Tag Archives: Restaurant

Denver Restaurant Week – Denver, Colorado

 Denver’s “Mile High” Special

February 20 – March 5

Brio Desserts 2 The highly successful Denver Restaurant Week returns with a bang. Diners reap the rewards from the program’s popularity with two weeks of Mile High specials in 2010. Not mile high as in extravagant but mile high in reference to Denver’s 5280’ altitude – A Mile High. More than 260 (281 at last count) metro-area restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for the price of $52.80 for two or $26.40 for one. Price does not include tax or gratuity. Restaurant “Week” runs from February 20 – March 5, 2010.

Gabriel's Ext. Join in the culinary celebration by trying a newly opened restaurant, returning to an old favorite or finally getting to one that’s on your wish list.  Geographically the range stretches from Longmont (Terrior Restaurant), Niwot (Colterra) and Boulder (Q’s and Laudisio) in the north Metro area to Sedalia (Gabriel’s) and Parker (Trappers Chophouse) in the south, and from Conifer (Raven’s), Evergreen (Aspen Grill) and Kittredge (Black Hat Cattle Co.) on the west to the eastern edge of Aurora (Wine Experience Cafe).

The variety spans the culinary world from steakhouses such as Elway’s and Del Frisco’s to Nick-N-Willy’s take and bake pizza in Highlands Ranch. Looking for ethnic? Here is a sampling of ethnic options:Pho Bowlevard - Shrimp Rolls

  • Brazilian – Fogo de Chao Churrascaria  
  • Caribbean – 8 Rivers Modern Caribbean
  • Chinese – Jing Restaurant
  • Cuban – Cuba, Cuba Cafe & Bar
  • French – Le Central French Restaurant
  • Indian – India’s Pearl 
  • Irish – Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery Pasta in Brio Dish
  • Italian – Brio Tuscan Grille
  • Japanese – Sonoda’s
  • Latin – Samba Room
  • Mediterranean – Rioja 
  • Middle Eastern – Phoenician Kabob
  • Mexican – Tamayo Saigon Landing - Noodle Bowl
  • Spanish – Ondo’s Spanish Tapa’s Bar
  • Vietnamese – Saigon Landing Restaurant

Browse Denver Restaurant Week for the $52.80 specials offered by each participating restaurant. Reservations strongly advised. Bon Appétit!

Perfect Landing Restaurant – Centennial, Colorado

The Perfect Landing “10”

An Incentive Package that Works!

 

Almost a year ago Jim Carter wanted to increase week night business at The Perfect Landing restaurant located at Centennial Airport. In celebration of their 10th anniversary he offered a half-dozen items for $10. As diners heard of this incentive the restaurant filled almost every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Reservations became a necessity. Carter kept the $10 specials – the best dining value in the Denver metro area.Perfect Landing Salmon

The current $10 items include:

  • New Zealand Lamb Chop Dinner
  • Filet Dinner
  • Prime Rib Dinner
  • Teriyaki Salmon Fillet Dinner
  • Bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay
  • Maine Lobster Tail – not a complete dinner, only the lobster tail

Each entree is served with the chef’s choice of a starch and vegetable. Plus, warm Perfect Landing bread served with herb butter. Baked in-house the bread is perfect with a crusty exterior and soft, flavorful interior. We always leave the bread basket empty and have even been known to request a couple more slices.

Perfect Landing Prime Rib We’ve become regular devotees. Bob almost always selects the salmon, ordering it rare as chef Sean Carter suggests, perfectly glazed. On our latest visit the salmon was accompanied by rice pilaf and glazed baby carrots. I’m a fan of the boneless prime rib dinner, served last night with a baked potato and the carrots. We usually split a salad, either the Traditional Caesar or the  Perfect Salad of mixed greens, craisins, pecans and bleu cheese crumbles with an orange balsamic vinaigrette. Although we’re not fans, many patrons prefer the Grilled Caesar.

Perfect Landing Key Lime Pie Not wanting to witness disappointment Bob always reserves a slice of the key lime pie when we place our entree order. I’ve sampled key lime pie from coast to coast and award Perfect Landing my “Best Ever” award. Made in-house, they achieve the “perfect” balance of sweet and tart. What a treat!

