So I've read two books set on Italy in the past week and I have a hankering for a bit of Italy in my tummy (since I won't be there any time soon). Tonight we're going to try the quietly touted Osteria Marco in Larimer Square. I'm really looking forward to it and to quenching the Italian craving that's been eating at me. Looks like they're fairly casual, which is what I'm in the mood for tonight. They make many of their cheeses in house and they also locally (and where possible organically) source many of their ingredients. Well...except for the imported Italian meats (YUM - guilty pleasure!).
I'm always more willing to give a business my hard earned cash when they in turn support local farmers and food artisans. Not to mention I think that it shows a deep appreciation for food and very often a deep commitment to the environment. I'm ahead of myself on Osteria Marco, but certainly there are a lot of restaurants in Denver that are making the extra effort. Two I think of immediately are Black Pearl and Gaia over in Platt Park. Black Pearl does it's best to buy sustainably raised meats and fish and also buy locally when possible. Gaia goes even further and grows many of their vegetables and herbs in their back yard, bakes their own bread (well, one of the owners also owns Pajama Baking Co which provides their bread), gets eggs from a smaller producer in Boulder and they're even taking a stab at growing grapes to make wine. Can't wait to see how that turns out.
Want more local food in your life? Check out these websites to learn more or find a farm in your area:
http://monroefarm.com/ (this is the CSA I belong to. Great eggs and great veggies!)
Another website I *have* to mention is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. My brother introduced me to it back when we actually had an aquarium in Denver. Remember Ocean Journey? And now a restaurant chain owns it...well anyway. This website can help you to make sustainable seafood choices when you eat, which is more important than you might realize. More on that later - that's a subject best explored on its own.
Will report back on Osteria Marco soon.