Vato Gourmet


Ocean Prime

Posted by Vato on November 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm in Restaurants

Larimer Square
1465 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202
(303) 825-3663    > Get Directions
General Manager: Zach Montgomery

Executive Chef: Bill Crow

Ocean Prime is the new show piece of Larimer Square. On the corner of 15th and Larimer.  The decadent design and amazing decorum and lighting immediately draw you in.  Once inside you realize your in for a treat. Whomever came up with this design concept truly deserves an award.  I am gonna hereby declare this the Vato G’s first ever Interior Design Masterpiece award.  I am gonna give you an excerpt from their website…

“Ocean Prime is the culmination of a creative exercise we started in 2006 to define the best in culinary, beverage, service and atmosphere.  Our team wanted to pair a great steakhouse with a great seafood restaurant.  We imagined a place where our guests are greeted by name and partner with us in adventures of great food, wine and libation.  In August 2006 we opened Mitchell’s Ocean Club in our hometown, Columbus, Ohio.

As we expanded our Modern American supper club concept outside Ohio, we renamed it Ocean Prime, with “Prime” reflecting our commitment to serving the highest quality steak, seafood, handcrafted cocktails and award-winning wines. We’ve opened seven locations to much success, and we look forward to opening our eighth location, Atlanta, in fall 2011.

Ocean Prime was not developed overnight. Our executive chef teams traveled, tasted and compared notes to refine a menu that would ignite curiosity and surpass expectations.  Our operations teams sourced the finest and the freshest ingredients to elevate every plate that leaves our kitchen.  We curated a Wine Spectator-honored wine list for perfect pairings.  And we poured energy with a fresh twist into the creation of our signature cocktails, expertly prepared by our well-trained bar chefs.

When you enter Ocean Prime, our associates have an hour or two to take you somewhere wonderful and transform your day with their genuine hospitality.  Our passion is to deliver an extraordinary experience to each and every guest.  For us, the answer is ‘yes.’ What is your question?”

So having said that, its really true.  The service inside of this place blew my mind. For an amazing time ask to sit in the section being served by “Dennis” He also deserves an award. He will make you realize your somewhere special if you hadn’t already arrived at that conclusion.

It’s often hard for me to answer a question like “who has the best steak in town” because in my opinion there are different kinds of the best.  So I will give you my perspective. You know those steaks that melt in your mouth when you eat them?  The ones that are spiced just to perfection? The ones that you wouldn’t even dream of putting any steak sauce on? The kind you never forget?  Yes, they have those here.  I am a New York man myself but at the suggestion of the staff I tried the Filet Mignon. Amazing.  I had a side of Creamed Spinach with Smoked Bacon and an appetizer of Ahi Tuna Tartar with Avocado and Ginger Ponzu.  Everything was cooked to perfection and tasted amazing.

So the service is amazing, the food is six star, the atmosphere is other worldly, (it almost feels like your on a cruise ship), and the location is so very happening. The view of the street down below when your on the second floor eating dinner is second to none. They also have an extensive private dining room that is available for small and large parties as well as presentations and the like with all the latest electronics and displays. This place spared no expense. Cameron Mitchell I am very impressed.

The Vato G would definitely recommend Ocean Prime confidently to anyone who wanted to go downtown and be dazzled.  They also serve lunch! It is also smack dab in the middle of the Denver night life with 25 night clubs down the street and comedy works 50 feet away as well as shopping and the 16th street mall a block away. Put this restaurant on your to do list. :)

 


Big Game

Posted by Alexis on May 12, 2011 at 6:28 pm in American Cuisine, Restaurants, Steak House

Big Game of Denver
1631 Wazee Street, Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-623-1630
Fax: 303-825-0560

