Side dish: The new Il Postino 

All roads to Orleans

Yet another update on the restaurant formerly known as Il Postino (123 E. Pikes Peak Ave., 520-0123): It's now called Springs Orleans, and former Blue Star chef James Davis has been upgraded to executive chef. Davis had been working as sous chef under transitional kitchen head Seles Bowser, who has now returned to out-of-state work.

If you're just tuning in, it's probably best you search "Il Postino" here and read our past features, blurbs and blogs on The Mining Exchange, A Wyndham Grand Hotel and this first phase of its opening. The Springs Orleans name was originally slated for a Cafe du Monde-style beignet spot in the alley between the hotel and restaurant. That concept is still planned for summer, but now under the larger restaurant banner.

Project mastermind Perry Sanders Jr., who recently bought out former 10-percent-share partner Raphael Sassower, calls Springs Orleans' new, affordable menu "classic American with a Southern twist ... a comfort food menu, which also has some healthy items." Once the hotel opens, as soon as early summer, Davis will oversee food service for the entire property. Sanders says to expect 24/7 hours with breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, in accordance with his hotel franchise agreement.

The plan for a 100-beer, 100-wine-by-the-glass, 100-tapas concept called X300 will likely be absorbed by Springs Orleans — minus the tapas list, says Sanders.

Tours of booty

After a seasonal hiatus partially spent fooding and blogging around Paris for a month, Samantha Bruner and her mom, Karen, of the nearly year-old Colorado Springs Food Tours (coloradospringsfoodtours.com) have returned and added a new Old Colorado City Food Tour from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursdays.

Also, Samantha says they've re-designed their Manitou Springs Food Tour at those same hours on Wednesdays; downtown tours now run from 2:30 to 5:30 on Saturdays. All tours are $49 per person.

The company also plans to launch hands-on, monthly cooking classes with Nosh chef Shane Lyons for $79 per head. The first class, from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, April 3, will feature sausage and sausage accoutrements with beer pairings.

An interesting side note: Of 456 people led on 56 tours in 2010, Samantha says, 66 percent were locals.

Beer almost here

Chris Wright, co-founder of Pikes Peak Brewing (1756 Lake Woodmoor Drive, Monument, pikespeakbrewing.com), says to tentatively expect an early May opening. Growler labels are ready, a grain silo has been installed, and "the beer garden is taking shape," he says.


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