Jay Fox's Dining Guide

What's happening around town, or the first mistake the Fox ever made, tho it wasn't really a mistake

“The reason fat people are happy is that the nerves are well protected.” — Luciano Pavarotti

FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, I left a restaurant out of my column that should have been included. Of course it had to be the Big One, my annual Welcome Back Legislators double whopper. I thought I made a mistake once before, but I was mistaken.

Anywho, I did not realize that the Red Room (320 East Colfax Ave, 720/524-7237; www.redroombar.net) reopened last summer under new ownership. So when Pub got a call from GM Kim Wilkerson, I was a bit embarrassed, but not too. Cuz I figured I would go down and check out the grub and if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t care about leaving them out, and if it was good, then I would write something special cuz I would then have felt bad. Kapish? So you can tell it was really good, leastways for one visit. Cuz if it weren’t you wouldn’t be reading this, right?

Their website is “under development” but Kim made sure the menu was up and running, tho I couldn’t print both pages.

Y’all know that I had to have the hand-packed Classic Bugger, which came with a choice of the customary sides: fries, chips, salad, coleslaw, cottage cheese or onion rings. It was super yummy with lots of flavor and cooked perfectly. The rest of the menu is huge with more than a dozen sangies, wondrous-sounding munchies including a crab cake-fresh tomato with citrus aioli and many other offerings. There is a $4 bar menu during happy hour (4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday thru Friday) with sliders, sea tacos, quesadillas, and many more goodies. The dinner menu adds some heavy selections like a 10 oz grilled rib-eye steak dinner, pasta, and a daily special.

So y’all stop in — I’ll be sitting at the window watching CityGrille (directly across the street) to see who’s coming and going over there. Having a tod for the bod and yakking with one of Kim’s deliteful servers. Did I tellya about the terrific service? It was terrific.

Out west, Thomas Salamunovich opened Watermark, a new eatery in the ultra posh Westin-Riverfront Resort & Spa in Edwards … he also owns others including Larkspur Restaurant in Vail and the quick-service Larkburger in Edwards. Thomas is the top toque around Vail Valley. Of course folks think that cuz the beef is all natural makes it taste better. Duh? Don’t think that has anything to do with the taste. It’s lotsa fat and good cookin’ that gives it all the taste. But check it out, cuz I’m going to.

Sad news to report. The bestest ice cream and gelato store in Denver has shuttered its doors. Glacier Homemade Ice Cream and Gelato on East Hampden in Denver is gone forever. Or til someone else opens a store in Denver. Thankfully, they still operate three stores in Boulder and one in Longmont. They have some of the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. But if you haven’t had the new in-house made ice cream at the Capital Grille (1450 Larimer St, 303/539-2500; www.thecapitalgrille.com), you haven’t lived. Oh my. They even make the cookie part of the ice cream sangie. It is truly 2-die-4.

Also on the sad news report is that my old friend (almost really old) Mel Master and his very talented wife Janie, have left Denver again. This time the restaurant he left his name on, Mel’s Bar and Grill on East Sixth Avenue shuttered has shuttered and been replaced by a Cuban restaurant. Check the new place out. The Mel’s in Greenwood Village was sold to Chad Clevenger and is still going strong.

For those of you that think Denver has more than enuf high end steak houses, get ready for more. Shanahan’s, which is a partnership between one of muh favorite restaurateurs, Marc Steron (former GM at Del Frisco’s), and Mike Shanahan and several others, broke ground late last year in the Tech Center. But now with the firing of the former Denver Bronco coach, his involvement is uncertain. The last I heard is that construction is going forward and the restaurant will open late this year. Nothing on a name change or Mike’s participation.

There have been rumors for over a year that Maxim Prime, another upscale steakerie will enter the Denver market, presumably downtown. But after the recent closing of Prime 121 in Cherry Creek, and Maxim’s closing of its Atlanta store after less than a year in business, and throw in a small economic downturn in the economy, nothing is certain.

I’ve been spreading the rumor that Smith & Wollensky, a terrific New York-based upscale steakerie will come to Denver. I know that they (S & W) have talked about it, but will they come? If I could predict that, and what the economy will do — the question my clients ask me 47,003 times a day, I’d be writing this from one of my world wide palaces.

My take on New York stock analysts. They’re worse than restaurant critics. If you think a bad review can kill a place, try an analyst’s report, some dude who sits at his desk and eats a boiled Sabrett® hot dog with the flavor sucked out of it. And on that subject, having been in New York recently, the Sabrett’s in NYC usta be great but now they all suck. Six vendors on one corner, with dogs stuck in boiled water all day. Hell, you’d taste bad too if you sat in a bucket of boiled water all day. Where did all that come from?

My old friend, baker Extraordinaire Michael Bortz is now operating City Bakery at 5454 Washington St, 303/292-3989. You may remember Michael from the old Palmetto Grille — there were two locations at one time — where Michael turned out some fantastic grub including his special dessert, The Bomb. Today City Bakery is delivering bread to about 100 area restaurants. Michael is also an accomplished Chocolatiere, a trade inherited from his father. Maybe if you call him and beg...

Another word on the closing of Prime 121. One of the classy things about 121 is the giant bowl of cherry sour balls at the door. G luvs them horrid things more than any food I can imagine. G ate so many cherry sour balls, I think they quit putting them out when we came. I called GM Scott Fickling and found out where they got the sour balls. I called the company, got their website info, and placed an order. A bag of sour balls cost $3, so I bought two dozen bags, mostly cherry, but the damn things were gone in about two weeks. So I bought a 30-pound box of cherry-only sour balls. Now think about this. A 30-pound box costs $55 and change, including shipping. If I take G out to dinner, it can cost $200 or more, but if I feed her a box of sour balls and I have a tuna sangie and a dish of ice cream, I’m in for less than $60 total. So I say to myself, “Why not, Harold. Why not?” But now I find out her boss luvs them as does the rest of her coworkers, so I am now feeding her entire office. My monthly tab for sour balls is approaching my mortgage payment and my car payment. Hey, I’m contributing to the economy right? That money churns something like 7.5 times.

Cya.

Jay@coloradostatesman.com