The dining room overlooks Centennial airport’s runways  and the western horizon – a panoramic mountain view from Pikes Peak to Rocky Mountain National Park. We’re entertained watching helicopters come in for a quick refueling and planes, from small two-seaters to corporate jets, land and take-off. There seems to be more action on the field if we have an early reservation. With perfect timing the sun sinks below the mountains as we saperfect-landing-sunset1vor our dessert, capping the evening with a Technicolor light show.

A long time Denver favorite, “Boogie” Bob Olsen entertains at the piano bar Tuesdays – Saturdays, 5:30-9pm.  We enjoy listening and watching his happy following.  At the cocktail bar and in the piano lounge area $5 appetizers are available from 5-7pm .

Friday and Saturday nights lobster lovers  find a whole steamed Maine lobster served with fried corn on the cob, potatoes and fresh vegetables for $20. Or, make it a Surf and Turf by adding a 6oz. center-cut filet for an additional $5.

I admire the Carters for finding a way to increase business in a down economy, keeping their excellent serving staff employed and offering patrons real value for a quality meal and dining experience. We never just order the $10 dinner because we choose to add drinks, salad and dessert but still feel we’ve had a lovely evening at an affordable price. We’ve also returned for breakfasts and lunches. Perhaps the Carters could give Washington some incentive ideas.

Put it on your radar, make reservations and drive or fly in for a Perfect Landing.

When You Go: The Perfect Landing opens for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, open for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Map picture

Diego Zhang’s Burger Cafe – Centennial, Colorado

Not  Your Ordinary Burger Joint

Diego Zhang's Exterior What in the world is a Diego Zhang’s? As stores and restaurants open in the redeveloped Streets at SouthGlenn we’re eager to discover our new neighborhood options. Seeing the sign “Diego Zhang’s” simply raised questions – even though it also said “Burger Cafe.” To find out we headed over for lunch.

Burgers are featured but not the typical American burger. A helpful employee explains that Diego Zhang’s burgers are, “Globally inspired mini burgers with the listed ingredients hand mixed with the meat. Each burger is 6 ounces, about half the size of a normal hamburger.” She gave us time to read through the list of a dozen choices: Centennial, Genoa, Shanghai, San Juan, Havana, Yellowstone – a world of flavors. There are also a half-dozen salad and five daily soup selections.

Diego Zhang's Pork Green Chili Bob chose a cup of pork green chili and a “Denver”  described as a simple blend of beef, bacon, sautéed mushrooms and onions. Wanting a variety of flavors I opted for a “Kansas City” – mesquite rubbed ground pork with caramelized barbeque sauce – and a Bangkok – Thai peanut shrimp with fresh vegetables. With each burger we had a choice of white or whole wheat bun.

We ordered at the counter, got our drinks and browsed the menu while we waited for the burgers to be delivered to the table hot off the grill. We learned that Diego Zhang’s mother came from southern climes and father from the east, hence the interesting name mix. The idea for globally-inspired mini-burgers came from a tapas cafe in Barcelona.

Diego Zhang's Burgers Bob gave a thumbs  up to the spicy green chili. I give a big nod of approval for both my burgers. Noted on the menu with two chile peppers meaning slightly more spicy, the Bangkok had a definite kick that lingered but didn’t overpower. The peanuts and fresh veggies lent a crunchy texture. Not spicy hot but packed with flavor, the Kansas City was equally enjoyed. I was impressed with how well matched and balanced the flavors were  in each burger. The whole wheat bun was fresh and grainy. I’ve heard people refer to these as sliders but found them to be larger than the majority of sliders. Two where plenty for a satisfying meal.

Families will appreciate the children’s menu including PB&J, mac & cheese, grilled cheese and noodles – buttered or with cheese/red sauce. Adults find  beer and wine available in addition to soft drinks. The breakfast menu offers a variety of egg sandwiches on English muffins and Arepas, South American corn cakes with cheese, red peppers and green chiles.

I’m already eager to return to further my world journey of mini-burgers.

When You Go: There are two locations for Diego Zhang’s in Centennial, 6851 S. Gaylord in The Streets at SouthGlenn and 12073 E. Arapahoe Road (Arapahoe and Peoria). Hours vary by location and day of the week, check their website for details.

*Update* – Farro Italian Restaurant – Centennial, Colorado

Revisiting Farro Italian Restaurant

Almost one year ago I wrote about the newly opened Farro Italian Restaurant in Centennial. Two recent visits stirred me to update readers.

