The impressive streak continues for Carlos Echeandia.
Echeandia, who owns Carlos’ Bistro with his wife, Marcia, has garnered another Zagat award as an outstanding restaurant for best food. This marks the eighth consecutive year the restaurant has been honored with the Zagat rating. With 5 as the top score, Carlos’ Bistro was rated 4.8 for food, which tied for the best mark in Colorado with Fruition in Denver.
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“Every time something like this award or positive comment about us happens, I feel like we have gotten a present from God,” he said. “It’s such a blessing.”
On your next visit to Carlos’ Bistro, 1025 S. 21st St., you will notice some changes to the eatery. The Echeandias have done some remodeling, adding copper trim around the entrance, new carpet in the dining room and a wine storage area. The patio is getting spruced up with cozy furniture. Hours are 4:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The couple closes the business for vacation in March. Details: Carlos’ Bistro, 471-2905, carlosbistrocos.com.
Making dinner reservations on Valentine’s Day is dandy, but here are some options for a different approach to sparking passion:
• Cookie baskets by The Pop, 1802 Dominion Way. The shop is as well-known for its homemade cookies as it is for its excellent coffee. For $50, you get a dozen cookies — three each of chocolate-dipped, white chocolate-dipped, chocolate chip and peanut butter — in a decorated basket with chocolates and a small stuffed animal. Other options available starting at $8. Place orders at email@example.com, or call or text the cookie line at 650-1908.
• Sweetheart Tea Party at Garden of the Gods Market and Café, 410 S. 26th St., 3:30 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. For $35, you get savory sandwiches, scones with lemon curd and chocolates paired with The Queen’s TEApothecary tea. Reservations required at 471-2799.
• Wino Wednesday at 174W, 174 Washington St., Monument, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13. For $50, you get eight small courses (all featuring aphrodisiac foods or ingredients) paired with Red Fox wine. Details: 510-1636, facebook.com/pg/MonumentColoradoUSA.
• Chocolate + Whiskey Aphrodisiac Valentine’s Pairing at Distillery 291, 1647 S. Tejon St., 5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 14. For $25, receive either three whiskeys or three cocktails paired with a Radiantly Raw aphrodisiac chocolates collection. Or, get all six for $35. Cocktails will be prepared with aphrodisiac ingredients. Details: 323-8010, distillery291.com.
• Valentine’s Day wine tasting at The Winery at Holy Cross Abbey, 3011 E. Colorado 50, Canon City, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 14. Taste different fudge sauces paired with the 2016 Colorado Merlot Divinity dessert wine. Get a 20 percent discount on each bottle of Divinity purchased and a rose. Details: 276-5191, abbeywinery.com.
• Valentine’s Chocolate + Wine Pairing at 174W, 174 Washington St., Monument, 5 to 10 p.m. Feb. 15. For $22, enjoy three wines paired with Radiantly Raw truffles. Details: 510-1636, facebook.com/pg/Monument ColoradoUSA.
• ANTI-Valentine’s Day Dive Bar Crawl with Local Motive Party Bus, starting at Benny’s Lounge, 517 W. Colorado Ave., 5:30 to 10 p.m. Feb. 15. Cost is $25. Cheap Anti Valentine’s Day-themed drinks to purchase at each location. Prizes given away for best breakup or crazy ex story. Bring old love letters to burn in a fire pit! Reservations required. Visit localmotiveevents.com.
• Valentine’s + Chocolate Pairing at 3 Hundred Days of Shine, 279 Beacon Lite Road, Monument, 2:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 16. For $15, taste two shines with two Radiant Raw chocolates, or opt for four shines with four chocolates for $20. Details: 466-0037, 3hundreddays.com.
• Valentine’s dinner-to-go for two from Garden of the Gods Market and Café, 410 S. 26th St. For $48, you get salad and bread, choice of entrée (one for each): Grilled beef shoulder with garlic mashed potatoes, marsala mushroom sauce and herb carrots; grilled chicken breast with roasted red potatoes, broccolini and lemon butter; or Asian seared salmon, vegetable noodle salad and ginger soy glaze. Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Order before Sunday for pick-up Feb. 14. Call 471-2799.
Cookies and cocktails
What’s better than Girl Scout cookies? Girl Scout cookies with cocktails! That’s what goes down at Brooklyn’s on Boulder Street, 110 E. Boulder St., 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. For $45, sip four cocktails paired with Girl Scout cookies. You’ll also taste a Girl Scout cookie-inspired punch. Details: 415-3115, brooklynsonboulder.com.
‘KRDO Table Talk’
Guests on the “KRDO Table Talk” radio show on 105.5 FM, 1240 AM and 92.5 FM at 1 p.m. Saturday:
• Michaela Hightower, wine educator and owner of Curious Palate Tasting Club, talks about the list of monthly tasting events she has planned for the year. Join her at G44 Gallery, 1785 S. 8th St., for Pinot Noir — Terroir Tasting at 6 p.m. March 6 to sample four wines paired with food bites over a 90-minute discussion. Cost is $30. Visit wineeventsbymichael.com.
• Nick Ryder, sous chef at Cowboy Star Restaurant & Butcher Shop, 5198 N. Nevada Ave., talks about his culinary career and new lunch menu. Details: 639-7440, cowboystarcs.com.
• Joanna Hicks, local owner and operator of Austin, Texas-based Chuy’s, talks about the opening of the new location at 9297 Forest Bluffs View (Briargate Boulevard and Chapel Hills Drive). The eatery is known for made-from-scratch Tex-Mex, eclectic atmosphere and authentic dishes. Fan favorites included stuffed chile rellenos, chicka-chicka boom-boom enchiladas and the big as yo’ face burritos.Visit chuys.com or facebook.com/chuys coloradosprings.
• Kathy Anderson, endowments chair for the American Culinary Federation — Pikes Peak chapter, is joined by Derek Wilson, with Silver Key Senior Services, to talk about the Culinary Passport event at Julie Penrose Hall at St. Paul’s Church, 6:30 to 9 p.m. April 27. The event benefits Silver Key Senior Services. Chapter chefs prepare a culinary journey around the globe featuring dishes from 12 countries. Cost is $50. Tickets online at pikespeakchefs.com.
Contact the writer: 636-0271.