Nothing skimpy in eatery week

Column by Penny Parker

Posted

Denver Restaurant Week (Feb. 23-March 8) has set a new record number of participating restaurants with 351, up 339 from last year.

The 14-day food fest and feast will have participating eateries offering a multicourse dinner for the “Mile High” price of $52.80 for two or $26.40 for one with tax and tip not included. Don't forget to tip on the “real” price, not the discounted one.

“We believe that with 351 restaurants, Denver Restaurant Week is the largest restaurant week in the nation,” Visit Denver chief Richard Scharf said.

Last year, a record 404,400 meals were served. As of Feb. 8, prospective diners had looked at more than 3.3 million pages of menus, an average of eight menus per visit to the site.

Scharf noted that this year there are:

• 82 new restaurants participating in DRW for the first time;

• 195 restaurants offering vegetarian options;

• 26 restaurants offering gluten-free options;

• 82 restaurants offering beer, wine or drinks as part of their DRW menu;

• 94 restaurants in just downtown Denver.

Be warned that reservations for the most popular DRW participants are all but gone (you might get lucky with a 5 p.m. or 9:30 p.m. seating), but you can comb through www.opentable.com and click on the Denver Restaurant Week page to enter a time and date, and click on “find a table.” The page will show you which of the 212 restaurants on Open Table have availability.

On the www.denverrestaurantweek.com site, click on a restaurant menu, and then hit the “add to must-dine list,” which will show up on your Facebook page to let friends know that you are interested in dining at this restaurant and seeing if anyone wants to join you.

Art for young at heart

CultureHaus, a social and educational support group of the Denver Art Museum connecting the young at heart with art, will host its annual fundraiser, Banner: Art of the Street, from 7:30-11 p.m. Feb. 22 with a VIP reception beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Center for Visual Art-Metropolitan State University of Denver, 965 Santa Fe Drive.

Each year, CultureHaus holds a “Banner” event, the organization's signature party and fundraiser. Combining the phrase “Art of” with a noun chooses the name of the Banner event. Past events have included Art of Fashion, Art of Pop, Art of Sculpture and Art of Mixology.

This year's theme, Art of the Street, will celebrate and showcase the creative and cultural aspects of Denver's urban landscape. The event will feature live graffiti demonstrations, local tattoo artists, inspired visual arts, delish street food, a silent auction and more.

CultureHaus member tickets are $50 for general admission and $75 for VIP. non-member tickets are $60 for general admission and $85 for VIP. For tickets, go to http://culturehaus.denverartmuseum.org/.

Train pulling in to Denver

Train, the Grammy Award-winning band from San Francisco, will give a performance to benefit the Denver Health Foundation on April 27 at the National Western Events Center.

The pop-rock band achieved success from its debut album in 1998, with the hit “Meet Virginia.” During the last 15 years, the band has won two Grammy Awards and continues to sell out stadiums and arenas around the world.

Guests will enjoy many of the band's hits such as “Calling All Angels,” “Hey Soul Sister” and “Marry Me.” Tickets and table sales to the full NightShine Gala, includeinga cocktail hour, four-course dinner, auction and performance, start at $500 and can be purchased by contacting Candice Jones at 303-602-2978 or by contacting candice.jones@dhha.org.

A limited number of concert-only tickets will be available for $50. Concert-only tickets may be purchased starting at 8 a.m. Feb. 18 at www.denverhealthfoundation.org.

Brittany Hill reborn

Brittany Hill, Thornton's first upscale restaurant, closed in 2007, but has reopened as a Crystal Rose event and wedding venue.

Brunch is served from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays (call for reservations at 303-451-5151). On Feb. 21, the restaurant will host a grand-reopening party from 4 p.m. until close.

Edith Head revisited

Susan Claassen, a University of Denver graduate, returns to Denver as an actor and co-playwright for “A Conversation with Edith Head,” a live one-women performance and homage to the only eight-Oscar-winning female costume designer.

Neiman Marcus, French for Sugar bakery and FashionDenver are supporting the event, which makes its Denver debut at 7 p.m. March 3 at the L2Arts and Cultural Center on the corner of Colfax and Columbine.

Claassen's performance in this 90-minute show has been called “utterly captivating.” Tickets start at $35 and are on sale at www.denverfilm.org. VIP tickets are $100 and include gold circle seating, a post-show champagne reception and a photo with “Edith.”

Head remains one of the most powerful and influential women in Hollywood history. In her six decades of costume design, she dressed most of the great stars from Mae West to Elizabeth Taylor and the legendary “Hitchcock blondes,” Grace Kelly, Tippi Hedren and Eva Marie Saint.

Claassen stars as this iconic film diva in a show that brings to life great movie lore and behind-the-scenes stories of humor, ambition and glamor from the golden days of Hollywood.

Shotgun Willie's shaking on over

Glendale's iconic strip club Shotgun Willie's is moving into the parking lot adjoining the existing building at 490 S. Colorado Blvd., according to a story in The Denver Business Journal.

The story said a groundbreaking was planned for Feb. 15 “on the new, $3 million to $4 million building, which will be slightly larger than the existing club and include upgrades to lighting, sound and food with the addition of a pizza oven.”

Fame names

Rock 'n' roll concert promoter Barry Fey, former Denver Art Museum director Lewis I. Sharp and Denver tour operator Sid Wilson of A Private Guide will be inducted into the Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame during the 14th annual tourism dinner and silent auction March 6 in the Seawell Grand Ballroom.

The Tourism Hall of Fame serves as the highest award for Denver's travel industry, which posted its best year in 2011 with 13.3 million overnight visitors, generating more than $3.3 billion in spending. The industry supports nearly 50,000 jobs in the metro area.

The gala will also honor five “Tourism Stars” presented to organizations and attractions that had a significant impact on Denver's tourism industry during the preceding year.

“This was truly a significant year for Denver tourism with an unprecedented five tourism stars helping to showcase our city as a center for art, sports, sustainability, history and innovation,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver.

The Tourism Star award winners are: The Denver Art Museum for blockbuster original shows Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective and Becoming Van Gogh; Denver Zoo for the groundbreaking Toyota Elephant Passage exhibit; the History Colorado Center for bringing Colorado history to life with the new building and exhibits; the NCAA Women's Final Four, which created $20 million in economic development and national television exposure for Denver; and United Airlines and Denver International Airport for securing a new nonstop flight between Denver and Japan, which will begin in March.

The gala is a fundraiser for the Visit Denver Foundation, which has given out more than $460,000 in scholarships to 189 Colorado students pursuing higher education in the fields of tourism and hospitality.

For ticket information, contact Keely Asbury at 303-571-9405 or email kasbury@visitdenver.com.

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. She can be reached at penny@blacktie-llc.com or at 303-619-5209.