Joseph Freyre first wandered into a kitchen more than a quarter-century ago, and since then, he hasn't quite managed to leave. He studied traditional techniques at Del Webb Culinary Institute; served a 15-year stint as maitre d' at a five-star, five-diamond hotel; and owned and operated multiple restaurants. He started Joseph's Fine Dining as a simple combination of his love for fine cuisine and the art of tableside preparation, or flambéing.
He's concocted a lot of signature creations over the years, but chief among them stands the pepper-steak flambé, marinated in mango chutney and cast ablaze in French brandy. He follows up his fiery dinners with equally flame-kissed desserts including classics such as bananas foster and cherries jubilee.
Established as a haven for steak lovers in 1958, Emil-Lene's grillmasters have crafted a menu of upscale filets and American cuisine served with a bevvy of trimmings. Meaty choices include 5-, 9-, and 12-ounce filets, as well as three sizes of sirloin as tender as a butterfly's fragile ego. Chefs fry chicken dinners to crisp completeness, while 10-ounce prime ribs are seared to perfection atop a charcoal grill. Along with the menu's simplified offerings, servers whisk trays of vegetables and spaghetti appetizers to tables, with chilled butter spreading across fresh-baked bread, and soup or salad and a choice of potato tucking themselves into the last crevices of each stomach. The restaurant keeps in touch with its historic roots and cowboy ambiance, with Wild West artwork, a cozy dining room, and regular duels between visiting handlebar mustaches.
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.
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. You can even order steak to begin your dinner—the Thumbprints appetizer consists of sautéed bites of tenderloin perched atop crispy crostini.
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?"
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.