For those who dream of kicking back at a cozy log cabin as smoke puffs out of a stone fireplace and a crystal clear lake reflects the surrounding pines and mountains, the Evergreen Lake House is an ideal destination. The 5,000-square-foot building resides on 55 acres of park district land and hosts seasonal activities and events. An immense stone fireplace in the great room lends itself to wedding photos, while the lake lends itself to summertime activities, and safely testing how far a homemade catapult can fling you. Visitors navigate the placid waters on canoes and paddleboats or savor a sunrise during an early morning fishing trip. An observation boardwalk provides stunning views and a 1.3-mile trail offers safe passage to joggers, and bikers. When the lake freezes over in winter, skating season begins and the 1930s boat house becomes a place to warm up and debate whether Herbert Hoover invented the vacuum cleaner.
CY Steak stands as an upscale steak house laced with a bit of Las Vegas cabaret. Chef Chris Jensen?an honor graduate of Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts?mans the kitchen, calling on his experiences working under Kevin Dundon, an Irish celebrity chef, television personality and author. Rising star Chef Jensen is on hand nightly to ensure diners relish the Kobe beef and oysters laced with three kinds of house-cured bacon, the slabs of grassfed Harris Ranch beef, and the puddings and brownies made of Ecuadorean chocolate from small, ecologically sound farms.
The wine and mixology program verges almost on fussiness: alongside complex cocktails and a 500-bottle-deep wine selection, a Cruvinet wine-tapping system keeps a shortlist of the most of-the-moment potions ready at hand. Beneath soft red lighting designed to create a comprehensively sensual atmosphere, crystal glasses and egyptian-cotton napkins make for place settings as luxurious as a remote-controlled caviar dispenser. Among the pleasure palace's other indulgences are a cigar selection curated by the owner's tobacconist son and, most eye-catchingly, Vegas-style cabaret entertainment that sends dancers shimmying before adult eyes.
As guests walk through The Broker Restaurant, they'll catch a glimpse of the gleaming metal of a massive, circular vault door, swung open in an inviting fashion. But this isn't some prop or gimmick—it’s a relic from the building’s original tenant, the Denver National Bank. The iconic restaurant resides within the original bank vault, which was built in 1903 and designed to securely safeguard deposited items such as jewelry, sensitive documents, or family keepsakes.
Today, diners sit in the very booths formerly used by bank customers to count gold or the years until the bank might finally turn into a restaurant. Surrounded by dark cherry wood, they feast on dry-aged, prime cuts of beef, fresh Alaskan seafood, and tender Colorado lamb. Servers commence each meal with a complimentary 1.5-pound bowl of steamed Gulf shrimp, which remains a trademark of the historic restaurant.
Since 1937, the Bastien family has been sneaking steak into nearly every section of their menu. It's an understandable obsession, seeing as it has resulted in savory signature plates such as the new york sugar steak and the filet mignon with serrano-lingonberry sauce.
Rib eyes and porterhouses aside, Bastien's Restaurant focuses on cooking up a warm, down-home vibe more than cooking up a particular food. The menu also includes comforting entrees of wiener schnitzel and fried chicken alongside delicate bites of seafood, all of which find their perfect pairings on an international wine list. Meanwhile, bartenders help create a retro feel thanks to their classic cocktail recipes and friendly greetings of "So, what part of Pangaea are you from?"
Whether they're unwinding from shopping in the Highlands art district, grabbing a bite before seeing a show, or just enjoying a night out with friends, groups flock to Sushi Hai for its fresh sushi and funky atmosphere. Local art flows through this popular Highlands stop, which has been a neighborhood staple for more than a decade. Along with nigiri and sashimi, menu features a vast array of rolls, including a veggie option filled with cucumber, pickled gourd, and sprouts. But chefs also splice together meaty entrees, such as the Hai pork chop served with smoked applewood bacon and savory bread pudding. For a more authentic experience, guests can visit one of the restaurant's three private Tatami rooms, where they abide by the traditional Japanese custom of sitting on the floor and resisting the urge to play Duck, Duck, Goose as full-grown adults.
Two private Tatami rooms are also located downstairs at the Hai Bar, a 3,000-square-foot martini lounge where patrons can either order standalone drinks or pair them with plates of sushi amid music, flat-screen TVs, and lounge seating.
At Fogo de Chao, a behemoth Brazilian churrascaria in the heart of LoDo, skewer-wielding, Gaucho-costumed servers in puffy black pants saunter from table to table, tempting carnivores with more than a dozen different meats – think filet mignon, top sirloin, sausage, salted ribeye and mint-marinated lamb – that are carved tableside and plucked off the skewers with tiny tongs. And the meat just keeps on coming and coming until you flip your coaster to red, which indicates that your belly needs a break from the gluttony. Luckily, there’s an impressive salad bar, too – but like the meat parade, it’s hardly pedestrian: imported cheeses, breads, hearts of palm and marinated vegetables, including artichokes, stock the display, which is replenished long before anything has vanished. With its comfortable seating and elegant touches, Fogo de Chao is perfect for a special occasion, or just a meat-frenzied evening with friends.