Recently, a group of friends met up at Big Game Denver for a boxing match. Typically you wouldn’t pick a large dining establishment to watch a boxing match, that’s sort of a sports bar thing. Having been to Big Game a couple times and knowing the place I figured it would be perfect. After all they have a 30 foot TV in the main dining room. TAKE NOTE: Big Game is popular and is gaining popularity because the food is outrageously delicious, and the atmosphere is much like your at the place to be. So what I am getting at is you need to make a reservation well in advance or at least show up very early if you wish to get a seat for a sporting event. So lets get down to business. If you like meat your gonna be blown away. Literally everything from Steaks to Burgers make you wonder how the hell this is possible. I myself had the Honey Glazed Pork Ribs and they were amazing. My two friends were generous enough to share. One of them had the Lamb Burger and I tell you what…. I could have finished my ribs and eaten a lamb burger. IT WAS THAT GOOD.  My other buddy had a great big steak and it was cooked to perfection. Everything was great at this place. We had the spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer, which was gone in no time flat. This place really nailed the food. The place is huge and can accommodate any size group. It is very tastefully decorated and has a very good feel. They were also generous enough to add a lot of non meat selections to their menu in all categories so feel free to invite anyone. Below is an excerpt from their website.

“Big Game is Denver’s latest premiere upscale restaurant and lounge. Enjoy a variety of smart casual cuisine with an emphasis on local, sustainable ingredients, coupled with expertly crafted cocktails and Colorado microbrews.

Our interactive dining experience features a state-of-the-art multimedia entertainment lounge with a 30 foot HDTV screen, ping pong, Wii’s, Playstations, a 3D television and over 20 other HDTVs. Relax on our expansive patio and take advantage of one of our two daily happy hours from 3pm-6pm and 10pm-close, highlighting some of our menu favorites like the New York style flatbreads, mussels-6-ways, and sushi along with heavily discounted wines, cocktails and microbrews.

Spanning over 6,000 square feet, this impressive space is the perfect location for private events. From intimate groups of ten to buyouts of over 300, Big Game offers a one-of-a-kind setting for your next special occasion.”

I will continue to go to Big Game because honestly its a great downtown restaurant. The Vato G highly recommends Big Game :)


Las Delicias

Posted by Vato on March 2, 2011 at 9:00 am in Downtown Denver, Latin American, Mexican, Restaurants

439 E. 19th Ave. Denver, CO  80203 303-839-5675

So I have to word this delicately (no pun) and remember that this is my opinion. You may love Las Delicias and if you do great.  I have been there several times simply because of the convenient location and because the “unknowing” sometimes insist time is a factor.  They have five locations which to me indicates two things… A. Many people like it… B. They had amazing foresight when planning to make their locations very convenient… or C. there are many people who have not experienced high quality Mexican food and therefore don’t know what they are missing.  My guess is C. Its not that Las Delicias is not a nice place, it is. The service is good and the food is usually hot and prompt. But it pretty much ends there. The beans taste somewhat bland. The tortillas are bland. I don’t go out in the evening with my family to have someone else make something I could make. I go out to dinner to be taken on a culinary adventure.  Once again let me be clear the food is edible. It is just lackluster. I don’t go out to be underwhelmed and this is underwhelming. The taste doesn’t make you feel like your getting great Mexican.  I like food that moves you and inspires you and dammit tastes good.

Also there is a huge difference between indigenous food and not tasty food. I grew up eating the freshest of fresh Mexican food where my grandmother would actually make the food right before your eyes. She would make the tortillas by hand, heat them over the flame on the stove in the kitchen, and walk over and put them on your plate. Her beans were absolutely the freshest and her tomatoes and meat were cut, spiced and cooked right there, not possibly at another time or earlier.

So having perhaps poorly explained that, I feel like Las Delicias needs to update their menu in order to be competitive in today’s market. They have been open since 1976 so maybe it is time to modernize their selections a little bit. Maybe I am spoiled having eaten at places with exquisite Mexican food but what can I say other than I encourage your comments. I want YOU to be the judge, but for me average is not good.

The Vato G does not recommend Las Delicias :(



Limon

Posted by Vato on February 26, 2011 at 5:28 pm in Drinks, Latin American, Mexican, Restaurants, Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free

1618 East 17th Avenue, Denver, CO 80218, p. 303.322.0898 • Dinner: 5pm – 10pm (M-Sat)
Happy Hour: 5pm – 7pm (M-Sat) + All Night Wednesday

I am thoroughly impressed with Limon. The food is everything you would expect out of a Latin American cuisine and more.  Located on 17th Ave next to the bar “Next Door”….that’s the name…..it is another one of those locations that have you torn as to whether you sit inside with the authentic Latin American decorum setting the atmosphere perfectly or outside on the patio to watch Denver move all around you. Either way the food and cocktails here is what makes this place buzz.

