=" /> The Mile High Eater: 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Harvest Week

Hi all,

One of the most exciting times of the year for Denver restaurants is fast approaching - "Harvest Week". Many Denver and surrounding areas take this week to focus on local foods and showcase the best ingredients the area has to offer. Every year we look forward to finding out what local chefs prepare during this week long event.

Harvest Week - is August 21-27, 2010. This week long event has over 50 member restaurants creating special menus celebrating Colorado products and producers.

Got to http://www.eatdenver.com/harvest-week to see which restaurants are participating.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Old Chicago

Happy Wednesday!

We were invited to Old Chicago to try their new summer treat the "Pizzini". The "Pizzini" is only going to be available until August 15th. It's on the menu for the summer to give you a lighter meal. Now's the time to get to Old Chicago.


There are six "pizzini" styles to partake of:
1) Spinach & Feta

Baby spinach, red onions, Feta crumbles, mushrooms, green chilies, roasted garlic, diced tomatoes, oregano spice and melted Mozzarella cheese. Baked and topped with marinated tomatoes and Feta cheese crumbles. Add chicken for just a bit more.

2) Hot Sicilian

A blend of pepperoni, salami, smoked ham, Parmesan garlic dressing and Mozzarella cheese wrapped and baked golden brown. Topped with pepperoncinis and green onions.

3) BBQ Chicken & Bacon

All white chicken breast tossed in honey chipotle BBQ sauce, smokehouse bacon, green chilies and red onions baked up with melted Cheddar and Mozzarella cheeses. Topped with a tangy pickle onion relish.

4) Grilled Steak & Mushroom

Grilled steak strips, sliced mushrooms, red bell peppers, red onions with fresh basil and Mozzarella, Parmesan and Ricotta cheeses. All wrapped and baked up golden brown, topped with a zesty red pepper relish.

5) Sausage & Meatball

All-beef meatballs, Italian sausage, green peppers and onions, crushed red pepper, our signature marinara sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Baked and topped with melted Mozzarella cheese, marinara and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

6) Chicken Florentine

A delicious blend of seasoned chicken, green onions, roasted garlic and layers of baby spinach and Mozzarella cheese. Baked up golden brown and topped with marinated Roma tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.

We were greeted by the manager Brandy, who let us know that we would be trying 4 of the 6 "pizzini's".

Jonathan picked the Hot Silician and the Chicken Floentine
Barb picked the Grilled Steak & Mushroom and the Sausage & Meatball

Let the tasting begin!

She says: First off, the "pizzini's" looked beautiful. Nice golden crust, and topped with fresh ingredients. I tried the Sausage & Meatball first. It was very tasty, with lots of cheese and sauce. All of the "pizzini's" are served with Wonton Chips dipped in BBQ sauce. The Sausage & Mushroom was my favorite of all 4.

He says: Ok I love pizza in general and have a special fondness for calzones so when we were invited out here I was really looking forward to it. I do wish I liked beer because this place looked to be a beer lovers paradise with 2 full pages of different draft and bottle beers. Bet this place gets lively during football season with all the tvs and beer available.


In general when I take a bite into a pizza I get the burst of flavor of the cheese and the sause but most of the other ingrediants just kind of are a side show, the first thing I noticed when biting into the meatball pizzini was that you actually got a big burst of meatball flavor along with the cheese and other ingrediants which I really liked seemed to combine the best parts of a pizza and a meatball sub , yummm.

Next up was the Steak & Mushroom

She says: Again, beautiful crust (and I love crust). This was my least favorite of the 4 we tried. It's not that it wasn't tasty, it just tasted like the topping wasn't the right mix for the "pizzini".

He says: Well steak and mushroom, how could this not be my favorite ... well somehow it just wasn't. It was'nt bad, far from it but none of the flavors really jumped out at me at all, it was just kind of there. Luckily this is the only one of the 4 that we tried that I felt this way about.


Next up, Chicken Florntine.

She says: This was tasty, with a nice mix of chicken, cheese and onions. There was also spinach in this sandwhich (which I really don't like), but it was spread out enough to not be overpowering.

