Aaron Woo featured Chef at Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management

It is spring!  That means there are new cuisines to enjoy at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  In previous posts I have raved about the School of Hospitality Management. Before I begin this post, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management…it is a Denver must!!!!!    On Wednesday, May 15, 2013 the school will be welcoming chef Aaron Woo, Sunset Magazine’s Best Chef of the West, and Chef and Owner of Natural Selection in Portland, Oregon.  This dinner appeals to me in many ways.  First, we lived in Portland, Oregon (http://ouryearinportland.wordpress.com/)for a year and I loved it.  Next, the cuisine will be vegetarian.  If I have a choice, I prefer not to eat meat.  So I am very excited about this vegetarian cuisine.  Last, the School of Hospitality Management is phenomenal.  I sing their praises as often and as much as I can.  If I could dine at the School nightly, I would.

Aaron Woo is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy who has worked in such notable San Francisco kitchens as Absinthe Brasserie, La Folie, Stars, and as sous chef of PlumpJack Cafe under Chef Keith Luce. In Telluride, Colorado Aaron worked as Executive Chef at 9545 and Chef de Cuisine at The CosmopolitanRestaurant. Upon moving to Portland he worked with Morgan Brownlow and Jason French at ClarkLewis.

The dinner will include a wine pairing and is $70.00 per person.  Cocktails start at 6:00 pm and dinner is at 7:00 pm.  The dinner will be held at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management Joy Burns Center, 2044 East Evans Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80210.  To RSVP for this amazing night please check out the website:  http://knoebelschool.ticketleap.com/aaron-woo-guest-chef-dinner/

Please check out my other posts about University of Denver’s School of Hospitality Management: 

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/tour-ditalia-dinner-at-du-with-gina-stipo/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/fritz-knoebel-school-of-hospitality-management-and-gina-stipo/

https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/university-of-denver/

We have been very honored to attend these FANTASTIC events at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management:  Beer Pairing Dinner, the Guest Chef Dinner with Gina Stipo, and the Spring Showcase (picture featured below is from the Spring Showcase).IMG_20130326_221214Of course, I can’t close this post without giving my favorite peeps at the School a shout out!!!  Chef Raymond and all of the exquisite students you are the best….talented, professional, and extraordinary!!!!  ????????????????????????????????????

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Tom’s Urban 24 Winter Menu

I was invited to the winter menu tasting for Tom’s Urban 24.  It was a wonderful experience!  I felt extremely lucky to be invited to this extraordinary tasting event.  I am going to tempt you with the glorious menu options that Tom’s Urban 24 is currently offering.  I have previously posted about Tom’s Urban 24https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/toms-urban-24-in-denver-colorado/

I like this diner for two main reasons:  unique, modern food offered in a 24 hour restaurant.  I am going to let the pictures tempt you into trying Tom’s Urban.  Let the pictures marinate in your mind and hopefully cause your mouth to water!2013-02-07_11-43-45_944  This is the Truffled Lobster and Shrimp Pot Pie $24–the king of all pot pies!  Truffled lobster, shrimp, roasted vegetables, truffle gravy, topped with a puff pastry lid.  I literally ate chunks of lobster that were deliciously stored inside this wonderful pot pie.1360283620993Tuscan Kale and Romaine Chicken Caesar $13.50–chargrilled marinated breast of Red Bird chicken, peppercorn Caesar dressing, shaved Parmesan cheese, and grilled lemon.  This is an excellent way to get in your daily dose of greens.  Plus, I am really loving kale lately.  2013-02-07_11-46-53_734Thom’s Urban Super Pho $13–egg, shrimp, chicken, duck garnished with basil, cilantro, mint leaves, chile slices and sprouts.  I am a Pho fan!  This Pho doesn’t disappoint.  It is warm and comforting and very filling.2013-02-07_11-24-47_286Lobster & Shrimp Taco Platter $21–butter-poached lobster and shrimp, Baja slaw, cilantro crema, chipotle sauce on blue corn tortilla, served with seasoned Mexican rice and charro beans.  If you like seafood then you are going to love the lobster and shrimp tacos.  A generous portion of lobster and shrimp await the diner inside these decadent tacos.2013-02-07_11-34-09_830Stranahan’s Whiskey BBQ Ribs $26–chargrilled full slab of ribs.  Stranahan’s Whiskey BBQ sauce, Asian peanut vegetable slaw and sweet potato waffle fries.  My husband was terribly jealous that I got to sink my teeth into these ribs.  I have previously posted about Stranahan’shttps://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/the-tour-of-stranahans-distillery-in-denver-colorado/

