Ben Hoffer is realizing his dream of owning his own restaurant.

He opened High Rise Pizza Kitchen, 6660 Delmonico Drive, on Aug. 18. His menu includes appetizers, salads (make any a meal with chicken for $3), specialty and house favorite pies, build your own pizza, sips and sides. There are 17 topping choices for $2 each and six fancy topping for $3 each. All the pizzas are 16 inches.

For a test drive, we picked up The Amazing Aru pie ($21) and the Brutus salad ($8), which is a Caesar salad. The pizza is on the House Favorites list. Hoffer’s excellent three-day pie dough is topped with a delicious mixture of pistachio pesto, mozzarella, roasted artichoke heart, roasted red pepper, spinach, red onion, feta, roasted tomato, and sweet basil.

My first reaction when Hoffer recommended it was, “That’s a lot of ingredients for a single pizza.”

To my amazement, the combo worked. I totally see why it rates being called amazing. It’s apparent Hoffer has not cut corners on quality ingredients.

The salad was top notch, too. The romaine was crispy fresh, the garlic season croutons addictive and the creamy Ramano dressing tangy good. The bonus was whole roasted garlic cloves tossed in the salad. I added white anchovies from the fancy topping list for Caesar salad perfection. The salad portion was plentiful, easily enough for two to share.

I have my eye on the Pig Newton ($24) for my next visit. Who can resist a combo of mozzarella, roasted tomato, Calabrian chile, smoked bacon, prosciutto, gorgonzola, a drizzle of fig jam and a splash of roasted garlic olive oil?

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

“Or until I run out of dough,” Hoffer says. “I try to make what I think I will need for a day’s service. We sold out the first couple of days when we opened.”

Details: 375-5694, highrisepizzakitchen.com. Delivery and liquor license in the future.

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Wild things

Brother Luck, owner of Four by Brother Luck, Lucky Dumpling and The Studio, will create the Let the Wild Rumpus Start dinner at The Historic Day Nursery, 104 E. Rio Grande St., 5 p.m. Sept. 25. For $150 you will get a multicourse dinner paired with wine. If it’s anything like his Willy Wonka dinner in June, ticket holders are in for an amazing, creative culinary experience. Details: 632-1754, earlyconnections.org.

Big Easy doughnuts

Rocky Mountain Beignets, 724 Manitou Ave., Manitou Springs, is the place to get happy eating powder sugar-covered beignets.

Brandi and Billy Chism and their family are the owners. Hailing from Baton Rouge, La., the Chism family started the business in 2019 as a food truck in Woodland Park.

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In June, they opened the small shop in Manitou Springs. In addition to making the sugary treats, they offer espresso drinks. There’s a shady patio where you can sip a latte and nosh hot beignets. I’m told by an employee that plans are underway to expand the business in the vacant space to the west of the shop.

Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Details: 435-4369, rockymountainbeignets.com, facebook.com/Rocky-Mountain-Beignets.

Chefs cook for good cause

The Hospital Chef’s Challenge takes place at Cielo at Castle Pines, 485 W. Happy Canyon Road, Castle Rock, from 6 to 9 p.m., Oct. 9. Chefs from Colorado hospitals compete for a traveling trophy while preparing a three-course meal. This year’s chefs include Joe Colcleasure from St. Anthony’s St. Anthony Hospital & Medical Campus, Lakewood; Billy Charters, aka “Ortho Colorado,” from UCHealth Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies; and Ashlea Tobeck from Children’s Hospital Colorado.

The event benefits The Children’s Treehouse Foundation’s work with children of adult cancer patients. Cost is $80 or $150 per pair, and $100 for VIP ticket. Details: 303-322-1202, tinyurl.com/urmumm37.

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Contact the writer: 636-0271.

contact the writer: 636-0271.

Food editor

Food writer for features life section and columnist for Go! Entertainment - Table Talk column

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