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Dining with the Locals




Talented chefs and visionary restaurateurs have cultivated a robust dining community in Denver in recent years, complete with swanky downtown destinations, concept-driven eateries and neighborhood gems. “With independent restaurants, you get personality,” says Sean Huggard, chef/partner of Black Pearl and Encore. “There’s heart in it for sure.”

Talented chefs and visionary restaurateurs have cultivated a robust dining community in Denver in recent years, complete with swanky downtown destinations, concept-driven eateries and neighborhood gems. “With independent restaurants, you get personality,” says Sean Huggard, chef/partner of Black Pearl and Encore. “There's heart in it for sure.”

United by their shared passion, several local restaurateurs and chefs banded together a few years ago to form the Denver Independent Network of Restaurants (DINR)—an organized effort to share their best practices and support each other in creating a vibrant culinary scene. Next month, the group will sponsor its first major event: Harvest Week, a celebration of Colorado's exceptional produce, meats, cheeses, wine and beer.

From September 6-12, more than three dozen restaurants will offer special events and menus that highlight homegrown ingredients such as Colorado beef and lamb, tomatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, wine and beer, chevre and other cheeses and, of course, those glorious Palisade peaches. “We use a lot of local products in our regular menus,” Huggard says, “but Harvest Week is a major opportunity to highlight those products and the value in supporting local businesses.” For a list of menus and special events, visit DINR's website: eatdenver.com.

RECIPES

(Click on the dish name for a printable recipe)



Colorado Lamb Chops with Celery Puree and Warm Mediterranean Panzanella Salad from Sean Huggard of Black Pearl and Encore
Wicked Summer Fava Bean Agnolotti from Frank Bonanno of Mizuna
Colorado Apple Walnut Upside-Down Cake with Cinnamon Ice Cream from Goose Sorenson of Solera
Smoked Colorado Trout with Haystack Mountain Goat Cheese, Ciabatta Bread, Roasted Garlic and Pickled Vegetable Salad from Matt Selby of Steuben's and Vesta Dipping Grill
Colorado Cherry Pie with Chocolate Almond Shake from Scott Parker of Table 6
Beets and Bacon Stack with Balsamic Reduction & Goat Cheese from Dustin Barrett and Amy Vitale of Tables

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