Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Denver Magazine Did A Lot Of Good For Denver

Cover of First Issue: Denver Magazine

Denver Magazine (2008 to 2011)

Magazine's are like restaurants. To start one you must have a great idea,  a lot of passion and capital. I know this first hand, having worked for deep pocketed Petersen Publishing in Manhattan (Motor Trend, Guns & Ammo, Photographic, to name a few) as well as co-founding and publishing my own magazine Wine Country International®.

Just like restaurants, only 2 out of 8 magazines survive beyond 2 years.

I was deeply saddened to learn that Denver Magazine had shuttered it's publication yesterday. I know it's founder & Publisher, Michael Ledwitz pretty well. He is a bright guy with tons of passion and energy. During the past year, he managed to fine tune the publication into a high quality magazine that I looked forward to reading every month. Circulation was reported to be at 50,000 copies per month which is pretty formidable in today's publishing world.

It was announced yesterday, that Long established Denver publication 5280, had wisely purchased Denver Magazine's assets. They have already directed the URL to their website. This will help them capture national advertising when agency interns search magazines that are named after major US cities. People outside of Colorado do not understand what 5280 means.

In closing, I feel that while Denver Magazine did not succeed as a business, it did a lot for the city and culture of the Mile High City. From it's stylish photo shoots to it's intimate celebrity interviews, Denver Magazine raised the bar on magazine editorial in Colorado, proving that Denver is not just a city of Cowboy's and Cowgirls!

I have not spoken with Michael Ledwitz since learning about his magazine's closure. I am confident that after the initial numbness wears off, that he and his staff will move on to greener pastures.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Capital Grille Vintage Wine & Food Experience

Capital Grille, Denver

For those who read my blog, it is no secret that I am a big fan of the Capital Grille restaurants. I first experienced Capital Grille's Tyson Corner restaurant, when I was a national sales manager with a generous expense account. It was love at first bite!

Lately, I have been impressed with Capital Grille's over the top wine programs. The latest edition to their cellar is a second annual release of their Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2007 created by Thomas Peffer, a world-class winemaker from Atalon Vineyards in Napa Valley. Mr. Peffer created the wine with guidance from The Capital Grille’s George Miliotes, one of only 170 Master Sommeliers in the world. The grapes used were from specially selected vineyards in Napa Valley whose high elevation and unique microclimate result in the perfect conditions for creamy, boldly textured flavors. Blended solely for The Capital Grille, fewer than 1,000 cases of this unique wine will be produced. The company will donate $25 from the sale of each limited bottle to Share Our Strength® and its mission to end childhood hunger in America. Cost: $75, which based on the quality is an exceptional price.

For more info on this project see my article in Examiner.Com:

2007 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine Review:
Capital Grille Artist Series
2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley $75, ****
Dark Ruby Color, rich scents of black currant, red berries, black raspberries & pipe tobacco. Elegant taste, soft tannins and long finish. Pair with beef, lamb or chocolate.

Dish on Our Dinner:
Capital Grille, Denver
Located in the touristy Larimer Square region of LODO (Lower Downtown), This Capital Grille is a popular Denver hotspot. The chefs are true artisans and the service staff operates like a Swiss Clock! Manager Charlie Stauter oversees the room like an orchestra conductor breezing through the aisles with a watchful eye. When he managed to stop by our table, I told him I was dreaming about celebrating my birthday at the restaurant. He personally made our reservation!

Our server Vanessa was super personable and showed a great knowledge of the menu and wine cellar. She immediately cracked open a bottle of the Artisan Series Cabernet and decanted it so it could open up for later. We started off with cocktails and fresh raw oysters on the half shell. This was later complimented by Kim Crawford Sauvignon, a signature Sauv from Marlborough that has got more citrus than a lemon grove. This paired well with our rich Lobster Bisque.

Our old friend and Capital Grille wine professional, Jamil Tealer gave us a little history on the Artisan Cab, commenting that this vintage is far superior in his opinion to the first edition.

Darcy and I decided to split entrees. She ordered the Bone-In Kona Coffee Rubbed Dry Aged Sirloin with Scallion Butter $43. A flavor enhanced meat that was delicious with the Artisan Series Cabernet. Chef James Storm visited us at the table to explain the ingredients of the rub; Cocoa Powder, Decaf Coffee, Mustard Seed, Parmesan and Caramelized Scallions. Darcy likes her steak "black n'blue" and chef supplied exactly what she ordered.

I ordered a 3lb lobster stuffed with crab meat. The crab meat was fried in Panko butter. The lobster was mouthwatering and really seat. I almost did not need to dip it in butter.

Side Offerings are not to be missed! We ordered our favorite's; Fresh Creamed Spinach and Au Gratin Potatoes.

We were so full, that we had to pass on a traditional dessert, ordering glasses of 30 year-old tawny port, an elegant dessert in a glass.

The best thing about leaving a Capital Grille, is the way they package your leftovers! Everything is packaged perfectly and placed into a nice shopping bag with a signed thank you card from the chef. The devil is in the details and Capital Grille has the details down perfectly.

I highly recommend that you visit your local Capital Grille soon. The Limited Edition Artist Series Wine is going to sell out soon! Plus, the food and service are unmatched!