If you haven’t made it to Tom’s Urban 24, please give it a try.  Some other menu items that were available during the winter menu tasting:  Tuscan White Bean Dip, Colorado Calamari, Urban Cowboy Egg Bake, NY Strip Steak and Eggs Platter, Tom’s Filet Mignon Pot Pie, Blue Corn Crab Enchiladas, Angus Open-Faced Meatloaf Platter, Fried Chickenlooper with Corn Cakes, and Fried Brussels Sprouts with Asian Vinaigrette.  For more information on these tasty treats please visit:  http://www.tomsurban24.com/menu/

Thank you to denver.eater.com for mentioning lovelivingincolorado!  http://denver.eater.com/archives/2013/02/25/the-early-word-on-toms-urban-24-in-ludo.php

Estes Park Recommendations

20140824_153730I recently asked our friend Erika to fill us in on all things Estes Park.  I looked to her for Estes Park recommendations because she grew up in Estes Park.  I therefore consider her an Estes Park authority!  She did not disappoint.  She sent me a wonderful list of Estes Park recommendations and I thought I would share the wealth (thank you Erika!).  Estes Park, Colorado is considered the “Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.”

  1. Aerial Tramway (literally a red box that goes up and down Prospect Mountain).  At the top there are amazing views and hungry chipmunks (they sell peanuts at the top which you can feed them). There’s picnic tables and rock croppings to explore so it’s a great place for a snack and to take in some nature.   http://www.estestram.com/
  2. The View Restaurant at Crag’s Lodge.  It was built in 1914 and maintains its mountainous charm, and yes, the chairs are handmade from when the hotel was built.  Make a reservation for one of the balcony tables.  The views are absolutely stunning and you are basically eating in the trees.  The walnut crusted trout, brie chicken, and steaks are amazing. And who doesn’t love warm brie with berry couli as an appetizer with some wine or beer?  Also, they have live music some nights.  http://www.cragslodge.com/gallery.html
  3. Mary’s Lake Lodge.  This hotel/restaurant/venue is rustic and charming and is open late.  Which is hard to find in Estes.  They usually have live music and a popular bar/grill.  This is a wonderful late night spot with fun people in what seems like the middle of the wilderness.  Definitely worth checking out.  http://www.maryslakelodge.com/dining.htm
  4. Downtown strip (Elkhorn Ave) Now, if you want to do something fun go take an old time photo at one of the shops downtown.  It’s a blast and 100 percent worth the keepsake if you haven’t done it before.  There is a plethora of shops to wonder around and check out.  I always love getting a caramel apple at the ice cream/fudge shops. There’s also a glassblowing place that is fun to check out on the far west side of the downtown strip.  Also, check out the Stanley Hotel.  (the hotel in which Stephen King based his book “the Shining“) http://www.stanleyhotel.com/
  5. If you feel like succumbing to your inner child definitely buy a $1.00 ticket to slide down the Rainbow slides at Fun City.  Down the road a bit there is “Tiny Town Mini Golf” and it is by far the best mini golf course you will ever play.  http://www.funcityofestes.com/
  6. Definitely stop by the Estes Park Brewery and do some beer tasting. http://www.epbrewery.com/
  7. Also in town it’s worth going to the Marina and renting a boat for an hour or two. Delightful!  Or rent a few bikes and take an easy ride around Lake Estes, the entire loop will actually take you behind the dam and you can see the water being held and being released from the dam to the Big Thompson River.  The dog park is right off Lake Estes and you can let your dog go swimming and socialize with the other pups.  http://evrpd.com/marina/marina-info
  8. Other places to eat I would recommend would be “Nepal’s Cafe“, (on backside of downtown strip) they have the best lunch buffet with Naan, noodles, curry, potatoes, Masala, and Chai tea!
  9. Sweet Basilico, this is a little Italian restaurant that has an amazing dinner salad, pizza, and pasta for a very reasonable price.  Tasty! (located by Fun City and the Tramway)
  10. If BBQ is what you’re looking for Dave’s BBQ has some delicious pulled pork and burgers. (by Tiny Town Mini Golf)
  11. If it’s a steakhouse you are looking for, Hunter’s Steakhouse is right by the Marina and has great game.
  12. Also, the best breakfast place is “The Sundeck” which is near Mini Golf.  Their Chorizo, french toast, and strawberries and cream are delicious!
  13. As for the National Park you definitely want to check out, Sprague Lake, Bear Lake, Alberta Falls, and the Alluvial Fan.  All are not challenging hikes and are gorgeous.  Also, you definitely want to drive up Trail Ridge Road.  It’s an exhilarating, scenic drive with many pull offs along the way for photos and a gift shop at the top.  Bring a jacket! Even in the summer it can get chilly.  You can look these up on any RMNP map.
  14. If you want an easy hike off the beaten path check out Lily Lake and St. Malo’s Church (they are not in the same place). http://www.scenicusa.net/090210.html. Both are on the same road passing Mary’s Lake Lodge.  If you go to Lily Lake there is a wonderful picnic location.  http://www.rmnp.com/RMNP-Areas-LilyLake.HTML (on this map there is a trail on the south side of the lake that bubbles out, take this trail instead of the one that runs right along the lake and you will find a picnic table tucked in the woods that’s quiet and peaceful)
  15. There are many hotels that are dog friendly and that have private hot tubs.  Many of which are on Fall River Road.

