What's happening on the dining scene in the Pikes Peak region:
Alchemy - Not Just a Pub, 2625 W. Colorado Ave., has opened.
The restaurant was formerly known as Gertrude's Restaurant with the impression of being a fine dining spot. Tom Lazaron bought the space in 2007, but struggled with the slumping economy. He changed his menu to be less pricey but says the fine dining impression persisted. He formed a partnership with Scott Sultzbaugh, most recently with Southside Johnny's the past dozen or so years, and recently, the two transformed the eatery into a pub, one of the Springs' growing trends.
The look is definitely less formal with a bar, tall tables near the windows and typical pub food. Think Fish and Chips ($12), Shepherds Pie ($9) and a classic burger ($10). Lazaron has kept some of his signature dishes, such as his paella ($22). Details: 471-0887.
Just in time for the holiday season, The Butcher Block, 2817 Dublin Blvd., has opened. Owner Dennis Burton brings a wealth of butchering experience with an eye for top quality meat. The beef is Angus and the rating is 2/3 Choice and Prime. Pork is Berkshire and DURoC breeds. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Details: 999-5423, thebutcherblockfreshprimecutmeat.com.
Here are a couple of places to enjoy tea during the holiday season:
- The Canon City Queen Anne, 813 Macon Ave., Ca?n City, offers lunch and afternoon teas, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. Cost is $18.99 to $23.99 per person. There is also a five-course Dinner Tea, 6 to 8 p.m. daily. Cost is $31.99 to $51.99 per person. Details: Reservations recommended, 1-719-275-5354, thecanoncityqueenanne.com.
- Wisdom Tea House, 65 Second St., Monument, for the first time is open on Sundays noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 1, 8 and 15 for informal afternoon tea service. No reservations required. Order off the menu.
The Holiday Afternoon Tea service is served starting at 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Reservations required 48 hours in advance. Cost is $24 per person. Details: 481-8822, wisdomteahouse.com.
More pho the buck
Always delicious is a big bowl of pho with a choice of meats and noodles swimming in steaming broth with greens, herbs and lime slices to dress up the soup. There's a new place offering the reasonably priced dish, Saigon Pho Vietnamese Cuisine, 1107 S. Nevada Ave. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Details: 634-1262.
For the love of cake
Colorado Springs welcomes its first Nothing Bundt Cakes, 5086 N. Nevada Ave., a Las Vegas-based bakery chain specializing in bundt cakes. The bakery offers a wide range of cake flavors and sizes. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Details: 599-4112, nothingbundtcakes.com.
Local baker Otho Spencer will demonstrate gingerbread men decorating at Coutura Design Inspirations, 6380 Corporate Centre Circle, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 7. It's free. Details: 636-3000, couturaco.com.
"KVOR Table Talk"
There will be no show this week due to Air Force Academy football game.
Send tips about restaurant openings, closings, menu changes and food specials to firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-0271, Twitter @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.
This week's recipe features asparagus wrapped in bacon, which makes a delicious side dish. Visit gazette.com or scan this QR code with your smartphone or mobile device to watch a video of the preparation.