Colorado Springs welcomes a new wedding and events center

By Teresa Farney Published: December 2, 2013 | 10:35 am 0

The Pinery at The Hill, 775 W. Bijou St., a new wedding and events center, has opened. It's owned by Pinery Enterprises, which also operates The Pinery at Black Forest. The new 22,000-square-foot facility perched on a hill offers sweeping 360-degree views of Colorado Springs.

The culinary team is headed by food and beverage director Larissa Vendola. Ben Hoffer is the executive chef at the new facility. Here are a few questions for the chefs:

Question: Give me six words to describe your food.

Vendola: Delicious, simple, Italian, made-with-love.

Hoffer: Simple, clean, focused, delicious, visual, fusion

Q: Your proudest moment as a chef?

Vendola: A toss up of winning "Champion de Cuisine" Award from the Colorado Restaurant Association's Pikes Peak Expo Competition in 2010 and 2012 with Amy (Fairbanks) and the opening of the Hill this past weekend.

Hoffer: Graduation from culinary school at Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts.

Q: Your favorite local ingredient?

Vendola: Local Palisades peaches, Olathe corn and Dione Sears' micro-greens.

Hoffer: Colorado lamb.

Farm aid

Gregor Huesgen, owner of Downtown Fine Spirits and Wines, 103 S. Wahsatch Ave., has a limited supply of Bristol Brewing Company's Venetucci Pumpkin Ale, which he sells at cost. Customers who buy the beer can make a donation to the Venetucci Farm. Details: 475-8115, dtnfspiritsandwines.com.

Celebrate

- Asian Pacific Market, 615 Wooten Road, will celebrate its fifth year in business with music, dancing, cooking demos, food samples and grocery specials noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Details: 573-7500, asianpacificmarketco.com.

- Tajine Alami, 10 Old Man's Trail in Manitou Springs, will celebrate 18 years in business by offering buy one meal and get the second meal for half price on Friday to Nov. 30. Four-course meals are $23 per person and six-course meals are $27 to $32 per person. Details: 685-1119, tajinealami.com.

Winery options

Colorado-based wineries continue to open. Welcome the latest to the table: The Winery at Pikes Peak, 4455 Fountain Ave. in Cascade. Marvin Parliament and his wife, Francie, bought the former Drummer Tweeds building, which is near their other business, The Wines of Colorado, and converted the building into a winery. Marv got a winery license and has contracted with Two Rivers Winery to produce and bottle six varieties: cabernet, Parliament Blend (60 percent Syrah, 40 percent Cabernet), chardonnay, pinot gris, Riesling and a ros?

The focus of the winery is on private parties and receptions for up to 100 people. In one area of the building, they have opened an Espresso and Ice Cream Bar featuring Josh and John's Ice Cream and Barista Coffee. Details: 684-8000.

Coming soon: Catriona Cellars, 243 Washington St. in Monument. Woody and Catherine Woodworth converted their former garden and gift center into a winery, caf?and tasting room that they hope to open in January. Woody will be the winemaker and Catherine will be in charge of the caf? Details: catrionacellars.com.

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Send tips about restaurant openings, closings, menu changes and food specials to teresa.

farney@gazette.com, 636-0271, Twitter @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.

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Expanded hours

Quijote's Mexican Grill, 208 N. Union Blvd., has been open a year in a space that had been a losing proposition for other eateries. They seem to be doing things right this time and are building a loyal customer base. The owners will start staying open later to serve dinner. New hours in mid-October will be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 313-9127.

This week's featured recipe is for yummy Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup. Visit gazette.com or scan the QR code with your smartphone or mobile device to watch a video of the recipe.

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"KVOR Table Talk" radio show from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday on 740 AM will be aired remotely from The Olive Tap, 906 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs. Guests include: - Rick Petrocelly, owner of The Olive Tap, talks about 2013 California Olio Nuovo release. It's the olive oil from the first picking and the first pressing of olives of the season. Details: 358-9329, theolive tap.com. - Peter Aiello, executive chef at the DoubleTree by Hilton Colorado Springs hotel, 1775 E. Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., talks about the ways he uses infused olive oils from The Olive Tap at the restaurant. Details: 576-8900, doubletreecosprings.com. - Seth Jaray, chef at Swirl Wine Bar, 717 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs, talks about the recipes he creates using The Olive Tap balsamic vinegars and olive oils. He has introduced a new menu for the eatery. Details: 685-2294, swirlismybar.com. - Kelly Meyers, owner and chef at Good Karma Coffee Lounge & Deli, 110 Canon Ave. in Manitou Springs, talks about her eatery, which is much more than a coffee shop. Details: 685-2325, goodkarma coffeelounge.com.

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