The cocktail menu is absolutely phenomenal…I have had every cocktail on their menu :) If your used to having say a Margarita  or perhaps a Mojito and feel like trying something new.. I really encourage you to try any cocktail they offer. Every drink on the list is outstanding and delicious.  They offer cocktails from Cuba, Peru, Brazil, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and they even make one they call Latin Fusion which is house infused pineapple rum, muddled basil, fresh lime juice, sugar and sparkling water. It is muy bueno. This is a great place to bring friends and have some really amazing, authentic Latin American cocktails.

But then there’s the food. I have to give you the story so I’m gonna post a little bit of their website for you:

“The vision for Limón, Denver’s eclectic Latin American lounge, began during Chef Alex Gurevich’s trips to the Latin American region. Continually in awe of and impressed by the richness of the culture and cuisine, he envisioned a place in Denver where people could gather to experience the warmth and liveliness of Latin America. Limón’s space was built with this concept in mind.

It is rustic and inviting, comfortable and chic. Burgundy walls, exposed brick, wide plank wood floors and antique casks set an undeniably warm tone. The restaurant, bar/lounge, and patio offer distinctly different settings where guests can enjoy the food, the ambience and the energy that represent the Latin American lifestyle.

Limón is located in the revitalized uptown district of Denver and serves traditional Latin American cuisine. Chef Alex Gurevich presents novoandino cuisine, a method of cooking that blends various styles of preparation but uses fresh, authentic ingredients. The result is inspired food and drink that reflect the best of this popular Latin American fare.

The mixturas, or appetizers, give guests their first taste of the exceptional flavors of Latin America while the Fondos (main plates) bring the indigenous cuisine front and center. Cocktails are also influenced by the novandino style with infused rums serving as the inspiration for the unique blends of the Mojito de Pina and the Ron-Yki-On. The wine list and beer choices also remain true to Limon’s region of influence, offering labels from vineyards and breweries throughout South and Central America.

From top to bottom, food to drink, bar to patio, Limón showcases the culture that first captured Chef Gurevich during his Latin American travels.”

I know of only one way to explain it,  The Vato G has NEVER, in Denver, found a place where the meats are more rich and tastefully embrace the Latin American tradition. The rices are soooo fresh and rich with taste it really gives you an honest journey into what Latin American Cuisine should be.  I have no choice but to recommend the Wok Fried Beef (Peru) because it is mouth watering and amazing :)   aji amarillo, onions, tomatoes, fried potatoes, cilantro rice. You won’t be disappointed. Seriously…I go here at least once a week. I also should point out that Limon has many selections that are gluten free. The Vato G highly recommends Limon :)


Bayou Bob’s

Posted by Vato on February 25, 2011 at 9:00 am in Cajun, Downtown Denver, Drinks, Seafood

1635 Glenarm Place Denver, Colorado. 80202.  (303) 573-6828.

I have been going to BB’s for the last four or five years ish.  Delicious, authentic, real deal Louisiana style is hard to find.  The Vato G has found it for you.  Located on the corner of 16th and Glenarm Bayou Bob’s is tucked away right behind one of my other favorite places, Marlowe’s, in the middle of downtown.  When you walk into BB’s it’s not shiny, it’s not terribly pretty, it’s Louisiana.  The layout is L-shaped with a bar on the south end and restaurant seating the other direction.   Bayou Bob’s is first and foremost an authentic Louisiana style eatery.  So, if you don’t know what Louisiana style food is come in and give it a try and you will find out real quick.

