John Pinelli had lived across the country, but he always returned to one place: Philadelphia. Each year, no matter where he was, he would come back to that city like a boomerang. A very hungry boomerang. During his visits, he devoured cheese steaks, Italian hoagies, water ice, and Tastykakes snack pies. He just wished he could bring one of those restaurants back to his home in Denver. Instead, he opened South Philly Cheese Steaks in 2004.
Pinelli's decision to leave his corporate job perplexed his family, but he knew he was on to something. After all, he knew how to make italian hoagies and hot roast beef. He knew how to bake Philly-style pizza, and of course, he knew how to assemble an authentic Philadelphia cheese steak. It all proved successful, and South Philly Cheese Steaks now has several locations across Denver and its surrounding areas?with more likely to come.
At each restaurant, a simple dining room greets patrons with casual tables and a custom mural of Philadelphia's skyline. In the kitchen, cooks work with many ingredients sourced right from Philly. In addition to the classic cheese steak, they assemble special varieties, such as a pizza cheese steak with provolone and marinara.
Although it may feature all the amenities of a convenient neighborhood store, Stellato's Grocery & Deli embraces its role as an Italian-style grill. The deli area features dark wooden tables scattered across the floor, creating the ambiance of a bistro as opposed to a standard convenience store. While the deli offers take-home orders of homemade pastas, Boar's Head deli meats, produce, coffees, and other home necessities, the menu demonstrates the establishment's true roots. The staff prepares hot and cold deli sandwiches stacked with everything from egg salad and onion to sausage and peppers, as well as hot soups and classic Italian entrees?including baked ziti and chicken parmesan?to be taken home and reheated in the oven or roasted above the kitchen's open flames.
When pressed for his motivations behind HBurgerCo, managing partner Pete Pflum told a reporter from Dining Out, "It's my favorite meal from childhood," before adding that the burger is "accepted as a meal unto itself—especially when you're using the best meat, baked goods, and fixings." Housed in a sleek but familiar space designed by Robin Smith Designs, the head chef conjures inventive burgers, while soda jerks also harness the combined power of local spirits and liquid nitrogen to craft inventive cocktails and milk shakes. Patties hand-formed from locally-sourced Angus beef, lamb, turkey, veggies, and buffalo arrive at tables crowned with eclectic toppings including fried eggs and asian slaw, complimented by a create-your-own-salad menu. Draft brews pour into glasses cooled with liquid nitrogen, which prevents libations from getting warm and snowmen from getting bartending gigs.
When the owners of Jake's Food & Spirits started planning out their dream bar, they wanted to create a space where locals would want to hang out all day. In turn, they built a bar that is welcoming for everyone—that includes adults, families, and dogs. You can feel free to bring in the pet and enjoy a lunch on the sunny patio, or sip on microbrews, play pool, and watch comedians inside at night.
In between those hours, the kitchen staff dishes up their twist on classic American fare. For brunch, they serve up a range of benedicts known as "bennies" along with corned beef sweet hash, challah french toast and biscuits and gravy. The dinner menu includes seven flavors of wings, as well as posole soup with pulled pork and hominy, served with a side of cheesy grits. To complement these dishes, they offer house cocktails as well as kitschy treats such as fried Oreos and caramelized Betty Boop figurines.
At six area locations, El Señor Sol's customers metaphorically climb onto generously portioned entree platters and coast away on culinary voyages to Mexico. The restaurant began to sprout satellite locations around the Front Range more than 15 years ago, quickly establishing Mexican culinary street cred by presenting tasty margaritas and salsa made from scratch each morning, scratch being code for magical tomatoes. Festive vibes dominate in El Señor Sol's casual dining rooms, which are equally welcoming to families, larger groups, or mingling happy hour celebrants. The menu's medley of south-of-the-border-style grilled pork, beef, and chicken entrees can make a nice dinner for two or be served up in larger quantities inside one of the franchise's private banquet rooms. These seat up to 100 people for weddings, office parties, or an improvised convening of the U.S. Senate.
At Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar, there are many ways to treat yourself—more than 75, to be specific. That’s the approximate count of the international and regional wines that populate the racks at the wine bar, which earned Open Table’s 2012 Top 100 Notable Wine Lists in the USA award. Ranging from New Zealand sauvignon blanc to Italian prosecco and syrah made in Colorado, diners have seemingly limitless pairing options to complement the kitchen’s bistro cuisine. The sommelier can also make pairing suggestions, such as coupling an Oregon King Estate pinot gris with seared scallops drizzled in Valencia orange and ginger beurre blanc. As you sip and dine, the floor-to-ceiling windows provide awe-inspiring views of the Front Range and the patio offers a place to sink into plush couches beside a fire pit.