By Teresa Farney
Updated: November 29, 2017 at 10:13 am • Published: November 29, 2017
Sportivo Primo officially has replaced Judge Baldwin's Brewery at The Antlers, A Wyndham Hotel, 4 S. Cascade Ave.
Executive chef, Rene (Joey) LeBlanc, rolled out the menu Nov. 20. There's plenty of pub food such as wings, pulled pork sliders and dips. But pay attention to more upscale offerings such as Asian-style duck wings and smoked salmon dip with Indian flatbread and crudité.
"The veal francese is something my mom made," LeBlanc said. "I knew it was going to be a good day when I walked in my home and smelled this dish cooking."
LeBlanc has switched out the veal for chicken, which was extra juicy and mildly seasoned with his special lemon parsley white wine sauce. The dish comes with super velvety cream potatoes and asparagus for $22.
Flip over the Sportivo Primo menu to find Duca's Neapolitan Pizza menu, which makes for a wide range of dishes to enjoy while sports events appear on 12 high-definition televisions in the bar.
Another welcome addition to LeBlanc's culinary team is Courtney Diesing as the new pastry chef. Her previous pastry experience includes The Club at Flying Horse and The Inn at Palmer Divide (home of the former Mozaic restaurant). She also owns Courtney's Couture Cakes.
When you dine at the new sports bar, be sure to save room for the 16-layer chocolate cake or the ultra creamy cheesecake.
Sportivo Primo is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. The Duca's menu is served from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays. Details: 955-5600, antlers.com.
Steve Kanatzar, owner of The Airplane Restaurant, 1665 N. Newport Road, knows how to throw a party. For instance, he closes his eatery on Thanksgiving and invites friends for a meal. He cooks the turkeys, ham and roast beef. The guests bring a side dish, bread and desserts.
Just going to the restaurant is a trip. Some of the 275 seats are literally in the fully intact Boeing KC-97 tanker. The plane was built in 1953 and used to refuel aircraft throughout the world. In May 2002, Kanatzar brought it to Colorado Springs to create the only aviation restaurant in the United States. The eatery is as much an aviation museum as it is a restaurant, with hundreds of pictures, memorabilia and rare artifacts.
If you're looking for a unique place to have a party, The Airplane Restaurant is a great place to start. Details: 570-7656, theairplanerestaurant.
The Natural Epicurean in Broadmoor West is the location for the NE Ramen pop-up eatery, 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 22, 23, 29 and 30. You'll delight in enjoying authentic Asian steamed buns, homemade ramen and kimchi. Reservations recommended: 577-5733.
Chef "BB" (Robert Brunet), owner and executive chef of Momma Pearl's Cajun Kitchen, 6620 B. Delmonico Drive, serves up the real deal when it comes to all food Cajun. He'll be throwing his Cajun Christmas Dinner, with seatings at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday. For $45, you'll get spinach and artichoke dip with fried bowtie pasta; Cajun- injected, deep-fried turkey with gravy; butternut squash risotto; Creole green bean and carrot stir-fry; green chili cheesy cornbread muffin; pecan pie bread pudding or apple cobbler; and Yule spiced wassel. Details: 964-0234, mommapearls.com.
Toast of the town
Award-winning Michael Myers, founder of Distiller 291, 1647 S. Tejon St., has gained recognition in Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2018 for 291 "E" Colorado Bourbon Whiskey, aged 333 days as runner-up in the US Micro Whiskey of the Year category. The whiskey racked up 96 points. Judges' comments included ""exceptional, enthralling, eclectic, engrossing, engaging, edifying, enticing, entirely extraordinary ... encore!"
Distiller 291 earned two other Liquid Gold awards from the Whisky Bible this year:
- 291 Barrel Proof Colorado Whiskey aged less than 2 years - 95 points
These whiskeys, along with other spirits, are available at several retail stores and at the distillery tasting room. Tasting room hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. The 291 tasting flight is $10, which can be applied as a credit to a bottle purchase. Details: 323-8010, distillery291.com.
Blandine Brutel, owner of The French Kitchen Culinary Center, 4771 N. Academy Blvd., has dreamed up a tasty collection of French dishes for her catering menu. You'll find pastries, quiches, breads, cakes, sandwiches, salads, hot hors d'oeuvres and Yule Logs on the list of goodies. Orders must be placed 48 hours in advance. Orders are for pickup only unless approved by a manager with a delivery fee. The full menu is online. Details: 528-6295, tfkcc.com.
Calling all chocolate lovers
The Holiday Chocolate Festival takes place at the Colorado Springs Event Center, 3960 Palmer Park Blvd., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 9. Admission is $5. Children age 4 and under are free. Taste Tickets (12 tickets for $10) are required to sample chocolates and other treats at the festival. Visit holiday chocolatefestival.com.
Café Roma, 218 N. Tejon St., has closed.
Send tips about restaurant openings, closings and specials to firstname.lastname@example.org, 636-0271, Twitter: @tffoodie or Facebook Teresa Farney.