekend in Michigan wine tasting won't quite live up to Napa Valley.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

honestly delicious

A true gem is set on cute Main Street in Littleton downtown. Abe's Cafe features traditional Greek Gyros and sticky baklava to die for. Plenty of sidewalk seating with umbrella covers to watch the hustle of downtown and a cafe setting indoors. Make a lunch stop and stay for the cute boutique shops on Main Street.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

my next gadget

Creative Zen Vision: M looks to be better than the Video IPOD. Wish it had a replacable battery.

Project Homeless Connect Denver

I like Mayor Hick mainly for the fact that he has placed an importance on ending homelessness in Denver. June 14 is Project Homeless Connect Denver giving us a chance to volunteer by providing services like medical care, substance abuse treatment, and housing opportunities. Volunteers are needed to check in people, enter data, provide health care and much more.

i'm hooked!

I just started watching the Series Lost on ABC a few months ago and it took me a while to catch on to the plot and characters, but now I can't get enough. Tonight is the season finale and J.J. Abrams, the creator, has a surprise up his sleeve. Harold Perrineau, who plays Michael, commented in an interview with USAtoday , "JJ said it is the best ending of a show ever." Tune in tonight at 7pm to view last week's episode and 8pm for the 2 hour season finale.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

here i am

It is about time for me to join the 21st century and learn what this blogging is all about. Seems a little intimate as these are the things that are close to my heart or at least the things that cause me to take a second look. You can learn a lot about a person by just reading what's on their site. Do they know the basic difference between there, their, and they're? What occupies their thoughts? The latest trends, politics, gadgets, music, pop culture, art, finances, photography, religion, favorite food, humanitarian efforts and ice cream? To all this I say YES and more.

I love the city I live in and exploring new restaurants and shops. And getting outside of this concrete jungle is easy when the mountains are an easy 30 miles west. The perfect weekend: a Friday night drive to the mountains and sleeping under the stars after making s'mores on the campfire. Waking early the next morning to get first sight of a sunrise. Summiting a new 14er and reveling in the beauty of my maker. Driving down the mtn to be home for dinner at Nine75 and cake batter ice cream. Sunday church at Pathways and brunch at Bistro Vendome. A quick run around Wash Park and soaking up the sun while reading the Sunday Denver Post. I hope you enjoy my journey around Denver and my navigation through life as much as I do!