My journey to overall health and wellness... Thanks for coming along!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011



The Fitness & Health Bloggers conference is days away and I arrived in Colorado last night. I have to say there is something to amazing and comforting about flying into Denver the the Mountains in the background... It's a view I never get tired of.

The sun was about to set behind them, but I promise you they are there!

I have been moving at a million miles an hour these days... I even gave up my day off for a few weeks- NOT A GOOD IDEA! Needless to say I need some down time. Thankfully I took an extra couple of days here to hang with my family and relax in the Mountain air. It's only been 18 hours and I am already so chilled out and refreshed. There are days when I wonder how I could have left Colorado for New York, but whenever I seriously have thoughts about leaving the Big Apple, my chest gets tight. So, for now I will relish in the fact that I have family and roots in the most beautiful state in the country- in my humble opinion anyway- and can visit any time I want!

After i arrived my folks and I enjoyed an amazing dinner at "new" restaurant in the Denver Tech Center called Chinook Tavern.

The restaurant has actually been around for a while but closed and has now reopened in a new location & new menu. As you may recall... my dad is a bit of a rock star, so the minute we walked in we were greeted by one of the owners & general manager Clemens, professing his gratitude for all the help my dad gave them in getting the restaurant open (which was just the day before). It was pretty cool!

Chinook Tavern is a family run establishment- which I am always a sucker for- run by two brothers, Clemens Georg & Markus Georg (who is the Executive Chef) and designed by their architect father Manfred. Originally from Germany, the family has called Colorado home for many years. They are very in tune with Colorado cuisine and esthetic, but keep to their European roots.
If you live or are are visiting Denver you MUST go to this restaurant! I never had the pleasure of dining at the old Cherry Creek location, but I feel super lucky to have gotten in to this one before the major buzz hits and it's impossible to get a table. It's the perfect combo of atmosphere and amazing food. Obviously we should talk food first:

The menu had me at Mache Salad...

As you can see I was so excited to dig in to it that I forgot to snap a pic until I had devoured almost all of it. It had watermelon radishes, pickled red onions, pomegranate seeds and goat cheese fritters. Have you ever had a watermelon radish?? They are awesome. Not sure where one finds them, but when I do I will let you know.

For my entree I had Colorado Rack of Lamb. Just like if you are in Maine you get the lobster or Maryland you get the crab, when you are in Colorado you get the meat- lamb, beef, bison. This particular dish did my homeland proud!

The lamb was marinated in mint and then topped with grilled cipollini onions and a rosemary merlot sauce.

On the side were grit cakes and tomato gremalade. Perfection!

My mom enjoyed the beef tenderloin.

And Dad had the house signature dish Jaeger Schnitzel.

Both were fantastic!

For dessert we all shared a Creme Brulee. No pic of that... between my mom and I that sugar was cracked in 2.5 seconds. :)

Now on to atmosphere:

The restaurant is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

A fondu room!

Perhaps my favorite thing is in addition to the actual bar, there is a giant community table in the center and other larger tables all around.

Clemens told me that he considers every table in the lounge a community table. He loves sitting at the bar because everyone coexists together, and often times you find yourself having interesting conversations with those around you. His idea is "Why only have that feeling sitting belly up to the bar? Why can't tables be the same?" I for one love the ideas of community tables, but then again I would always rather sit at the bar than a table. Maybe that comes from having worked behind one for 6 years. Jay and I love interacting with meeting new and interesting people while we are out.

Also, there is going to be a European style coffee bar open in the mornings just off of the bar. I am bummed I won't be able to sample that before I go... it opens the day after I leave.

It's no secret that I love restaurants, and living in NYC I get to eat at some of the best of the best. I would certainly put Chinook Tavern on that list!

Day 1 in Colorado was very special and I can't wait to see what the rest of this trip holds. Planning lots of family time, hiking, learning, networking, writing and basking in the mountain sun (wearing SPF of course!)

*In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that because my dad is such a rockstar we were treated to dinner on the house... which BTW was completely unexpected! For the record, that in no way influenced my opinions & I would have written the same blog post either way. The dinner was to say thank you to my dad, I just happened to be lucky enough to have been dining with him...