He says: Bah, I like spinach maybe not mounds of spinach by itself but mixed in to a dish or in a salad I like it alot. This was the first one I tried and it started me out with a very pleasant note. Once again, you got a burst of chicken flavor mixed in with a great sauce and of course cheese. This is the one I would come back for several times. Also want to take note of the "chips" they serve with these. They are fried wontons flavored with a barbaque taste. I like barbaque chips in general and these were darn good. Wish they sold these by the bag. I would be just fine having a large order of these with a coke and sitting back and watching a football game or something.


Last not least, the Hot Silician!

She says: Pepperoni! Smoked ham! Yum! This was my 2nd favorite of the night. The mixture of pepperoni, ham and mozzarella. It was a great flavor combination and a real treat.

He says: Ok, have you ever had a piece of pepporoni that was cooked really well and it fell off onto the plate by itself and when you ate it you got a huge burst of flavor. Biting into one of these is just like that, it slaps you in the face with the taste of pepperoni with each bite and to that I say hit me again :)


As we mentioned, these are only available until August 15th, and we recommend giving them a try. Thanks to Brandy the manager for this special treat. They have a meal deal going starting at $9.99. You get a salad, pizzini, and a dessert. Darn good deal that for most of us will mean lunch for the next day as well. We thank Old Chicago for inviting us over to give them a try. If you like pizza and calzones, I think you really would like these pizzinis.

Thanks again for visiting our Colorado based restaurant and food blog. Next up for us is Restaurant Kelly Liken in Vail. She is currently doing well in the show Top Chef and we are looking forward to seeing what her food tastes like in person. If you have any questions feel free to drop us a line here or at barbara or jonathan @milehigheater.com

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Old Chicago on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Fat Duck

During our stay in London, we had the most wonderful opportunity to eat at the "Fat Duck". Jonathan had to make the reservation 2 months in advance, getting up at 3:30 am Colorado time to call the restaurant when they opened. It was well worth it.

We had to go to Paddington Station to get a ticket for the train to Bray where the restaurant is located. What a busy, bustling place Paddington is! We arrived in Bray, and had to take a taxi to the restauant. Talk about a drive. Small winding roads that seem to lead to nowhere, when finally we come upon a non-descript place where inside a fiesta of flavors was about to begin!

Outside of Restaurant

There were probably 12 tables in all. A small but lovely little place. A fireplace near the front door. A staircase leading to the restrooms. We could see through the kitchen from where we sat. The magic was about to begin.
Inside the restaurant

Our first course was "Lime Grove". Nitro poached green tea and lime mousse.

Jonathan: Right after they placed down the food they sprayed a small mister above our heads that had the smell of lime this was our introduction to the showmanship and food the Fat Duck is famous for.

Barb: This was meant to be eaten in one bite and melt in your mouth, but I just couldn't shove the whole thing in my mouth!

Lime Grove

Next on the menu was "Red Cabbage Gazpacho". Prommery grain mustard ice cream.

Red Cabbage Gazpacho

Barb: I am not a big fan of mustard, but pleasantly surprised to like this.
Jonathan: Ok the only thing I could think of was cabbage and ice cream mmm well okay, but after my first taste I was sold it was a great dish.

Next up: "Jelly of Quail, Crayfish Cream". Chicken liver parfait, oak moss and truffle toast.

Jelly Quail 2

Jonathan: Here another bit of theater took place they poared hot water onto a moss coated container and a steam arose that put out a smell that reminded you of being out in the woods. To top that off before you took a bite of your food they asked you to put in this little thin strip breath mint that had the strangest taste if I had to describe it, I would call it a woodsey oak flavor.
The food itself I thought was very good when we started it but as you ate more and more it became too rich then just to much. Some flavors are best in moderation.

It was followed by "Roast Foie Gras". Cherry puree, braised Konbu and crab biscuit.

Not Sure 1

Barb: We had our first experience of Foie Gras at Per Se in NYC and have enjoyed it ever since.

Next was "Mock Turtle Soup" - Mad Hatter Tea.

Mad Hatter 1

Mad Hatter 2

Mad Hatter

Barb: This was an incredible presentation. Inside the cup, there looked to be a gold pocket watch or locket. Once the water was poured in, it dissolved into a tea with gold leaf.

Jonathan: Inside the bowl you poured the broth into looked to be little mushrooms and such but they were not, I am not sure how they constructed this little thing but it was just way cool.

