I hope you are hungry when you read this because I have a lot of food on today’s Avenue Flashes menu for you to peruse. If you aren’t hungry now, trust me, if you follow the link I’m going to put in here, you will be.
That’s because March 3 marks the beginning of Denver Restaurant Week, even though it actually runs 10 days, until March 12.
“So, what the heck is that?” you may be asking. Well, it was initially designed to showcase Denver’s growing culinary offerings to local residents during a traditionally slow time of year; over the past 18 years, it has evolved to highlight what is now an award-winning, nationally recognized dining scene. With numerous food and beverage awards to its name (including several from the prestigious James Beard Foundation), Denver has quickly become a dining destination for foodies. It isn’t hard to find plenty of fine dining options at chef-owned eateries, along with cuisine from around the globe at the area’s gourmet food halls and markets, as well as fresh, local ingredients like green chili and Colorado beef and lamb.
The idea of Denver Restaurant Week was designed to showcase the creative, exciting menus that our diners have come to expect, including both to-go and in-person options. Basically, all of the restaurants will be featuring meal packages at three price points: $25, $35, and $45 for a three-course meal. The program will also focus on advocacy for the food industry while keeping the health and safety of the community top of mind.
Ok, so how much food are we talking about here? Lots. There are 219 restaurants participating this year, including four right here in Golden. The Bridgewater Grill in the Golden Hotel, Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar, Nomad Taqueria and Wine Bar as well as Nosu Ramen. If you haven’t tried these places, this is a good opportunity to check them all out. There are also 13 other restaurants participating on the west side of the metro area, in Belmar, Lakewood, Morrison and Arvada that you might want to take a look at. Of, course, you can also find lots of places north, south, east and smack dab in the middle of the entire Denver region.
Now, the first step in navigating through the seemingly endless list of possibilities is to head over to the website, www.denver.org/denver-restaurant-week. They have all the details on there as well as the menus for all the participating restaurants and they also have them grouped by area so you can find one close to home. Then just take a look at what they have to offer and they even have a link to make reservations, if that’s something you like to do. Some of them even offer take-out or delivery.
This entire event is presented by Visit Denver, a private, nonprofit trade association that is responsible for marketing metro Denver as a convention and leisure destination. The Bureau is contracted by the City and County of Denver to act as the official marketing agency for Denver. It is governed by a board of directors and employs a staff of more than 60 professionals.
It also runs the Visit Denver Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which was established in 1996 and is generously sponsored and supported by Visit Denver, as well as by individuals and corporations in the Denver metro area and beyond. The Foundation seeks to advance the travel and tourism industry in the Metro Denver area through activities and projects that enhance education, professional development and training for individuals involved in or interested in the travel and tourism industry.
To achieve this goal, the it provides scholarships designed to support undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the travel and tourism industry at accredited, four-year universities or colleges in Colorado. Since its inception, they awarded more than $1.3 million in scholarships, impacting the lives of 486 college students who are now beginning careers in some aspect of the travel & tourism industry. In addition, the Foundation has given $120,000 for support of educational opportunities as part of the mayor’s homeless initiative, Denver’s Road Home.
As you can see, it’s a pretty big deal with lots of options to choose from. So, all that leaves is the question…Are you hungry yet?
John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multimedia production. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.