Guess what we will be doing when the weather warms up–yes, finally taking a trip to discover, explore, and relish in the beauty of Estes Park, “Gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.”  Thank you so much Erika for the AWESOME recommendations!!

Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management and Gina Stipo

Restaurant Week in Denver starts today.  The exact dates this year for Restaurant Week are February 23rd-March 8th.  I have blogged about Restaurant Weekhttps://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/denver-restaurant-week/

This year we will be enjoying two restaurants during Restaurant Week.  We will try NoRTH and Vesta Dipping Grill.  A helpful Restaurant Week tip:  make your reservations ASAP!  This year I was guilty of dragging my feet.  I am usually on the website as soon as Restaurant Week reservations are open.  This year I was not so quick.  However, don’t let this discourage you.  If you call the restaurants directly a lot of times they can squeeze you in.

I have big news in reference to Restaurant Week.  This year we are trying something new at our favorite place to dine.  We are heading over to the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver.  Why?  Gina Stipo (Italian-American chef) from Ecco La Cucina in Tuscany, Italy will be at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  The event is called the Tour D’Italia DinnerThe dinner will be a five course meal inspired by the diverse cuisines across Italy and will be individually paired with award winning Italian wine from Banfi Vintners.  The dinner is open to the public and all of the proceeds from this event will be invested directly back into the program and students so the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management can continue to provide a “learn by doing” education.

This delectable dinner is being held on February 28, 2013 in the Tuscan Wine Cellar at the University of Denver in the Daniels College of BusinessWe literally are counting down the days for this dinner.  We can’t wait!! ????????????????????????????????????The entire evening is organized and executed by the industry’s best up and coming professionals in the hospitality industry.  We recently had the honor of attending an out of this world exquisite dinner held in the Tuscan Wine Cellar at the University of Denver in the Daniels College of Business.  The following pictures are from that wonderful experience–the Beer Pairing Dinner????????????????????????????????????Hopefully these mouth-watering pictures will tempt you to attend the Tour D’Italia Dinner.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Shall I save you a seat?  Do you have plans on February 28th?  Sometimes words can’t describe pure joy.  Take it from me, the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management is the place to be!  For information on the Tour D’Italia Dinner please refer to the following links:

http://daniels.du.edu/ai1ec_event/tour-ditalia-dinner-guest-chef-gina-stipo-from-ecco-la-cucina-in-tuscany-italy/?instance_id=

http://www.denver.org/eventS/detail?e=12390&t=%27festivals%27,%27special_events%27

Join Us!

Tom’s Urban 24 in Denver, Colorado

Eat, eat, eat….that is all I seem to post about lately!  Honestly this blog is dedicated to all of the wonderful things to see, do, and eat in Colorado.  But we have made the new year about eating!  There are so many wonderful places to dine in this great state.  I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  Every time I meet someone new they give me a new recommendation and my “to do” list for restaurants grows even longer.  With that being said we made a stop at Tom’s Urban 24 at 1460 Larimer Street in Denver.  When we walked up to Tom’s Urban 24 this was our view of Larimer Street.IMG_20130203_101500I love all of the Colorado flags.  I thought it was a pretty impressive display of Colorado pride!

Some facts about Tom’s Urban 24:  Tom’s Urban 24 is a restaurant that serves modern comfort food with an urban twist.  Tom’s Urban is open 24 hours!  It is located on Larimer Square.  If you dine at Tom’s Urban there is a good chance you will meet the owner, Tom Ryan.  Tom’s Urban sources with over 30 Colorado food companies and produce farmers. 

We started off our dining experience by ordering a Beer CocktailWITTY FIZZ · Hoegaarden, gin, lemon juice, St. Germain $7.  I have been loving this type of cocktail ever since our night at DU!IMG_20130203_101202We decided to share two menu items.  The first was an Artisan Urban PizzaMushroom Truffle Arugulaseasoned, roasted crimini mushrooms, sour cream, mozzarella cheese, topped with arugula, truffle oil, Parmesan cheese-$11.50.IMG_20130203_101245I love Arugula!  This pizza did not disappoint.  My only problem was having to share it with my husband:)

We also shared a LODO Burrito.  We ordered the Barbacoa Burritoslow-roasted Barbacoa beef, Mexican rice, cheddar and Monterey jack cheese, topped with queso fresco, sour cream, pico de gallo-$12.50.  We ordered ours Christmas style in honor of our recent trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico!IMG_20130203_101422It was so good!  The meat inside was shredded and cooked perfectly.  This looks like a lot of food but we successfully polished it all off!  Thank goodness we walked Washington Park before our eating endeavours.

