Mile High Life

Take a load off at new spot downtown

Column by Penny Parker
Posted
Penny Parker

The 16th Street Mall has long been a thorn in the side of Denver dwellers who don't shop at souvenir stores, don't care to inhale secondhand smoke and don't want to sign petitions.

But now the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District is installing Patio 16, an outdoor dining area in the median of the carless street between California and Stout streets.

Patio 16 opened on Aug. 28 and will offer outdoor seating, enclosed patio railings, a variety of menu options from six local vendors and an outdoor respite for the downtown Denver community to gather, dine and unwind. Patio 16 provides a family-friendly area staffed during hours of operation to ensure a safe, clean and friendly experience, which is open to all residents, employees and visitors.

For more information, visit www.downtowndenver.com/about-the-bid.

'Uncorked' fall series opens

Started as a monthly event in 2010, "Fridays Uncorked" has grown into a weekly wine and music series that continues year-around at Bonacquisiti Wine Company at 4640 Pecos St. in the Sunnyside neighborhood.

The fall series opens Sept. 4, and the Sept. 19 "Uncorked" event will feature the band My Old School - A Tribute to the Music of Steely Dan. My Old School is the culmination of the efforts of 12 professional Denver musicians who feel an affinity to Steely Dan and the music that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen created by applying jazz to pop music.

In addition to the September music lineup, winemaker and namesake Paul Bonacquisiti will be featuring three new wine releases, including a bold spicy Petite Sirah, which last year sold out to wine club members upon release, as well as a Barbera and the [d] Red, a blend of 80 percent Merlot, 10 percent Syrah and 10 percent Zinfandel. The [d] Red is named after Delagua, the coal camp in southern Colorado where Bonacquisti's father was born. The [d] Red and Barbera releases will be available by the bottle and on tap at the winery in one-liter refillable growlers.

Each event runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Admission is free and wine is available to purchase, as is food from a food truck that changes each week. Seating is limited, so guests are encouraged to bring a chair. The live music line-up through September includes:

● Sept. 4 - Knight Groove
● Sept. 12 - Heavy, Timbo and Deb
● Sept. 19 - My Old School
● Sept. 26 - The Hip Replacements

For more information, visit www.bonacquistiwine.com.

Garlic by the ton

The kitchen at Saucy Noodle Ristorante at 727 S. University Blvd. in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood cooks up more than 1,800 pounds of garlic every year, and it's been serving it for 50 years this month - that's well over 75,000 pounds of garlic.

Erin Markham, the third generation of the Badis family who now operates the restaurant with her husband, Nathan, held a 50th birthday celebration on Aug. 29. The party included menu specials and special prices that evoked the early days of The Noodle: Large one-topping pizzas for $3.95 and spaghetti and meatballs for $4.95.

Markham grew up at the restaurant, which her grandfather Sam bought in 1964 and renamed from Jim Sano's to "The Saucy Noodle," with the culinary warning out front on its distinctive red and white canopy awning: "If you don't like garlic, go home."

A lot of garlic goes into the Noodle's spaghetti marinara, which is vegetarian but has so much garlic in it that it looks like ground beef. "The red sauce is grandmother Inez Badis' recipe," Markham said. "It's been a menu staple throughout the decades, alongside the most popular dish, lasagna, as well as spaghetti and the restaurant's baseball-sized homemade meatballs."

The menu also features one appetizer that might not catch a younger person's eye: Morey Amsterdam's fried ravioli. The dish is named after the late actor and comedian who is best remembered as part of the ensemble cast of the classic "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on television.

"It's called that because in the '60s he came in and asked if we had such a dish, and we didn't so he helped himself to the kitchen and made it himself," Markham said.

New ViewHouse opens

The 'burbs got their own version of ViewHouse, the LoDo hot spot with an amazing rooftop patio, when the Centennial restaurant at 7101 S. Clinton St. opened Aug. 28.
If you didn't attend the grand-opening weekend, here's what you missed: Top-notch Colorado band The Samples kicked off the summer band series, "Music on the Green."

The Red Bull Motocross Extravaganza featured Red Bull's professional motocross stunt team drivers and dancing afterward with DJ Squirt's hot beats.

More information at www.viewhouse.com or call 303-790-8439.

Overheard

Eavesdropping on a woman talking on the phone with a friend: "Nothing exciting going on, well, except for the new guy my daughter is dating right now. He is a model and he is gorgeous. She needs to marry him just so we can look at him across the table at Thanksgiving. Even my husband says, 'He's purty.'"

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