Saturday, March 7, 2009

Denver Restaurant Week

For one week (this year is was extended to two weeks - AWESOME!) Denver restaurant host Denver Restaurant Week which has a select three-course menu (some restaurants have their whole menu, others specials, it varies.) available for $52.80 per couple (the quick math is $26.40 per person). The goal of this week for me is to hit up the great steakhouses and restaurants that have a typically expensive menu and indulge in succulent sirloins and tender filets. So, with that in mind, and one instance of mis-communication, I took advantage, fully. Below are my exploits:

Elway's - Tuesday, February 24th
Me, Missey, and Kalyn

AH-MAZE-ZING. First downtown parking is not ideal around the Ritz-Carlton, so to have complimentary valet was nice. Note to self, run the Camry through the wash before using valet at the Ritz. I had the sirloin and creme brulee. Steak was perfection and I appreciated the substitution from the dessert choices. That poor waiter didn't know what hit him when three women sat down and all ordered the steak. He kept up, though with our sarcastic banter. Kudos to you, Cute Waiter.

Del Frisco's - Thursday, February 26th
Me and Missey

So, Del Frisco's is one of two restaurants I would consider to be the "fanciest" in the city. (The other being The Capital Grille) It's an amazing steakhouse with amazing service. In fact, at the end of the meal the staff asks for your address and they send you a HANDWRITTEN thank you card. While waiting for our table to be ready, we sat in the comfortable (mostly because of the smoke) cigar bar and met two gentlemen that are regulars at Del's. (Must be nice.) They were impressed that Missey and I didn't need or want dates to enjoy the great deal for Restaurant Week. We also discussed the level of the restaurant based on it's bread offering and if they have a table scraper. If the restaurant has a fabric tablecloth, it can get covered with crumbs if your bread is crumbly soft. So, having the scraper while clearing the table between courses, we have determined, is the mark of a classy, high-end restaurant. The filet was cooked to perfection, and yes, those plates are 400 degrees. And our car was promptly returned from the complimentary valet. Although, if we rolled in a BMW, it would be closer. At least we weren't the ones in paint covered jeans, work boots, and a flannel. Kudos to you Del's.

Del Frisco's - Friday, February 27th
Me, my Aunt and Uncle, a/k/a Mr. 300

Having been at Del's the night before with Missey and having my Uncle having bowled a 300 on the previous Wednesday, I asked the manager refer to the reservation as Mr. 300 and to have everyone refer to my Uncle as Mr. 300. Having laid the groundwork, I arrived early so that I knew everything is place. Needless to say, the manager that I spoke to the night before had everything prepared. While we were enjoying another fabulous filet, all the managers on duty and the wait staff came up to Mr. 300 to shake his hand. My Uncle got a kick out of it. Another high point was another regular at Del's that said he and a few other regulars take bets on how much White Zinfendel they would sell during Restaurant Week. Kudo's to you, Mr. 300.

Elway's - Tuesday, March 3rd
Me, Amber, Chelsea, and Daisy

Having the Cam washed in the interim, I felt better about pulling into the valet. Check check. Checking in for the reservation, I told the hostess to let the other girls know that I would be in the bar. That was a little advanced for them, so they got snooty when we would get the people ourselves. Whatever. The other hard task was their ability to tell time. At 7:20, they said that our table would be ready in about 20 minutes. Ten minutes behind schedule isn't bad. However, when 8:15 rolls around and you have Ana and Daisy one glass of wine in and no food, you get a snooty table. Oh, well. We eventually got seated in the toddler's section. I say that because I don't think our waiter was really old enough to serve alcohol. He even slid around on the tile that was at the wait stand and into the kitchen. Every time Daisy and I heard it, we play the first notes of Bob Seger's Old Time Rock 'N Roll (from Risky Business) on our imaginary keyboards. The sirloin didn't disappoint once again. Daisy thought it sacrilegious to leave any morsel on our plates. The creme caramel was nice, but it's not creme brulee. I would go back just for that. Seriously. Kudo's to you, Joel Goodsen look-alike Waiter.

The Keg - Friday, March 6th
Me, Jessica & Kevin, Daisy & Kyle, Erin & Gaby, Amber, Tyrel, the Denver Minshalls Whitney and Lindsey, and Katie

Maybe it was because I had been to higher-end steakhouses, maybe it was the fact that our table had 12 people, or maybe it was the fact that my horoscope said that I would act like brat. In any case, I wouldn't pick The Keg unless it was for cocktails. From no salt & pepper on the table, to asking several times for bread, to the inability for 7 of the 12 steaks ordered to be cooked to their requested level, it was an all around shizz show. The menu says that the sirloin is so thick, that medium rare is the most it can be cooked. OK. That's fine, but then don't ask me how I want my steak done. I thought it would be implied. Then, when the steak arrives and it's rare, the rare order got the thinnest, smallest, medium-well/well, we're off on the bad footing. They do have steakhouse in the name, so I think that they are false advertising that they can indeed cook a steak. The company was great and I would never change that, I would just change the restaurant to Elway's or Del Frisco's. Kudos to you, B.O.D. (Two up top for Mr. Foley on that one. So, I guess a kudos to you as well.)

Denver Restaurant Week will always have its highs and lows. I think that the most successful restaurants will offer select menu items, not a specialized menu for the event. The point of Restaurant Week is to intice patrons based on your abilities, so go with your strong suits. Additionally, the staff should be prepared for the entire spectrum to walk through their doors. Barrels of White Zinfendel will fly of the wine racks and overly critical people will dissect every aspect. But that is what makes Denver Restaurant Week what it is and I have my calendar mark for next year.

I should also note that I am critical, but only have you have made blatent oversights, and I only drink White Zinfendel if it's from a box and hanging in a tree for camping.

1 comment:

  1. hey my favorite niece !!....thanks for the kind mention and the kudos in your blog....=) was a fun evening, thanks for extending my "15 minutes" and further adding to my embarassment !!......=).....we enjoyed a great evening, great dinner and, most importantly, getting to catch up with you and enjoy your charming wit !!.......we won't wait until next year before we do another dinner....thanks 300 !!.....LOL !! yeah, right ....... =)