I think that I take Denver (and all of Colorado, really) for granted sometimes.
There is a reason this is one of the most desired states to live in! We have SO many amazing things going on all year round, all across the state.
For those of you that don't know, I live pretty rural. I am out towards Elizabeth and am almost an hour from Downtown Denver. I have lived in Colorado my entire life and have spent many years in Denver, romping around in my teens and 20's (I now have to say... "when I was in my 20's" *sigh*). My family owned a business in Downtown Denver (visit this article to see what I wrote about the family business and how the 100 year old building was incredibly re-purposed here ) and I have some incredible memories of the Taste of Colorado, Peoples Fair, Saint Patricks Day Parade (I loved getting pelted with jolly ranchers) and so many other fun events in Denver.
Now that I have refined my taste a bit, there are some highly sought after events every year that I make it a point to attend. So, let's get to it...
Dining Al Fresco on Larimer Square
Funny story about this photo above (credit Larimer Square). That pretty girl facing you smiling, that is one of my best friends, Judy. Last year or the year before... she just so happened to be there dining with her family when Larimer Squares photographer snapped this photo which is used all of the time for the promotion of the event. I just get such a kick out of it and always tag her on Facebook when it surfaces. So, naturally... I had to use this one.
Dining Al Fresco is one definitely one of my top 5 favorite Denver events. A number of participating restaurants between 15th and 14th on Larimer will allow you to make a reservation to eat out under the stars and well known canopy of lights. Larimer Square only hosts this event once a month, for 3 different months during the summer time. 2017 dates are July 22nd (which we attended), August 19th and September 9th.
We were lucky to be invited to eat at Ocean Prime and made a perfect reservation for 7:30 PM. As the heat of the day dissipated, we dined on chilly Shrimp Cocktail served over a smoking bowl of dried ice and a generous portion of Tuna Tartare. It was so fresh and refreshing.
Next we received our entrees. I ordered the Florida Grouper and Nick ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes. Just revisiting this experience is making me salivate! My grouper was served with tender gnocchi in a magical broth with the perfect veggies! It was perfect. The crab cakes were quickly devoured by my beau as I quickly stole a bite before it was too late. The sun had set and the lights were on, a jazz band playing in the background and our servers were so incredible. Nick and I were struggling on a dessert decision. I decided to order the Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake. I mean.... it's cheesecake. Our server was sweet enough to treat us (I am full of puns) to their new Warm Butter Cake. I had no words, not only because of their generosity but because... that was one of the most incredible desserts ever. I want to drive to Denver just to have that cake. For Breakfast.
Thank you so much to Heather and Ocean Prime for an amazing evening!
If you would like to see which restaurants are participating in the next 2 Dining Al Fresco Events visit the Larimer Square Events page here.
And... if you want to go eat cake for breakfast with me (or have some of the most incredible, decadent seafood in Denver), visit Ocean Prime and make a reservation here.
FESTIVAL OF CHEESE - American Cheese Society
I love Cheese. All cheeses. On all foods. Or by itself. Life would be over as I know it if I couldn't eat cheese anymore. So, when I was given media passes to attend a professional tasting tutorial by an ACS competition judge and the following Festival of Cheese, I shed a tear. Okay...not really but I was so excited, that I told everyone I came in contact with for days.
I mean... it's a festival of CHEESE! Be still my heart.
I first came across this event when I attended the Slow Food Nations event on July 15th. I sampled my way through what I thought was a cheese festival there but then came across an invitation to the American Cheese Society's Festival of Cheese and quickly began to realize that I could now attend the Mother-of-all-Cheese events!
It was like Christmas.
We arrived and participated in a 45 minute tutorial on what the professional competition judges looked for (touch, smell, consistency, taste, etc.) in a cheese. We learned how to be critical in a technical sense and then how to provide praise in a aesthetic manner.
I learned a lot and was excited to take my new skills to the Festival and silently judge away.
Boy oh boy was I in over my head! There were over 2,000 cheeses. Hard cheese, soft, spreads, blues, goat, sheep, american, marinated, flavored, cheddar... I could go on. AND... there was more charcuterie, crackers, olives, etc than you could fathom. I knew I was about to be "Thanksgiving Full" from a full on cheese and meat gluttonous feast.
We tried some of the best winners, best in show and left with some fun goodies and a TON of cheese from their cheese sale! I need not say anything further... just bask in the glory of my cheese and meat photos below.
Great job to the American Cheese Society for putting on such a fun and unique event for all of Denver to enjoy! If you missed it this year, you MUST follow them and attend in the future.
Denver Burger Battle
This annual event showcases the best Burger in Denver! 16 top restaurants all compete, sampling their best burgers to a hungry crowd. And when I say hungry crowd, I mean... you have to be hungry as each restaurant gives you 1/4 of a large, fully loaded burger. If you eat each restaurants sample, it is the equivalent of 4 whole burgers!
When we arrived, the line was long to enter but moved rapidly. There were multiple booths offering liquor tastings, a really fun State Farm agent that was giving away hats with super funny slogans (you can see mine in the photos below) and a half dozen dessert offerings to sweetly breakdown the richness of all the beef you just inhaled.
My friend Brandi and I patiently waiting in line with our plastic tray plates provided by the event coordinators. So many different burgers. Thin patty, double stack, extra cheese, fancy big mac style toppings, bacon/strawberry/habanero combos, etc.
My favorite... and who I voted for... was Stoic & Genuine. My runner up was Prohibition. And guess who won the People's Choice vote for the night?! Stoic & Genuine! Yippeee!
We had so much fun watching the 3 Million Dollar Band, sampling all of the burgers and desserts and I loved seeing my friend Josh's business Glazed & Confused Doughnuts present their huge Colorado Flag Maden made up of his amazing doughnuts!
This was such a fun event and they did an amazing job. Everything went smoothly, voting was easy, the crowd was fun and the food was incredible! Great job!!
Comment below and let me know what fun events you have been to this summer! Make sure to follow me on Facebook on my Denver Housewives Page to follow along with everything I am up to!
Have a great Sunday!
xoxo - Leah
Hi There! I am Leah Ryan, Lead Publisher and Social Media + Event Coordinator for Housewives in the City here in Denver, Colorado! I have lived in Colorado my entire life, born and raised. My family has some deep Colorado roots and I am fascinated with anything related to Colorado History!
I love to spend time with my boyfriend, cook, read, use my creativity in every aspect possible and if there is a puppy around... that is where my attention will be! Please come introduce yourself to me if you see me out and about and especially at one of our monthly Ladies Night Out events! XOXO - Leah