Concert aids flood victims

Column by Penny Parker

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Colorado Rising, a benefit concert for flood relief featuring performances by Dave Matthews, The Fray, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, Wesley Schultz, Jeremiah Fraites and Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers, Devotchka and Nathaniel Rateliff, raised $650,000 on Oct. 27 at the 1stBank Center in Broomfield.

And from what I was told through emails and Facebook posts, the evening of unprecedented entertainment from Colorado musicians was a smash hit. The money raised will go to www.liveunitedcolorado.org, the United Ways of Colorado Flood Recovery Fund.

“It's no surprise that the entire music community from musicians to fans stepped up in a time of need for Colorado,” said Chuck Morris, president and CEO of concert organizer AEG Live Rocky Mountains. “Thank you all.”

Trivia at Inverness

WorldDenver, a nonprofit community organization dedicated to advancing an understanding of global affairs and cultures, is hosting its first Global Cup Challenge trivia fundraiser from 6 to 10 p.m. Nov. 15 at the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center in Arapahoe County.

The evening, with beverages sponsored by Molson Coors Brewing Co., will begin with a pub-food-themed buffet dinner following by an international trivia competition.

Teams of five will compete in five rounds of questions based on current affairs, geography, businesses and organizations as well as globally minded professionals testing their knowledge to win donated prizes and a year of bragging rights.

Celebrity quiz masters include: Kay Landen and Joanne Posner-Mayer (event co-chairs), Carolyn Richards, Joe Megyesy, Katie Evans, Alice Anneberg, Laurie Zeller, Kim Savit, Beverley Simpson and Selena Dunham. Greg Dobbs and Anna Alejo will serve as celebrity quiz masters for the Challenge.

Funds raised will support WorldDenver's programs: Denver World Affairs Council, Young Professionals, International Visitor Leadership Program, Home Hospitality, GlobaLiteracy and WorldDenver Talks.

For registration materials, event information and sponsorship opportunities, go to www.globalcupchallenge.org.

Bonnano ventures into Venue

Frank Bonanno is the Denver restaurant industry's Energizer Bunny. And although he's built an empire than includes seven restaurants, two bars and a pie shop, he's busting a move into the hip Highland neighborhood by opening a sandwich shop in the former Venue Bistro space at 3609 E. 32nd Ave., according to a post at the blog www.denver.eater.com. Bonanno intends to offer gourmet sandwiches with house-cured meats, according to the Eater story.

Argyll finds new home

Eater Denver also reports that Robert Thompson, owner of Argyll, the popular Cherry Creek gastro pub that closed in 2011, has found new digs inside the Las Margaritas space at 1035 E. 17th Ave. in Uptown. Las Margaritas will close after 19 years at that location.

The new Argyll space, renamed Argyll Whisky Beer, will undergo a remodel and expansion of the kitchen and bar area. The bar menu will include the largest whisky library in Colorado, according to Eater. Executive chef will be John Broening, who runs the kitchen at Thompson's Le Grand Bistro.

Colorado eateries among best

More Denver and Boulder eateries are taking their rightful place alongside their bigger-city brethren on national “best” lists.

Case in point: Here comes Travel + Leisure magazine's 30 Best Italian Restaurants in the U.S., which included Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder on the lauded list.

Said T+L: “Boulder isn't the first place you'd look for one of America's best Italian restaurants, but it certainly shouldn't be last. The philosophy of master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson's Italian restaurant in the shadow of the Rockies is based on the neighborhood restaurants in the subalpine region of northeast Italy — informal gathering places inspired by the cuisine and culture of Friuli.”

The same story listed the best sushi and best vegetarian restaurants in the U.S., with Sushi Sasa in Denver and Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant in Boulder as the Colorado winners.

Boulder's best biscuits

Not to be outdone by Travel + Leisure, Food and Wine magazine released its “best biscuits in the U.S.” list, and included Dot's Diner in Boulder in the mix.

Food and Wine said, “This 30-year-old diner is a Boulder mainstay (popular with both tourists and hippies) and is known for its tender buttermilk biscuits, made in regular and gluten-free versions. Regulars swear by the A.M. sandwich: a warm biscuit filled with a scrambled egg, melted cheddar, and a choice of ham, avocado or vegetarian sausage.”

Top spots

I told you last week that Lakewood was included in the Top 100 Best Places to Live on livability.com's inaugural ranking, but that was only part of Colorado's prized participation. Culinary Colorado's Claire Walter (thanks, Claire!) pointed out that there's more to the story.

While Lakewood ranked No. 88 (besting Scottsdale at No. 89), Aurora scored No. 49, and Boulder came in at an impressive No. 2. Topping the lauded list was Palo Alto, Calif., which I'm proud to say is my hometown (think Stanford University, John Elway, Eddie McCaffrey, Andrew Luck, etc.).

Read more at www.livability.com/top-100-best-places-to-live#/palo-alto/ca.

Overheard

Eavesdropping on a woman: “On my tombstone it's going to say, `Had a weakness for cheese balls, the kind you eat and the kind you meet.'”

Penny Parker's “Mile High Life” column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for Blacktie-Colorado.com. You can subscribe and read her columns (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at www.pennyparker.blacktie-colorado.com. She can be reached at penny@blacktie-llc.com or at 303-619-5209.

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