Throughout the summer months, el Camino's rooftop garden blossoms with organic cilantro and mint leaves, providing ultra-fresh accouterments for the eatery's Mexican feasts. And though the small garden doesn’t cultivate all of el Camino’s ingredients, the rest of the bounty originates not too far from Highland. For example, the eatery's chefs stuff housemade tamales, tacos, and other lunch and dinner specialties with all-natural chicken, beef, and pork from local vendor Anderson Meats. They create guacamole, salsa, and each and every dessert completely from scratch, using produce supplied by two Colorado companies, Red Hat Foods and Arroyo Produce. Beyond supporting the local economy, el Camino tries to preserve the entire ecosystem by operating on 100% wind power and recycling all of its cans, bottles, and cardboard cutouts of Al Gore.
While satisfying hunger with decadent, locally sourced food, including a daily brunch, el Camino sates rippling thirsts for both beer and entertainment. The bar pours drafts from the likes of Del Norte, Avery, and Great Divide breweries, and mixes up potent bloody marys, mimosas, and sangria. Every night of the week brings a different treat, such as $1 street tacos on Tuesday and the Tito Del Barrio Malaga flamenco band every Saturday.
Amid the lively Kinga’s Lounge, owner Kinga Klek regularly rolls up her sleeves and tends to the full bar and kitchen, working beside a family of staffers as they construct traditional Polish cuisine from scratch. The chefs turn fresh ingredients into authentic dishes, such as stews, schnitzels, and pierogis, while bartenders help diners navigate the staggering menu of Polish beers and vodkas.
Inside the lounge’s dining area, a full-wall mural interrupts a red-and-white color scheme as light from chandeliers dapples ornate wood furnishings. Leather armchairs cradle patrons upstairs, who can carry their merrymaking downstairs to Kinga’s Basement, an equally spirited watering hole where exposed-brick walls stand sentinel under arches and pillars. Festivities spill over to the outdoor patio, enclosed by verdant foliage and strings of lights that crisscross the al fresco space in a foolish attempt to make their way east to become one with the sun. A full schedule of events, including a live DJ on weekends and a comedy showcase on Sunday evenings, keeps revelers reveling.
Every year since 2007, Jazz@Jack’s has won first or second prize in the Denver CitvVoter category of Best Live Music Venue due to its nightly soundtrack of live jazz, blues, and funk. The watering hole's co-owners and house band Dotsero regularly perform their acclaimed brand of contemporary jazz tunes, which floated weightlessly out of the speakers of the space shuttle Endeavor during a 187-orbit flight around Earth. A full calendar of local and national acts lures patrons into the sleek space, where walls of windows reveal panoramic views of the surrounding buildings' toupees. A vibrant hand-painted mural depicting musicians interrupts warm orange walls as the stage's bright lights spill onto a black-and-white-checkered dance floor. Tall tables serve as rest stops for dancers to intermittently sip wine and cocktails blended at the full bar, and a spacious patio encourages the sharing of conversations and selections from Jazz@Jack's smattering of classic bar appetizers and desserts.
Nonna's Chicago Bistro, named Best Italian in 2011 on Denver's 7 A-List, lures hungry passersby with a menu of Windy City–style Italian fare, more than 20 wines by the glass, and complimentary ciabatta bread with saucy marinara. The owners, a family of Chicago natives, dedicated Nonna's to their grandmother, whose passion for hearty, homestyle fare inspired their chefs to perfect such classics as chicken parmigiana, lasagna, and slow-cooked, Chicago-style ribs. Dinners pair with a glass of Italian Da Vinci chianti or a Californian 181 merlot, or assorted well drinks and domestic brews from the exposed-brick bar.
Nonna's Chicago Bistro's dining room provides guests with an elegant eating coliseum, boasting walls painted with grapevine designs and windows that welcome a breathtaking view of the Leaning Tower of Willis. The quaint eatery also fills ear canals with live music performed by jazz trios, classical guitarists, and country crooners on weekend evenings.
To say The Cork House Broker Restaurant is a wine restaurant that just happens to serve food wouldn't be totally inaccurate. The extensive wine list encompasses a wide range, welcoming bottles of sparkling and still, red and white, inexpensive and indulgent. Those who join the restaurant's wine club receive exclusive invitations to events such as wine dinners, tastings, cooking classes, and meet-and-greets with winemakers.
With that said, the restaurant’s chefs certainly know their way around the kitchen. Guests can pair their wines with a flight of carefully curated cheeses, made from goat's and cow's milks, or consult a dinner menu filled with timeless entrees including steak diane, french onion soup, and fabulous mussels. Meals unfold in the restaurant’s intimate dining room or under the patio’s generously shady cover of trees.
Every performer has a different goal. Recognizing this, the teaching staff at Academy of the Arts-Denver (each a professional in his or her respective field) designs all of their lesson plans around their students' individual goals. These highly personalized plans shape the approach to the school's age-specific, professional and recreational group acting and vocal classes. The teaching staff also uses their 75 years of accumulated experience to focus on talent development, whether students want to break into the business, or perform for the joy of it. Private lessons help build proficiency in guitar, bass, drums, and music production. Though lessons focus on specific technical training, the teachers encourage creative experimentation no matter the genre. Former students have established careers in TV, Broadway, Film, and Music. As they learn, Academy of the Arts-Denver's students are also encouraged to take part in rehearsals and performances.