A couple of weeks before Christmas Bob and I stopped into Farro’s for a quick dinner between shopping chores. WFarro Interiore hadn’t tried their pizza and decided to split the “Meat Lovers” and a romaine salad. Although we told the waitress we were okay eating off the same salad plate, the kitchen accommodated by splitting the romaine lettuce tossed with Ciabatta croutons, Parmesan and lemon garlic Dressing. We were highly impressed by the pizza topped with red sauce, sausage, prosicutto, salami, pancetta and cheese. The thin crust, light hand with the red sauce, flavorful meats and cheese came together in a 12-inch pizza we couldn’t stop eating until every crumb and crust was devoured.         [Photos courtesy Farro Restaurant]

Farra Zuppa

Last night I joined three women friends, none of whom had been there before, for a leisurely dinner at Farro. From the  satisfied sighs it’s safe to say they will return. Three of us started with cups of the Tuscan white bean zuppa with prosciutto and extra virgin olive oil – delish. With the basket of warm breads I could have eaten a quart of the soup.

Mary ordered lasagna, Gayle the meat pizza, and I returned to the Tuscan meatloaf. Carol chose orecchietTuscan Meatloafte pasta with sausage, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes in a Gorgonzola cream sauce. Our forks all made the tasting round of everyone’s entrees. I have to get back soon to order the orecchiette; I love Gorgonzola and this sauce was perfect without being overpowering nor too thick and heavy.                                              [Photo by Nancy Yackel]

This group never passes up desserts and last night was no exception. We shared double chocolate mousse and the pumpkin mascarpone cheesecake with a gingersnap cookie crust. Although I’m not as much of a chocolateholic as the others I have to admit the kahlua enhanced mousse was mighty good. The cheesecake was a nice alternative.

A large sign outside the door and a flier in the bill holder announced the beginning of Monday thru Friday lunch service starting January 4, 2010. I’ll report another update after a noon-time visit.

Our one negative – we spotted several errors on our bill. There were promptly corrected with apologies but I will watch closely on my next visit to make sure this was a one time occurrence.

The group lingered deep in conversation long after dessert . Until we left we had no idea we’d overstayed closing time, not done intentionally. The staff certainly gave no indication we should leave.

Map picture

When You Go: Farro Italian Restaurant, 8230 S. Holly, Centennial, CO 303-694-5432. Open Monday – Thursday 5-9pm, Friday & Saturday 4:30-9:30pm, Sunday 4:30-8pm. Now open for lunch Monday – Friday 11:30am-1:30pm.

Previous post on Farro Italian Restaurant

 

 

Tocabe – An American Indian Eatery – Denver, Colorado

Celebrating Fry Bread

I well remember my first taste of fry bread. Under a shady ramada in the middle of the historic Taos Pueblo a grandmotherly woman removed the golden puffed pastry Tocabe Fry Bread from a cast iron skillet. Handing me the laden paper plate she pointed to a squeeze bottle of honey. Yum – every bite was quickly consumed, I’d found a new culinary treasure.

I soon learned fry bread also served as a base for Indian Taos, piled high with meat, beans, cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and salsa. Over the decades I’ve consumed Indian Taos and fry bread dusted with powdered sugar or dripping with honey at pueblos, pow wows, festivals, and restaurants on the Navajo reservation. When I heard there was a restaurant featuring the Native American staple opening in North Denver I put Tocabe on my “Must Visit” list.

Tocabe Neon Sign Like that first fry bread every bite at Tocabe disappears quickly. The menu is simple: American Indian Tacos, Stuffed Indian Tacos, Medicine Wheel Nachos, Little Osage Pizza – made with fry bread, of course. The soup choice changes daily – green chili clam chowder on Friday. And, for dessert, fry bread with honey, cinnamon or powder sugar and dessert tacos – fry bread topped with hot apples or cherries.

Located at 44th and Lowell in the Highlands Neighborhood, Tocabe welcomes hungry patrons to a clean, crisp, contemporary space. The rough stone wall with candle cradling niches reminds me of standing amidst the remains of earlier cultures at Mesa Verde or Chaco Canyon.

Tocabe Stuffed Fry Bread A friendly staff assists with choices for our made-to-order taco. Each piece of fry bread comes directly from the kitchen steaming hot. We begin by adding meat and beans: ground beef, shredded beef, chicken, ground buffalo, extra meat or vegetarian, black beans, pintos or chili beans. Followed by yea or nay to cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and purple onions. Choose two from the hominy or white corn salsas, mild or hot, red or green chili. Top everything off with sour cream, chipotle sauce – or both. On our most recent visit Bob and I attacked our plates as if a time clock were ticking, slowing consumption only for complimentary murmurings.

