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Gust of fresh ... food 

Chef Jay Gust of the Ritz Grill (15 S. Tejon St.) launched a new dinner menu July 10, replacing a two-year-old incarnation that he and general manager Ross Seville feel had "run its course." Gust says the new bistro menu marks a return to a "complete dish" style, as opposed to the la carte format.

Gust's new favorites: crispy seared salmon with a balsamic pancetta pecan reduction; sweet tahini scallops on the half shell with crushed peanuts; and a Colorado rack of lamb served with Morrell mushrooms.

Many "old favorites" will remain on the dinner menu, and the lunch menu has not changed at all. Dinner prices range from $7 to $8 for appetizers, and up to $26 for the lamb entre. Call 635-8484 for more.

Vino de Espaa

The Blue Star (1645 S. Tejon St.) will host a Spanish wine dinner at 6:30 p.m., Monday, July 16, consisting of a tapas-style, five-course tasting. Tickets are $60, not including tax and gratuity. Call 632-1086 on Thursday, July 12, to reserve a seat.

Brunch on the green

Shining Mountain Golf Club (100 Shining Mountain Lane, Woodland Park) is open for the season and will serve Champagne Sunday Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every week. It features live jazz, made-to-order omelets, carved meat and a full buffet. The price, which includes a glass of champagne, but not tax or gratuity, is $12.95. Call 687-7587 for more.

July harvest

Among foods now ready at local farmers' markets: summer squash, zucchini, basil, beets, carrots, onions, garlic spinach, Swiss chard, potatoes and green beans.

Bees disease

You've probably heard that many beekeepers have suffered diminished bee counts in their hives. Though many blame pesticides, which kill wildflowers that provide pollen to native bees, still no clear culprit has been identified.

Fortunately for Colorado, dying bees haven't been a problem for local, organic farms that don't use pesticides. Colorado beekeeper Frank Schmidt says "Pesticides have been a problem since the beginning. I think they're overstressing bees, by moving them around too much."

Contributions by Frances Gomeztagle

Send the word on new menus, upcoming special dinners or events, and general food-related news to scene@csindy.com.

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