Next up was "Sound of the Sea".

Sound of the Sea 1

Barb: Now this, was an amazing course. You recived the dish, which looked like a beach scene. Sea foam rising off what looked like sand. You were given a shell and inside the shell was a small Ipod and earphones. You inserted the earphones and listened to the sound of the sea as you ate, enhancing the experience. The fish was delicious and the "sand" was not sand at all.

Jonathan: the sand was tapioca and all in all this dish was probably the most incredibly constructed dish I have ever experienced. Really the meal so far has been so far over the top presentation it left you with the feeling you were at a theater not a restaurant.

Sound of the Sea 2

The next course was "Salmon Poached in Liquorice". Artichokes, vanilla mayonnaise, trout roe and Manni olive oil.


Jonathan: The flavors here were very strong and so odd to get a strong liquorice flavor with fish to this day I am not sure about my feelings on this one.

At this point, you don't think you can eat anymore, but there are still several courses to go.

Next course: "Powdered Anjou Pigeon". Blood pudding and Confit of Umbles.


Jonathan: BLOOD PUDDING......RUN...well that was my first thought but just as in another restaurant we tried pickeled herring I went ahead and gave it a go and you know all in all it was pretty darn good.

Next up was "Taffety Tart". Carmelized apple, fennel, rose and candied lemon.

Not Sure 2

Jonathan: And the deserts begin mmmm and this was a great start with a interesting that seemed both light and gummy at the same time.

The next course was very interesting as well. "The Not-So-Full English Breakfast". Parsnip cereal, nitro-scrambled egg and bacon ice cream, with Hot and Iced Tea.

Parsnip Cereal

Not So Full English Breakfast 2

Not So Full English Breakfast

Barb: Oh my! This course was a delight in presentation and taste. You recieved a box of Parsnip cereal which was really good. Then the server began preparing the nitro-scrambled egg. This was showmanship at it's best. He told a tale while he cooked the egg.

Jonathan: The story the man told was about chickens that have been fed on bacon to give there eggs a bacon like taste, the he proceeded to crack open the egg and add the liquid nitrogen table side and out came this wonderfull ice cream that looked like scrambled eggs and yes had a light bacon taste, and even though even I a true bacon lover was thinking (bacon ice cream that just may be too much) it turned out to be fantastic

Barb: This was served with a Hot and Iced Tea drink that was simply mind-boggling as when you sipped it, you tasted both hot and cold. It was a mind teaser and it was delicious.

Jonathan: Ok this was just wrong and I kept sipping at it how the heck can something taste piping hot when it enters your mouth but the time you swallow it feels as cold as a slushie. If any one knows how he does this trick please let me know.

Hot & Iced Tea

Just when you thought it would never end, out came "Chocolate Wine Slush" with Millionaire shortbread.

Chocolate Wine Slush

Jonathan: First a tea that turned out to be as cold as a slushie, then a slushie that tasted like chocolate at this point my taste buds were confused as all heck but happy :)

A picture frame was then given to us which contained "Wine Gums" laying out the Historic trade routes of Britain. There were 5 different gums that tasted like Mead, Cognac, Madeira, Sherry and Rum. Yum!

Wine Gums

Last, but not least we received a little goody bag from the "Sweet Shop" and was sent on our way. Also included was a sealed envelope with the menu. Sated and happy to experience one of the best restaurants in the world.

Goodie Bag

Jonathan: All in all I would say this was the most entertaining meal I have had and probably engaged more of my senses at one time then anything ever has, but as far as taste it was in the top 10 but was not as good as say Per Se but so very worth the experience.

Thanks for stopping by our Colorado based restaurant and food blog if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact us here or at jonathan@milehigheater.com or barb@milehigheater.com

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The Fat Duck on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Been Awhile.....

Sorry we haven't added anything in such a long time. The economy is partly to blame as we slowed down a lot from visiting some really nice places. But, we do have a few places still to get to, so please keep visiting and soon. I will be trying to load pictures from our Europe trip which included visits to St. John in London, The Fat Duck in Bath, England and Dalhousie Castle in Scotland.

Also, I'll let Jonathan tell his tale of the "calzone" in Paris! You won't want to miss that one.

Will be working away this week and trying to get something up.

Thanks for your patience!