To say The Cork House Broker Restaurant is a wine restaurant that just happens to serve food wouldn't be totally inaccurate. The extensive wine list encompasses a wide range, welcoming bottles of sparkling and still, red and white, inexpensive and indulgent. Those who join the restaurant's wine club receive exclusive invitations to events such as wine dinners, tastings, cooking classes, and meet-and-greets with winemakers.
With that said, the restaurant’s chefs certainly know their way around the kitchen. Guests can pair their wines with a flight of carefully curated cheeses, made from goat's and cow's milks, or consult a dinner menu filled with timeless entrees including steak diane, french onion soup, and fabulous mussels. Meals unfold in the restaurant’s intimate dining room or under the patio’s generously shady cover of trees.
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?"
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.
The hand-cut USDA Prime steaks at Elway’s have garnered consistent recognition from 5820 magazine, OpenTable, and Gayot, who named it one of the top 10 steakhouses in America. Though diners go wild over the choice cuts, including the bone-in rib eye and the 28-ounce porterhouse, the lamb fondue really makes them melt, with its green-chili cheese and side of roasted sweet potatoes. It’s not just about the meat, though—side dishes, especially the au gratin and Yukon gold potatoes, are “worth the trip,” says Gayot.
Though its collection tops out at more than 650 varietals, Elway’s prides itself on its unique, yet down-to-earth selections. Guests can enjoy more than 40 wines by the glass, or order by the bottle at a reasonable price.
It wouldn’t be John Elway’s restaurant without ample high-definition TVs streaming the big games and reverent displays of Broncos memorabilia. Although the man himself is known to drop by both the flagship Cherry Creek location and the Denver eatery on occasion, diners who miss him can console themselves with first-class fare that earned a #1 ranking on USA Today’s list of athlete-owned restaurants.
CY Steak stands as an upscale steakhouse laced with a bit of Las Vegas cabaret. Chef Douglas Mace?an honor graduate of both the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University College of Culinary Arts?mans the kitchen, calling on his experiences working with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to add a farm-to-table philosophy to the menu. Rising star Chef Mace is on hand nightly to ensure diners relish the Kobe beef and oysters laced with three kinds of house-cured bacon, the slabs of grass-fed 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.
Established in 1927 and featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives, Sam’s No. 3 in Denver is a family-owned restaurant that embraces its old fashioned diner personality. There’s plenty of seating inside the large space, with traditional vinyl booths and long counter seating available to all, plus a bar in the back for anyone looking to grab a quick drink. Serving oversized portions of breakfast, lunch and dinner, the menu at Sam’s is a creative mix of American classics and tasty Tex-Mex meals, with a few Greek options thrown in for good measure. That means char-grilled burgers, large, looming burritos and shaved Greek gyros. Looking for a chili fix? You’ll get your fill here with their family recipes of red chili and kickin’ green chili ready to top any item on the menu, while its downtown location makes for great people-watching.