Friday, April 15, 2011

Wine trains, a foam fest, cocktail contenders and sad breaking food news

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 11:39 AM

No time for a rambling introduction — let's get going:

Breaking news first — A note on their Facebook page and a disconnected phone number are indicating that Bistro de Pinto has sadly closed its doors downtown.

We'll aim to find out more for this upcoming week's Side Dish.

Now back to your regularly scheduled food and beverage programming ...

So this is a view youll see on the evening trains, but the Royal Gorge Route Railroad's wine lunch trains offer equal views, just with different daylight.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • So this is a view you'll see on the evening trains, but the Royal Gorge Route Railroad's wine lunch trains offer equal views, just with different daylight.

• First up on Saturday, Trinity Brewing Company is hosting its Saison Fest from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets are $35 and include a commemorative glass.

Here's who's participating in addition to the hosts: Tommyknocker, Crooked Stave, AC Golden, Rockyard, Ska Brewing Co., Boulevard Brewing Co., Rock Bottom, Phantom Canyon, Three Barrel Brewing, Funkwerks, Black Fox, Pagosa Brewing Co., Ouray Brewing, Kona Brewing and Great Divide.

• Also on Saturday at 12:30 p.m., the Royal Gorge Route Railroad launches its first Wine Lunch Train of the season with seats running between $45 and $95 for the three-course wine-paired meal. Though it is called a "wine lunch train," the wine does cost extra with the meal.

If that's too short of notice, consider these later dates: April 30; May 1, 7, 10, 14, 15, 21 and 22; May 28 through Oct. 9, daily; October 13, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30; and November: 5, 6, 12 and 13. And visit the company's website for information on holiday rides such as Easter and Mother's Day trains and also murder mystery trains that begin on May 14.

And for a peek at what these luxurious, fun rides are like, check out my experience from last June here.

• As we mentioned in March 24's Side Dish, The Black Bear Restaurant will host a $50 five-course, wine-paired charity dinner on Sunday, April 17, with proceeds going to Free Tibet. Call the restaurant for hours as well as future charity dinner dates and beneficiaries.

Motif will host a five-course Hyatt/Roza Ridge wine dinner on Thursday, April 21; seats are $45 plus tax/tip.

Greenpeace just released its latest seafood sustainability rankings for supermarkets, and surprisingly, Safeway tops the list, a whole three spots above Whole Foods.

View the full report and Top 20 here:

And here's a little local analysis included in a press release from Greenpeace Rocky Mountain/Southwest Region organizer Diana Best, in which she quotes senior markets campaigner Casson Trenor:

Colorado’s popular chains, King Soopers and City Market (both Kroger) scored at the bottom of the pack of “passing” retailers. Greenpeace volunteers visited over 40 Kroger-affiliated stores across Colorado. Surveys found that Kroger stores still sell as many as sixteen of the twenty-two red list seafoods: Alaska pollock, Atlantic cod, Atlantic salmon, Atlantic sea scallops, Chilean sea bass, grouper, hoki, monkfish, ocean quahog, orange roughy, red snapper, redfish, South Atlantic albacore tuna, swordfish, tropical shrimp, and yellowfin tuna.

"It’s an amazing testament to the ongoing pressure from consumers, supporters and activists that in just five years, we’ve gone from a situation where all twenty major US retailers assessed in the report received failing scores to today, when fifteen retailers have now achieved a passing score.

“Other great advances include more and more retailers refusing to stock one of the most vulnerable fish stocks on earth, the Orange Roughy, and two retailers — Safeway and Wegmans publicly supporting a no-take marine reserve in the last pristine ocean on earth, the Antarctic Ross Sea,” Mr Trenor said.

“Despite all this good news, it’s important to remember that not a single large retailer has achieved a “green” score in the Greenpeace Seafood Sustainability Ranking. We are cheered by the great progress, but until retailers confront their role in destroying our oceans, propagating environmentally unsound aquaculture then consumers will struggle to find a truly responsible retailer.

Summit at the Broadmoor mixologist Robert Leavey is a semi-finalist for Star of the Bar at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event.
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Summit at the Broadmoor mixologist Robert Leavey is a semi-finalist for Star of the Bar at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event.

• The subject of one of this week's Dine & Dash features, Robert Leavey of the Summit at the Broadmoor, has been selected as a semi-finalist for the Star of the Bar competition being held in May at the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event.

Watch the YouTube clip of him making his The Real McCoy cocktail here.

And here's more on the event according to a Broadmoor press release:

Sponsored by Bacardi, The IWSB Star of the Bar competition is a nationwide search by the National Restaurant Association for the country’s most creative mixologist. The Star of the Bar will be chosen from this group by the restaurant and hospitality industry and a panel of expert judges including "The Modern Mixologist" Tony Abou-Ganim at Restaurants Rock. The selected winner will receive $5,000.

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