Who can leave without sharing a fry bread with honey for dessert? Not us. As Tocabe approaches their 1st anniversary in business we’re convinced Denver diners are extremely fortunate to have their very own American Indian Eatery. Celebrate fry bread.

Tocabe Hands 

 

Map picture

When You Go: Tocabe, 3536 West 44th Avenue, Denver, CO, 720-524-8282, is open Monday through Saturday 11am to 9pm and Sunday noon to 8pm.

Caspian Cafe – Colorado Springs, Colorado

Divine Dinner

Culinary

  Ability                                       Creative

      Supreme,                                    Appetizing

         Presentation,                               Flavorful        

            Incredible                                      Excellence

              Ambience,                                  

                  Nuances          Caspian Cafe Halibut

 

Twelve hours after dinner at the Caspian Cafe in Colorado Springs I’m still sighing with satisfaction. Executive chef Daniel White choreographs a dining experience to be fully savored and long remembered.

I first heard of this Mediterranean bistro and bar on Warren Byrne’s Restaurant Show on Denver’s KEZW. A woman called in absolute ecstasy over the lunch she had just finished. She was standing in the parking lot eager to share news of the outstanding cuisine, service and ambience of the Caspian Cafe.

A week later we were in the Springs for an exhibit at the Fine Arts Center and decided on a late lunch at, “That restaurant the lady on Warren’s show raved about.” We soon discovered she didn’t exaggerate and have returned for lunch when in the area.

Last night we finally made it to the Caspian for dinner. WOW! Owner Moe Sharifi warmly welcomes guests. As our waitress, Tara, described the nightly specials we knew we didn’t need to read the menu; we simply had to make a choice between the meat, fish and pasta features. We wanted a sampler of all three.

Caspian Cafe Prime Rib There was no way I was passing up the Friday night prime rib rubbed with Mediterranean herbs and sundried tomatoes, served in a pomegranate au jus with a side of horseradish sauce. Bob decided on the Alaskan halibut and scallops. I can’t remember everything that was in the topping – tomatoes, mushrooms, capers, orange and lemon juices – but the blend of flavors was outstanding. Mashed potatoes seasoned with garlic, dill and Greek yogurt accompanied the prime rib; the halibut rested on a bed of rice. Both dinners came with baby carrots and sugar snap peas sautéed with beans and onions.

Caspian Cafe Dessert Having skipped lunch in anticipation of dinner indulgence, we devoured an appetizer of Baba Ghanouj, grilled pita and lavosh as we awaited our entrees. And, for dessert, we could not resist the orange and saffron flavored custard with caramel sauce attractively presented with a ring of sliced strawberries.

I couldn’t help but overhear the discussion at the table behind me as they tried to make their menu choices –lamb tagine with artichokes, gyros platter, Moroccan roast chicken, sambousek or the prime rib (which I, of course, recommended). We were tempted to linger until they were served just to hear their reactions.

It was a quiet Friday evening. I suspect most people were home with turkey sandwiches. Thankfully we dined divinely at the Caspian.

When You Go: Caspian Cafe, 4375 Sinton Road, Colorado Springs, CO 80907, 719-528-1155. Located east of I-25, just south of Garden of the Gods Road. Open for lunch Monday through Saturday, 11am-4pm. Open for dinner nightly from 4pm, until 10pm on Friday and Saturday, until 9pm Sunday through Thursday.

Update – Sunnyside Cafe – Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Closed

The Sunnyside Cafe in Highlands Ranch, Colorado bit the dust a few weeks ago while I was out of town. I will miss the whole-wheat cranberry almond pancakes, my favorite breakfast item on their menu. I believe the closure demonstrates how a restaurateur must successfully focus on many facets of their business – menu, food quality, preparation, location, ambiance, and SERVICE.

sunnyside-cafe1On my several visits to Sunnyside I never received quality service; even when they weren’t busy there was an element of inattention. On our last visit in September I influenced a party of eight to meet at Sunnyside. Before the morning was over I wanted to crawl under the table and could only apologize to family and friends for putting them through such an experience. The service was absolutely abominable. We just kept hearing, “We’re busy.” Isn’t that what a successful cafe wants to be? Apparently not!