Peko peko tasting

A Plate Full of News Bites: June 7

Grab a plate of the latest restaurant, bar, and chef happenings each week. 

BY Linnea Covington


The first week of June has come and gone. With it, more surprise closings, news of an Australian spot coming to Denver, and the winning Lamb Jam dishes. Stay tuned next week for more local restaurant and bar news.

The 411

After 18 years, Steuben’s Food Service in Uptown will forgo the day-of-the-week specials. The shift may say goodbye to dishes such as chicken pot pie and fish n’chips, but Secret Sauce COO, Emily Biederman said the change will allow popular items including fried chicken and mac and cheese to get even more delicious. 

“We continue to evaluate how to best run our business [and] we determined we really should be using valuable menu space to highlight the heavy hitters that people want to come in for day after day,” said Biederman. “This will also simplify kitchen operations and streamline costs, reducing inventory of items that we don’t use every day, and save on labor.” 

lamb tacos at the bindery
Lamb tacos at The Bindery won the 2024 Denver Lamb Jam. | Photo by Linnea Covington

The American Lamb board’s 2024 Lamb Jam winners are in. Over the month of May eight chefs dished out a special lamb-focused plate that diners could vote on. The people’s choice winner was Coperta, featuring chef Kenny Minton III’s lamb and green garlic sausage. Judge’s choice went to The Bindery for chef Linda Hampsten Fox’s lamb birria tacos, which we loved so much we included it in our best bites of May. She will go on to NYC for the finals. 

Australian company Two Hands plans to open its first Colorado location in Denver in early July. The casual, pan-continental restaurant takes over the other half of 3985 Tennyson St., right next to Sweetgreen. Patio fans rejoice! Fire On the Mountain Wash Park has just opened a new, large outdoor space. It’s perfect to enjoy the cocktail of the month, Passion Fruit Lemonade. Also check out the restaurant’s latest sauce, Rudeboy Berebere, which they made with Canadian electronic band, Zeds Dead.

The local, wind-powered tortilla powerhouse Raqualita’s launched a retail window for the first time ever. Located in RiNo, the tortilla factory has churned out amazing chips and soft tortillas for over 60 years. For a while fans could buy the fresh goods from Royal Crest Dairy, but now anyone can go up to the window to stock up. It’s open Friday and Saturday from noon to 6 p.m.

Openings and Closings

pasta at night off at bakery four
The anolini with brisket was one of the six dishes during dinner at Night Off, inside Bakery Four. | Photo by Linnea Covington

After seven years in Downtown Denver, Citizen Rail will close June 29. But the spirit of the restaurant will remain as Aspen One’s AJAX Downtown opens its first Denver location in the space. It’s the sister spot to Aspen’s AJAX Tavern at The Little Nell, and will feature open-fire cooking. 

Peko Peko opened in Avanti Food & Beverage Boulder on June 6. Run by the team from Pig & Tiger, which operated the same stall prior, the new spot features Japanese fare meant to pair better with the seasons. For example, ramen for the cool days, and lighter temaki and donburi for warmer weather. Pig & Tiger owners Darren Chang and Travis Masar (a Top Chef season 11 alumni) hinted at a brick-and-mortar version of the beloved eatery, opening and place to be determined. 

Get ready for another hot reservation. Shawn Bergin’s Bakery Four in Berkeley just launched Night Off, a grain-forward dinner service on Friday and Saturdays in the shop. We chatted with Bergin about Night Off and where he and his wife Alex Urdanick like to go for dinner

The Guest, the private dinner series started by chef Brian De Souza and Sydney Younggreen, has officially been sent home. The concept put the husband and wife team on the foodie map, paving the way for their esteemed restaurant The Regular to open last summer. 

Season Specialties

Loco Moco burger at adrift
The Loco Moco Smashburger is one of the new items at Adrift Tiki Bar. | Photo by Linnea Covington

Adrift Tiki Bar pumped up the food menu with some tasty new additions. Try the Loco Moco Smash! Burger, Paradise Salad, Guava Bliss Cheesecake, and Guava BBQ Baby Back Ribs. On the drink side, now diners can order a Scorpion Bowl for two or four. There’s also a reserve menu, featuring the flame-licked drink La Cuidadora, a mix of Creyente Azul Añejo Cristalino mezcal, Don Julio Alma Miel tequila, angostura bitters, ginger, honey, agave, and lime.

Chef Oscar Padilla, winner of last year’s Chopped competition by Food Network, will offer special menu items Friday and Saturday at Gaucho Parrilla, located at Freedom Street Social in Arvada. Highlights include Ceviche Mixto, with shrimp, mahi, coconut milk, pineapple, and tropical boba; and Passion Fruit Aguachile, with ahi tuna, mango, cucumber, jalapeno, and aji picante. 

Kuluka Boba in Westminster has new summer drinks. The line up includes Butterfly Lemonade with fresh lemon and purple butterfly pea essence; Matchacolada, a cold blend of matcha and pina colada flavors; and Rose Tea, an iced drink made with green tea. Also in Westminster, Quinto Neighborhood Pizzeria & Taphouse just created a new pie, Pizza de Birria.

New Beers Pouring 

Parkway Food Hall exclusively taps the Wibby Brewing and Parkway collaboration beer, Wibby Park Pilsner. It’s available now at the new Longmont venue.

Upcoming Events

wood table with burger and fries and flag
The burger at Fox & the Hen in Highland. | Photo by Culinary Creative

Happy birthday Fox and the Hen! Chef Carrie Baird’s (Top Chef season 15) breakfast spot celebrates the anniversary with a party on Saturday, June 8 from noon to 6 p.m. Expect live DJs, hot dogs, face painting, drink specials, and more. 

Also on June 8, the Rosé Party returns to Guard and Grace from noon to 3 p.m. Featuring women winemakers and samples of over 40 pink wines, the event supports the Women’s Wine Guild of Colorado. Tickets run $95 and include drinks and passed appetizers.

On Sunday, June 9 from 2 to 5 p.m., head to Spinelli’s for a chef showdown. The event is free to attend and features Tommy Lee of Uncle and Hop Alley verses Chase Devitt of Boychik Eatery and Brider. It’s a chance to visit Spinelli’s newest location, and 50-percent of all market sales during that time go to Children’s Hospital Colorado. 

Join Champagne Tiger at The Bindery on Wednesday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m. for The Lion Queen Cabaret starring  Anna Staysha and Gila Moonstar. Each reservation includes freshly-baked warm Italian bread and salad, handmade cacio y pepe, dessert, and a glass of wine. Tickets are $68 and found via Tock here. 

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Linnea Covington

Linnea Covington is the managing editor of DiningOut. She comes to us with a long background in food, restaurant and drinks journalism. Over the last two decades she’s written for tons of publications including Denver Post, Washington Post, Forbes Travel Guide, 5280 Magazine, New York Magazine, New York Times, Time Out New York and more.