My wedding weekend in Denver was fantastic. Good friends, good food, lovely ceremony, low drama, a super fun bachelorette party, and a quick trip to Boulder in addition to visiting downtown Denver and Castle Rock. I was privileged to be in the wedding of two dear friends from college who made their partnership “official” after 8 years. I became assistant to the Maid of Honor and my duties included running interference for the bride, calling the groom to bug him, shopping at Walgreens a bunch, and being generally distracting to all stressed-out parties. I think between the 80’s dresses I brought and dying my armpits red before we changed into wedding clothes, I did a good job.
The weekend started on a high note with the bachelorette party dinner at Vesta Dipping grill and entertainment at Naughty Pierre’s Burlesque and Comedy Show at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret. Vesta was so accommodating. We were late because the groom’s parent’s ran out of gas a mile from the hotel and the groom borrowed our car to go rescue them. We had to push back our reservation nearly 45 minutes, but when we arrived they were happy to see us and prepared to seat and feed us immediately. The hostess was so impressed with our bachelorette costumes it seemed like she wanted to quit her job and join the party. We chose an 80’s theme to make the night more festive and spent a lot of time on outfits, makeup, and accessories to make ourselves 80’s-tastic. We covered the range from Madonna to Cyndi Lauper to the bride’s gorgeous prom frock.
Vesta Dipping Grill boasts a wide variety of foods, for both vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Dinner started with bread and a head of creamy, roasted garlic, a revelation I wish more restaurants would try. If you’ve never spread mild roasted garlic cloves all over hearty bread and dipped it in olive oil you’re missing out. We ate adorable, crispy rock shrimp in ponzu sauce, roasted vegetable and potato samosas, moroccan spice grilled salmon, jalapeno grilled pork tenderloin, a grilled vegetable medley, and coconut masala grilled tofu steak. Vesta’s major feature, besides really well-made food, is that each dish comes with three dipping sauces for your enjoyment. It’s great for those who love condiments, love change, want each bite to taste different, or just want more variety for $20-30 a plate. We shared a bottle of S. A. Prum “Essence” Riesling from Germany with dinner. I am a firm believer that a sweet white goes with nearly anything, but then again, no one was eating beef. It should be noted here that while enjoying the weekend and eating amazing food, pictures didn’t happen as often I wish. I’ll try to do better in Austin.
I don’t want to say too much about the burlesque at Lannie’s Clocktower Cabaret, but I do want to encourage everyone reading to find a burlesque show where you live or on your next vacation and go. The show we attended was a traditional burlesque and variety show; women performed a strip tease for the length of one song, emphasizing the costume, music, and the art of removing clothing without showing too much at once. The big reveal was always the removal of the bra, but the women all wore pasties underneath, and underpants never came off. A couple comedians and singers provided breaks and we saw both acrobatics and juggling in addition to striptease. However, the show wasn’t exactly tame. It was sensual, sexy, funny, powerful, evocative, and beautiful. It was a celebration of women and a subversion of simple objectification (watch this documentary, A Wink and A Smile, for a lesson in the history and meaning of burlesque.) We got the special treatment because we called ahead– tiaras for the party, a lavish booth, and guaranteed public embarrassment of the bride. Lannie’s had dessert and drinks, both of which were serviceable but unremarkable. The show was very much the best part. We had a great night! Afterwards, we went dancing and had more cocktails until late into the night and in no way went back to the hotel early for sleepy-time.