There was a buzz around the streets of governor’s park last week and it made the air smell rich, the lights twinkle bright and the atmosphere highly energetic. 5280 dines, the celebratory event hosted by 5280 magazine and bonanno concepts, highlighted the mag’s top 25 restaurants in the denver area by bringing together the elite chefs of the city with dozens of foodies, at 4 restaurants, on 1 night.

(left and bottom right via todd clark photography)

Diners feasted their way through a progressive dinner at mizuna, luca, vesper lounge and bones, while sipping craft cocktails and listening to the beautiful music created by the colorado symphony. Each of the bonanno restaurants served as the locations for the progressive dinner and were themed around a specific protein (duck, fish, pork and lamb). However, there were over a dozen chefs from other local top restaurants around town serving up small plates featuring each protien. The evening benefited the national multiple sclerosis society.
My favorite dish of the evening was from stephen mccary of mizuna. He prepared a roasted duck with a creamy risotto and fresh arugula salad, dressed with a not-too-sweet cherry demi glaze. It was earthy, comforting and set the tone of the night on a very high note. Acorn also stood out with their playful ramen dish, served up in mini to-go containers; the broth was slurp-worthy and the richness of the pork belly was well balanced by the addition of bok choy and green onions. I was also a huge fan of luca’s suckling pig which was plated with some of the most delicious slow-cooked white beans, cipollini onions and herbs I have ever tasted. I also must mention that the truffle cheese shop had a beautiful display of artisanal cheeses that I went back and sampled… more than once. 

(left and bottom right via todd clark photography)

Bonanno concepts bar manager came up with custom cocktails to feature in each restaurant and the boozy concoctions were a nice touch to the beer and wine offerings. I was smitten with vesper lounge’s r+t, a rum and tonic drink that included house-made tonic and a splash of grapefruit. There tasty cocktail menu is now one of the many reasons I will be heading back to vesper lounge in the near future.

Overall the evening was a true success and a wonderful celebration of what I love so very very much, delicious food. Everything was put together with such pride and it was fun to be included in one of the more intimate dining events held in denver. The current issues of 5280 magazine is on news stands now so make sure you pick up a copy too.

Written by Jaime
South on Broadway is a Denver based food + lifestyle blog for lovers of food, fashion and design. a destination for daily inspiration

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