Weekly pre-fixe menus have become a restaurant staple, but at Le Central, the chefs have added their own personal touches. Each menu is inspired by the home region of one of the employees, a nod to both the authenticity of the restaurant’s French cuisine and the feeling of community it cultivates. The Olivier menu, for example, is in honor of the management’s newest member, who hails from the French Alps of Savoie. This is the land of cheese, walnuts, morels, and veal; so fittingly, the menu starts with an arugula salad with goat cheese and walnuts. On other weeks, diners can enjoy meals inspired by server Pascal’s home of Bezier in the Languedoc region, pastry chef Dominique’s childhood in Southern Brittany at the mouth of the Loire Valley, and charcuterie chef Phillippe’s roots in the German-influenced Alsace region. In addition to the prix-fixe offerings, the à la carte menu is populated with French staples such as house-made pâtés and moules frites—the classic combination of sweet black mussels and salty french fries. Homemade sausages, duck, and trout are bedecked with indulgent touches such as gastriques and brown butter. Pastry chef Dominique whips up sweets in house, including colorful, airy macarons and a croquembouche: a tower of cream puffs that traditionally serves as the dessert at French weddings. The warmly lit dining room gives off the feel of a Provençal cottage, with natural wooden beams, exposed brick, and traditional wooden furniture. Diners can also enjoy dinner on an enclosed patio, with rustic wooden touches and strings of white lights that twinkle at night.
Pampered Passions Fine Lingerie’s founder and CEO, Alicia Vargo, strives to nurture the female spirit by instilling confidence through properly fitted undergarments, loungewear, and swimsuits that are comfortable and make women feel beautiful. After a bad experience at a national lingerie chain, Alicia shifted her focus in 2001 to creating a warm and welcoming website where ladies of any shape and size could discover sexy, flirty, and fun lingerie. Two years later, the first Pampered Passions Fine Lingerie store set up shop with racks of international lingerie, intimate apparel, and friendly staffers who offered complimentary custom bra fittings. Now, a decade later, Alicia has garnered the Denver Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business Award as she and her knowledgeable staff continue to outfit women with designer lingerie and apparel from Chantelle, Claire Pettibone, and Axami.
Aiming to nurture women further, Alicia provides special services to postmastectomy patients that include fittings by certified mastectomy-bra fitters as well as retailing mastectomy-centric lingerie and sewing pockets into most apparel available at the store. As a self-proclaimed feel-good junkie, Alicia also supports the battle against breast cancer through the founding of the Breast Cancer Pirates support group, which partners with the Highlands Ranch Community Association to raise money through their annual fashion show, and by donating time and money to Dress for Success.
The vintners at Wild Women Wine make it their mission to throw back the curtain on the mysteries of the winemaking process. The team invites visitors to concoct a personal wine batch of their own, modifying favorite house varietals with touches of oak, tannin, spice and other flavors. Each custom wine culminates in a bottling party, where the wine auteur, along with family and friends, can bottle, cork and label their bottles instead of just drinking it out of a communal bucket like usual.
For less hands-on pours, the boutique winery's wine list hosts a vast array of already-bottled varietals. Wines range from dry reds and whites, sweet wines, and a fortified dessert port.
In honor of Women?s History Month, Groupon is celebrating an inspiring group of women: business leaders whose companies and brands enrich their communities. Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of these leaders, local communities across the country are stronger and more diverse.
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Sean Gilligan is no stranger to the world of cycling. He's indulged a passion for biking his entire life, riding both recreationally and competitively and passing many an afternoon in local bike shops. It was in these shops that Sean first grew dissatisfied with a pattern of cookie-cutter-like service and cluttered storefronts that felt impersonal, like an attic full of someone else's stuff. To rectify this, Sean opened Estelle Bicycles, an intimate shop that stocks high-end bikes from BMC, BH, and Marin and offers friendly, personalized service.
Instead of immediately whisking away mangled bikes to the service department, technicians examine roadsters with their owners and rattle off options for repairs. Clients can modify the service level, resting assured that they won't return to a behemoth bill at pickup. The mechanics administer similar care to patrons shopping for a new ride by using the 3-D Retul fitting system. During fittings, the experts affix LEDs to pedaling customers, which transmit signals to a computer that maps out the rider's activity in 3-D. Staffers then pore over the movement patterns before guiding visitors to the ideal cycle.
The realization of a shared dream between two friends, Mile High Vienna Stand serves up Windy City–inspired eats at 5,280 feet, including Chicago-style hot dogs crowned Denver's best in 2011 and 2012 by the Denver Westword. After spending his boyhood summers in Chicago, where he never missed the chance to grab a dog before a ballgame, owner Sonny Jarock was unable to escape the scent that had defined his youth. Eventually, memories evolved into ideas, and ideas into reality in 2008, when Sonny and his buddy, Jeremy Williamson, transformed an abandoned Baker neighborhood building into the first MHVS location.
Since swinging open their doors in 2008, Sonny and Jeremy have expanded to a second location right outside Coors Field, the home ballpark of the Colorado Rockies. On the large patio with views of the first-base entrance, customers can munch on polish sausages, juicy Italian beef sandwiches, and Chicago-style hotdogs before heading into games. Both stands accompany meals with friendly staffers, who are available to dish out facts about Chicago-style food or help solve any pickle-spear-related riddles.
For a decade, outdoor DIVAS has stocked women-only fitness items and apparel for just about any exercise class or outdoor activity, taking away the frustration of scouring numerous websites or department stores for individual pieces. Cofounder and President Kim Walker, an avid athlete and mother, found herself constantly frustrated when shopping for women's skiing equipment—either everything she found was made for larger male bodies or only had a few options to choose from. She decided to take matters into her own hands, opening a rare female-focused athletic shop. Since then, her company has launched outdoorDIVAS.com and a second brick-and-mortar store in Denver.
Runners, mountain climbers, skiers, and swimmers alike can find the equipment they need to partake in their favorite sport. Scarpa footwear and Black Diamond twist locks help climbers scurry up mountainsides safely. Patagonia board shorts, meanwhile, are made from all-recycled polyester and spandex, so aquatic athletes can sustain the oceans in which they swim simply by wearing pink spandex shorts—also the reason most environmentalists wear them at seminars.