Gay & Away: Denver, COJuly 2011
When people hear "Denver" and "mountains," they automatically think about skiing, but the truth is that Colorado offers a ton of amazing mountain excursions all year. Gay.com's resident travel writer Jim Guttau uncovers some great outings for July, along with an incredible dining option, a Gay Pride, and a film event you won't want to miss.
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2030 W. 30th Ave.,
Denver, CO 80211 303-993-3120
All of Denver is abuzz about Linger, the newly opened eatery from Justin Cucci, also owner of the popular Root Down restaurant. This eatery actually boasts that it was once part of Olinger Mortuary (which Lola and Vita, the restaurants next door, were also part of). Olinger Mortuary was founded in 1890 and the building is hard to miss with the iconic Olinger Mortuary sign lit in neon blue lights viewable from anywhere in Denver. The name, Linger, is a nod to Olinger Mortuary as well as a suggestion for diners to take their time over a relaxed meal and cocktails.
The eclectic menu features urban comfort foods from Indian, Moroccan, Turkish, Italian, and Asian cuisines. Opt for the Mongolian BBQ Duck Buns, my favorite item on the menu, and don’t forget to peruse the creative cocktail listed crafted by master mixologist, Anika Zappe. Cucci is a collector of all things interesting, so prepare yourself for quirky, yet cool design elements, such as vintage air conditioning diffusers repurposed as overhead lights, glass tables constructed of conveyor belts rollers, and a bar top made of Lite-Brite pegs.
Snowmass Culinary & Arts Festival
Snowmass Village, CO will host its Annual Snowmass Culinary & Arts Festival— Thursday, July 21 through Saturday, July 23.
“The festival brings foodies, wine and spirit connoisseurs, and art lovers alike together in a visual and delectable feast,” said Susan Hamley, Director of Snowmass Tourism. “Celebrity chefs will be showcased along with a free juried art exhibit of more than 30 regionally and nationally recognized artists, free chef demonstrations, and two evening events—Tapas & Tequilas and Palette of Pairings.”
Celebrity chefs for 2011 include Chef Richard Sandoval, internationally recognized as the “father of modern Mexican cuisine,” who elevated Mexican cuisine to gourmet status when he opened Maya in New York City. Named Mexico’s Toque d’Oro and Bon Appétit’s 2006 Restaurateur of the Year, Sandoval now owns and operates more than 20 restaurants worldwide.
The festival also features Chef Hosea Rosenberg, Bravo TV’s Top Chef 2009 Winner (pictured right); Chef Alex Seidel, Food and Wine’s 2010 Best New Chefs in America; Chef Frank Bonanno, owner of six restaurants and bars in Denver; Chef and host of PBS' Texas Cooking & Lifestyle series, Christy Rost; and Diane Hendericks, a food and nutrition specialist, personal chef, cookbook author and on-air contributor for Good Morning America Health.
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
Summertime in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains offers delightfully comfortable temperatures (usually in the 70s), and a nice escape from the much warmer weather in Denver. I often find myself in summer venturing to the pool at the Vail Cascade Resort & Spa. Its infinity edge pool overlooks Gore Creek, a tributary of the Eagle River that flows through Vail.
Family friendly: The pool offers free snow cones for those under age 12 and “dive in” movies every Friday night. Grab your inner tube early for this unique movie series that is shown on the pool’s inflatable screen.
If relaxation is a must, move onto the property’s Aria Spa & Club, a 10,000 square foot gem with 14 treatments rooms and a couple’s treatment room. Totaling 78,000 square feet, Aria’s enormous fitness center boasts an indoor track and racquetball, basketball, squash, and tennis courts.
Colorado Springs PrideFest
July 16-17, 2011
Celebrating its 21st year in 2011, Colorado Springs PrideFest begins on Saturday with a Family Fun Day (10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) in Acacia Park. With a “Graffiti” 1950s theme, the PrideFest Parade kicks off at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Visit Underground (www.undergroundbars.com) Friday night for its “High and Mighty White Party” and Saturday for its “Down and Dirty Black Party.” Need a pre-parade cocktail? Underground opens at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Film on the Rocks
One of the hottest seats in town is at Film on the Rocks, an annual, outdoor film series at the scenic Red Rocks Amphitheater, which offers breathtaking views of Denver and the foothills. The Amphitheater has been in use since the early 1900s, when John Brisben Walker envisioned musicians performing amongst the perfectly acoustic surroundings of Red Rocks. With movie tickets for $12, the 2011 series includes classics, such as Risky Business, Top Gun, and The Goonies—all benefiting the Denver Film Society.
Tip: Pack a picnic dinner and blankets but leave glass and liquids at home.