Tess on the Town: Wine Country Inn adds dining option


WHAT: Caroline’s at Wine Country Inn.

WHEN: Opening this month, call for reservations.

WHERE: 777 Grande River Drive, Palisade, Interstate 70, exit 42.

CONTACT: 464-5777 or coloradowinecountryinn.com.

Wine Country Inn is opening a new fine-dining restaurant his month called Caroline’s, named after the granddaughter of inn owners Richard and Jean Tally.

The grand opening is scheduled for May, but in the meantime, staff will have a soft opening to refine the food presentation and service, according to Jerome Strack, general manager of the inn.

“Over the next few weeks, we would like to invite guests to make a reservation to sample our menus and wines and give us their feedback,” Strack said.

The inn’s existing restaurant, Tapestry, will revert to its original concept of an upscale lounge with tapas, sandwiches, burgers, soups and salads.

The Tapestry Lounge was so popular that it simply wasn’t enough anymore, Strack said.

The clientele of Tapestry is roughly 50 percent local residents and 50 percent out-of-town travelers. “During the winter months, the locals have kept us going,” Strack said.

“We are the victims of our own success in the Tapestry Lounge. The demand for service has exceeded our capacity to serve guests. Hour-long waits for tables are unacceptable,” he said.

Hence, the opening of Caroline’s, a 10-table restaurant in the inn’s former Orchard Room.

Cuisine at Caroline’s will be classic French with a nouvelle approach. Prices will range from the mid-$20s to upper $30s.

Signature dishes will include rainbow trout, lamb chops, steaks and fresh seasonal Palisade vegetables and fruits.

The wine cellar will be expanded to include not only Colorado wines, but select vintages from around the world.

PASTA FOR PROGRESS: Chris Blackburn, owner of Pantuso’s Ristorante, is donating a portion of the restaurant’s sales in April to Hilltop’s Latimer House. Blackburn and his family have been longtime supporters of Latimer House, which helps people affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.

“I have been overwhelmed by the community’s support of our business, and I am happy for the opportunity to give something back,” Blackburn said in a news release.

Pantuso’s, located in the Clarion Inn on Horizon Drive, is open daily for lunch and dinner and specializes in traditional Italian cuisine.

Pantuso’s isn’t the only noodle joint doing generous things this month.

Carino’s Italian restaurant is recognizing National Autism Awareness Month by donating $1 for every children’s meal purchased this month to Autism Speaks and the Autism Society. The goal is to sell 50,000 meals nationwide, according to a news release.

This is the third year the Texas-based restaurant chain has raised money for autism charities. It has raised more than $2 million for various nonprofits since 1997.

Kids meals at Carino’s are under 500 calories, and gluten-free selections may be requested.

IT’S THE BUZZ: Mark your calendar for the fourth annual Palisade International Honey Bee Festival on April 13–14.

It’s actually a small-town shindig, but the “international” in the title is to bring attention to the threatened honeybee population, which has implications across the globe.

Events include dancers, a spelling bee, speakers, street vendors, tours, food and live entertainment. For a full calendar go to palisadehoneybeefest.org.

QUOTE: “Before the Internet, companies and governments simply made decisions, assuming the public didn’t need to know or even care what was in their food. That is no longer the case.” — Bill Marler, food safety lawyer, referring to the outcry over “lean finely textured beef” or “pink slime”

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