By using only 100% vegetable oil and fat-free love, Masa Asian Kitchen's chefs are able to craft Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese entrees that are both flavorful and MSG-free—entrees such as lo mein noodles, green curry, and teriyaki salmon. They also create 20 sushi rolls, the seaweed casings of which pack in tempura shrimp, spicy crab, cream cheese, and avocado. To request adjustments to a dish, diners simply speak with their server, who can ask the chef to turn a meaty dish into a vegetarian entree or a spicy dish into just a bunch of napkins dipped in water.
The creators of the The Colorful 5K use the term ?run? very loosely. Less of a race, and more a celebration of the human spirit, The Colorful 5K encourages participants to dash, dance, prance, skip, cartwheel, or walk the course as they douse each other in vibrant hues that span the full spectrum. Each run also donates a portion of proceeds to a local charity, which range from Special Olympics affiliates and scholarship funds to city cleanup and beautification projects.
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.
Easily identifiable by its stone façade and neon red sign, P.F. Chang’s China bistro is a thriving oasis of Americanized Chinese food that’s geared toward those who appreciate familiarity. This Lower Downtown spot is the ideal spot for those with tastes that lean toward crab wontons, egg rolls and huge plates of fried rice, lo mein and beef with broccoli. The signature lettuce wraps, tucked with wok-seared chicken and vegetables, live up to the hype, and the trio of dipping sauces – hot mustard, chile paste and a concoction of chile oil, white vinegar and soy sauce – up the flavor quotient. A large cocktail syllabus, along with housemade, non-alcoholic sodas, beer, wine and a selection of hot teas, round out the experience.
This noisy, nautically-themed shrine to the brine set sail in LoDo over eighteen years ago, but even now, it’s packed to the gills with hipster crowds that suck down oysters at the convivial bar that stretches from the front door to the exhibition kitchen and showcases a gleaming ice display of fresh seafood. The partially-open kitchen cranks out pan-roasted Steelhead trout, seared sea scallops tangling with curried carrots and a Maine lobster roll bolstered by the addition of bacon lardons, while the crew that mans the long counter is responsible for turning out gumbos and chowders, caviar and tuna poke, peel-and-eat shrimp and steamed mussels. The cocktails are some of Denver’s best liquid assets, and the bar team even makes its own alcohol-free root beer and ginger beer. Sit in the sun-filled space for a quick bite, or linger over seafood delights not often found in Denver.
Packed with jet-setting tourists and powerhouse locals, the Palm, the signature restaurant in the downtown Denver Westin hotel, puts its meat where its mouth is, unleashing superior cuts of beef at prices that match the pedigree. Still, this clubby, expense-account stalwart knows its way around steer, and no matter how you slice it, the beef is hefty, well-seasoned and cooked to perfection. The cow is served a la carte, but side dishes, including creamed spinach, Brussels sprouts glistening with butter and potatoes au gratin ensure you won’t leave hungry. Caricatures of local celebrities and long-standing regulars surface the walls, while the dining room boasts masculine dark woods, tables topped with starchy white linens and cushy booths the color of evergreen. The voluminous wine list, which has generated numerous awards, is worthy of exploration, as are the cocktails.