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Thursday, February 20,2014

Tidbites | Week of February 20, 2014

Bite size food news

By Josh Gross

BACARO CLOSING

Sad news, Ital-o-philes. After 15 years of Venice-ing things up in downtown Boulder, Bacaro Venetian Taverna is closing up shop on March 5.

The upside is that until then, they’ll be offering Italian food at prices so crazy you’ll think they’re hallucinating from drinking Venetian canal water.

Until its last day on March 5, Bacaro will be offering 15 percent off all restaurant and bar purchases, excluding existing happy hour discounts.

The night before closing, Bacaro will be going out in style with a big Mardi Gras party for Fat Tuesday on March 4. But fair warning, because of the sale, Tuesday will be 15 percent less fat.

TRADER JOE’S OPENS

As the old proverb goes, when Boulder closes an Italian restaurant, it opens a boutique grocer.

California-based Trader Joe’s opened its first three Colorado locations this past week, one of them in Boulder at the Twenty Ninth Street mall. And when did they open? Valentine’s Day, obviously, because Trader Joe’s is for lovers.

For the uninitiated, the grocery chain specializes in entry-level foodieism, with lotsa tasty treats available as pre-made and frozen products, and sold at house-brand prices. It also sells avocados in four-packs.

Perhaps the best known of TJ’s house brands is Charles Shaw wine, the famed “two-buck chuck,” so named because it cost $2 at one point in recorded history. “Two- Buck Chuck” now sells for up to $3.79, which doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as smoothly. But that doesn’t matter, cause the Boulder location doesn’t have a liquor license and won’t be selling wine. Thanks, Obama.

HATE CHICKEN AU NATURALE

Fast-food chain Chick-fil-A finally managed to make the news for something other than homophobic comments made by its top brass: a commitment to eliminating antibiotics from its meat.

The company announced plans last week to phase out products made with meat from chickens raised with antibiotics over the next five years, citing consumer demand for the shift.

“Chick-fil-A deserves credit for taking this important step to protect public health,” Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union, said in a press release.

And while the move to a slightly less awful form of fast food might give the company the opportunity to open a location in health-conscious Boulder, we won’t hold our breath.

DENVER RESTAURANT WEEK

Are you hungry? If not, do you think the drive to Denver might make you hungry? Over and over again? ’Cause if so, you’re in luck.

The winter edition of the now twice-yearly Denver Restaurant Week kicks off on Saturday, running Feb. 22–28.

What makes this week so restauranty, you might ask? Savings, Boo, savings.

Participating chowhouses are all offering prix fixe meals for $30 per person, and there are dozens upon dozens participating, everyone from Ace Eat Serve on E. 17th to Zengo on Little Raven Street.

A complete list of restaurants and menus, searchable by neighborhood and cuisine, is available at www.Denver.org/denverrestaurant.

NOT THAT KIND OF A ROAST

OAK at Fourteenth will be hosting its annual Rioja Roast on Tuesday, Feb. 25. And sadly, it’s not an annual tradition of bringing in some guy named Rioja and having Gilbert Gottfried make fun of him for an hour.

Instead it’s just a plain ol’ fun-filled evening full of good food, great wine and the pleasure of your dining companion’s company.

No Gilbert Gottfried whatsoever. Boo.

This year’s Rioja Roast is a five-course fancy dinner with schmancy wine pairings. The main course is a chorizo-stuffed wood oven-roasted quail and charred leaks, with romesco sauce, rosemary panisse and roasted pepper hash.

There’s also some grilled octopus and cinnamon custard on the menu.

The hooch will come from the acclaimed Juan Muga winery, which produces some of the 35 most requested wines in the world. The pairings are being done by Muga himself, who will be on hand to chat about all topics in grapedom.

You can check out the full menu at www.oakatfourteenth.com. Tickets are $85. Call 303-444-3622 for reservations.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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