Remember John Broening? He was the excellent chef at the acclaimed downtown Colorado Springs restaurant Primitivo, which fell on hard times and went out of business several years ago. Broening was snapped up by a Denver group that opened Brassiere Rogue to rave reviews from restaurant critics in the Mile High city. But in less than a year that place folded, too. Broening then went to work at a bakery and sandwich shop called Udi's, and it turned out to be kismet: He met Udi's pastry chef, Yasmin Lozada-Hissom, and the two have hooked up to open Duo, a restaurant at 2413 W. 32nd Ave. in Denver. They also write about their food and travel adventures and offer recipes at their web site papayapate.com. Check it out.
Another chef with brief ties to Colorado Springs, Rollie Wesen, is also wowing diners in Denver. Wesen, the son-in-law of famed chef Jacques Pepin, created a hubbub when he moved here to become chef at the Broadmoor's Summit restaurant. Less than a month before the opening, however, he was shown the door. His job search took him to Denver where he's opened Via Italian Trattoria & Bar - which is in the former location for brassiere rouge - 1801 Wynkoop Street. He's getting a lot of positive Denver press about his food. Check out the menu at http://www.viatrattoria.com.