Long story short…stop by Tom’s Urban 24.  Good food, great service (thanks Heather), and an excellent location!

  • On Larimer Square
  • 1460 Larimer St. Denver, CO
  • 720.214.0516
  • Open 24 Hours

Second Home Kitchen and Bar in Denver, Colorado

Happy New Year!  My first post for the new year is about food.  Surprise, surprise!  It seems as though most of my posts are about food.  I may need to branch out a little bit more in 2013.  🙂  We rang in the New Year at Second Home Kitchen and BarSecond Home Kitchen and Bar is located in the JW Marriott in Cherry Creek.  I have mentioned the JW Marriott in a previous post:  https://lovelivingincolorado.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/president-obama-in-colorado/

I wanted to spend this new year around lots of people.  I didn’t want to be at home.  I wanted to be around the excitement that fills the air when ringing in the new year.  The countdown, the smiles, the anticipation of a better year filled with resolutions and changes…I wanted to raise my complimentary glass of champagne and yell “Happy New Year!”

My husband made all the arrangements for Second Home Kitchen and Bar.  He did good:)!  We started our meal with the Spicy Tuna Tartare -$14
sashimi grade tuna, bok choy, sweet pea aioli, wonton chipsIMG_20130105_101424This was absolutely delicious!  I could have eaten two!

For dinner I ordered the Seared Organic Scottish Salmon -$26
Colorado black quinoa, squash, asparagus,
lemon butter–I can’t even begin to explain how wonderful this entree tasted.  The portions are really generous and the seasoning on all the dishes was perfect.IMG_20130105_101457My husband ordered the Braised Bison Short Rib -$26
parsnip mash, garlic seared kale,
whole grain mustard demi glace.  The meat literally fell off the bone.  He was in Heaven!IMG_20130105_101600I did order a table side of Sweet Potato Fries for $6.00.  I couldn’t help it.  IMG_20130105_101531We also ordered dessert.  We really indulged on New Year’s Eve.  Before heading to dinner I think we both knew that dessert would be ordered.  We ordered two desserts.  The first dessert was  the Irish Cream Crème Brûlée -$7
sugar cookieIMG_20130105_101626Sorry about the picture quality.  I was using the camera on our phone and it looks like I picked up a shadow.  This dessert was yummy.  To be honest, any Creme Brulee is awesome!  We also ordered the Chocolate Bread Pudding -$7
chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate sauce, brownie gelatoIMG_20130105_101654I could eat those little pieces of bread pudding in the morning with coffee.  I like a little bit of chocolate with my bread pudding.  Yum!

Second Home Kitchen and Bar provided a wonderful dining experience.  We really enjoyed the restaurant ambiance.  Ringing in the new year at Second Home was a great experience.  P.S.  we want to try their Sunday Pajama Brunchhttp://secondhomedenver.com/cherry-creek-restaurant-food/brunch-menu/

Second Home Kitchen and Bar contact information:

Hours: breakfast & lunch: 7 – 2 | dinner: 5-10 (11 on Fridays and Saturdays) | Address: 150 Clayton Lane | Denver CO 80206 | T 303.253.3000 | F 303.316.4697

Yolanda’s Tacos

It has been a while since my last post and I apologize.  Working has been exhausting but exhilarating.  Speaking of work, my wonderful company hosted a company holiday party catered by Yolanda’s Tacos.  I had never heard of Yolanda’s Tacos before but I knew it was pertinent that I attended.  This is where I first fell in love with Yolanda’s.  All it takes is shredded white meat chicken to make me fall head over heels!  I absolutely loved our catered holiday lunch.  This is when my husband informed me that Yolanda’s is right down the street from our office.  Did I mention I now work in the same office as my beloved husband?  We headed to Yolanda’s steadfast and this is what I ordered:

Smothered chicken burrito

IMG_20121227_190642This burrito is absolutely delicious.  I actually have it smothered in their Green Chile Salsa.  I tried to capture a picture of their wonderful shredded white meat chicken breast.

IMG_20121227_190429This is actually what the burrito looks like when it is served to you.

IMG_20121227_190459My husband ordered the Thursday Special which was “Chile Relleno.”  He said it was wonderful!

IMG_20121227_190559We did order Chips and Queso.  I couldn’t help it!  When I go to Yolanda’s I literally want 1 of everything on the menu.  Thank goodness this location is close to our work.  There are 3 locations in Colorado:  Castle Rock, Greenwood Village, and Denver.  Please dine at Yolanda’s I promise you won’t be disappointed!

www.yolandastacos.com