Pagosa Springs, Colorado

I am addicted to Instagram.  This is one of the main reasons that my blogging days are few and far between.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to write about Colorado but Instagram is well, so instantaneous (no pun intended)!  This is a nice segue into my post about Pagosa Springs.  I found some great pictures of Pagosa Springs on Instagram.  We made a trip to Pagosa Springs in May to celebrate our anniversary.  The drive alone was unbelievable!  We had never taken that particular route so we were in awe at every turn!  Image

The drive takes you through San Isabel National Forest.  Image

The Collegiate Peaks are a wonderful surprise along this very picturesque drive.  The Collegiate Peaks is a name given to a section of the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains located in central ColoradoImage

Wolf Creek Pass is the other beautiful feature on this lovely Colorado drive.  Wolf Creek Pass is a high mountain pass on the Continental Divide, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

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Treasure Falls is the other “treasure” along the route.  Treasure Falls is a waterfall located off Hwy 160 about 15 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The falls are named after a local legend of a treasure of gold on the mountain the falls plunges from.Image

While staying in Pagosa Springs we stayed at The Fireside Inn Cabins which are on the banks of the San Juan River and are probably the quietest accommodations that I have ever experienced.  Image

The Fireside Inn Cabins are also pet friendly!  This is the pet bag we got upon our arrival.  Isn’t is adorable!  Image

What did we do in Pagosa Springs?  We ate and soaked in the Pagosa Hot Springs.  The Pagosa Hot Springs can best be described as many pools of varying temperatures.  We were advised to start with lower temperature pools and then work ourselves up to the hotter temperatures.  We had a great time!  We celebrated our anniversary by enjoying a fabulous meal at the Alley House Grille.ImageImage

Interested in visiting Pagosa Springs?  Here are my recommendations:

1.  If driving from Denver, take the US-285 route.

2.  Definitely, stop at all of the scenic turnouts and take lots of pictures. 

3.  Book a cabin at The Fireside Inn Cabins and enjoy the grounds.

4.  Soak in the Pagosa Hot Springs during the day.

5.  Alley House Grille is a great dining experience.  It is a Holy Good food experience!

6.  Check out the Liberty Movie Theatre.  Fun little historic theatre in downtown Pagosa Springs.

7.  Soak in the Pagosa Hot Springs at night. 

8.  Check out the history of The Great Springs before visiting. 

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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!!!!  ????????????????????????????????????

Tour d’Italia Dinner at DU with Gina Stipo

The Tour d’Italia dinner at DU was fantastic.  Gina Stipo was very nice.  The setting was intimate so we got to talk with Gina as well as take pictures and discuss the menu.  DSC_0042We absolutely love dining at Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management in Daniels College.  We feel like part of the family and we ALWAYS are the last to leave.  The room was beautifully decorated as usual and the food presentation was delightful.  The students in this program are out of this world.  We absolutely love the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  It truly is a hidden gem tucked away in Denver.  Now onto the food!  If these pictures please your palette please check out the Daniels College website–http://daniels.du.edu/ and click on the “view calendar” icon under Daniels Events to make reservations for upcoming events.

DSC_0023This is the menu.  Beautiful and elegant.  I just love the presentation at the Fritz Knoebel School. 

Our first course was Baccala with crostino, celery, and pickled onion, paired with Le Rime.DSC_0024The next course was Roasted cauliflower soup with Rosemary, paired with Centine Rose.????????????????????????????????????Oh my favorite–Mushroom and three cheese ravioli with Sage butter, paired with Centine Rosso.  These were so good that three just simply were not enough.  They were delectable!  I could have eaten a whole bowl full of these raviolis.  Truth be told, I probably should have with all of the wonderful wine I sampled :).DSC_0033The main course was Pan fried loin of veal with black cabbage, kale, and cannellini, paired with Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino.  Believe it or not this was the first time I have ever eaten veal.  It was very tasty and very tender.DSC_0035Dessert–Pear poached in spiced Chianti with cinnamon Mascarpone and granola brittle, paired with Rosa Regale (the best dessert type wine I have ever tasted).  This was a very light and whimsical dessert.  DSC_0037An absolutely wonderful evening.  A picture of our favorite people at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality.  Thank you!!  We adore you!????????????????????????????????????

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

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

University of Denver

On January 31, 2013 we were lucky enough to attend a superb Beer Pairing Dinner at the University of Denver.  The dinner was held in the Joy Burns Center, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, Tuscan Wine Cellar!  Literally the best kept secret in Denver.  We were invited to this wonderful dinner by our dear friend and it was an absolutely wonderful night!  Before I show pictures of the wonderful food I feel like I should brag on the awesome students that orchestrated this wonderful evening.  The students were the master minds behind the Beer Pairing Dinner.  The evening was gorgeous.  Everything from the table decor to the ice sculpture to the signature cocktail.  Fabulous!  It was so wonderful that we felt like we were dining at a 5 star restaurant.  I will fully admit that I completely overindulged and I absolutely loved every minute of it!!  Bravo Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management I definitely see bright and successful futures for you all!

Now on to the 5 course dinner.  Each course had a beer pairing. The Chef would explain each course before we indulged and the Beer Aficionato would explain the beer accompaniment.  We started off with Cold Smoked Trout accompanied by greens, olive oil, toasted sesame and poppy seeds.  The beer pairing was New Belgium Trippel Belgium Syle Ale.IMG_20130201_122933The next course was Winter Squash Soup with roasted butternut squash, curried papitas, and a ciabatta crostini.  The beer pairing was Coors Blue Moon Belgian White.IMG_20130201_123003The third course was a Beet and Goat Cheese Salad topped with pine nuts and citrus basil dressing.  The beer pairing was Dry Dock Hefeweizen.IMG_20130201_123035The main course was Leek Ash Rubbed Venison with pureed leeks and matake mushrooms dressed with a red wine demi-glaze.  The beer pairing was Tommyknocker Butthead Doppelbock.IMG_20130201_123110Our palate cleanser was Oskar Blues Mama’s Little Yella Pils (by far the best canned beer I have ever tasted).IMG_20130201_123148The final course was a Chocolate Martini layered with bittersweet chocolate sauce, white chocolate mousse, and raspberry preserves.  The beer pairing was Dry Dock Vanilla Porter.IMG_20130201_181442Everything was divine.  My husband was in Heaven!  We literally wiped our plates clean.  What a spectacular display of talent at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.  By the way, the public is welcome to book events at this wonderful establishment–http://daniels.du.edu/academic-programs/hospitality-management/events-weddings/

The Signature Cocktail (served before the dinner) that I mentioned earlier was a mixture of Dry Dock Hefeweizen, St. Germain, Grand Marnier, and an orange slice.  It was so good…I drank 3 (I think).IMG_20130201_122516The next few pictures of are of the beautiful table settings and the menus.  The design of the Tuscan Wine Cellar is brilliant.  You can enter the room from up above and walk down a grand staircase.  As you walk down the stairs you have a birdseye view of the dining room and all its glory.  Perfect for parties and weddings!IMG_20130201_122627IMG_20130201_122710The ice sculpture of the Rocky Mountains was the Pièce de résistance!IMG_20130201_122828What a wonderful evening!  We love living in Colorado!  B thank you so much for the invite…we had the time of our lives…company, conversation, and good food!