Bayou Bob’s has an ample seating area for dinner and lunch.  I’ve rarely had to wait.  They also have a really cool bar area and patio area for people watching.  I’m going to give you a snippet of their website because I think they sum it up best: “Everything that comes out of our kitchen is made from scratch daily. Nothing is ever grilled, blackened, sautéed, battered or fried until you order it. This guarantees only the best arrives at your table. Our large menu is broad enough to satisfy any palate, and priced to please the wallet. Kids menus are available. From Bourbon Street to Houma to Lake Charles, Bayou Bob’s has ‘em beat.

My favorite dish at Bayou Bob’s is the B.B.Q. Shrimp.  Be forewarned you might find it spicy.  Large fresh shrimp sauteed in cajun butter sauce, comes with choice of sides and bread for dippin’ (dippin’ is half the meal). I crave this dish specifically and have found myself going out and picking this up to take it home because I MUST have it :)

For serious Louisiana  cajun cuisine at a reasonable price the Vato G. highly recommends Bayou Bob’s.


Mellow Mushroom

Posted by Vato on February 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm in Downtown Denver, Drinks, Gourmet Pizza, Restaurants

1201 16th St Ste. 108 Denver, CO. 80202. (720)328-9114.

Located on 16th St mall in the middle of Downtown Denver, MM has an excellent location.  MM adds a unique genre to the area.  When you walk into MM you immediately notice the clean environment and sleek lines of a brand new downtown restaurant.  What sets MM aside from the rest is their unique idea of infusing downtown Denver with an eclectic mellow atmosphere and decorum.

On the day I was there we had a party on the street level, indoor patio with approximately 30 people.  So, obviously, they are capable of handling parties of all sizes.  They also have an outdoor patio right on the mall which will be very cool when it is warm out.  I like the idea that they didn’t cram as many tables and chairs as they could into the place.  There is enough room for everyone and no shortage of tables or chairs, leaving a nice open flowing room.  About ten minutes into our arrival two guys at the bar had their pizza arrive. It smelled absolutely delicious and everyone noticed right away.  MM has a very unique menu, I really can’t explain it you just have to go there and check it out.  We ordered two appetizers to start: Cheese Bread, a loaf french bread basted with garlic butter, sprinkled with Italian seasoning and baked with shredded mozzarella. Served with a side of red sauce and The Capri, sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil topped with a balsamic glaze and served with a side of spring mix.  They were both delicious.  The pizza at our table was the Kosmic Karma, red sauce base pizza with mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, spinach feta, Roma tomatoes and a pesto swirl.  It was absolutely wonderful. This pizza is no joke and for the price it is EXCEPTIONAL.

MM also offers a wide selection of beers on tap from local breweries and exotics as well as your normal bottled beers.  They have a huge bar area for seating and socializing.  They have just the right amount of t.v.’s sprinkled about the bar so you don’t miss your sporting event.  From what I’m gathering, based on their tweets, they also have a poker night.  Most restaurants you go, you eat and you leave.  At MM they have created a community atmosphere that makes you want to hang out.  It’s a very comfortable place and we will definitely return.  The Vato G. highly recommends Mellow Mushroom :)


Rio Grande

Posted by Vato on February 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm in Drinks, Mexican

303.623.5432

1525 Blake Street

Denver, CO 80202

Their website says: “Located halfway between The Pepsi Center and Coors Field in LoDo, The Denver Rio is the perfect place to get your night started. So grab a seat in Denver’s number-one neighborhood for fun, whether you’re people watching on our patio, enjoying the fun inside, or keeping up with your favorite sports teams on the televisions in our bar.”

So having read that I will tell you my opinion, that statement is accurate. I have been going to the RIO since 1995 and I have always found the food to be hit or miss which, for me, is not good. Like I often say there are too many good restaurants in downtown to have one that is just ok. RIO’S saving grace is, seriously, their margaritas. After two it doesn’t really matter what the food tastes like so there you have it. Remember though there will always be people that will tell you the food is delicious and its truly a matter of opinion. They do “limit” you to three margaritas and usually by three your brain will tell you that you want another one, halfway through your fourth one your brain will tell you three is a good limit.

Let there be no mistake the RIO has a good, fun, friendly atmosphere and has a very downtown feel to it. I like the place if you want to get in a festive mood for a night on the town. I have been there with out of town friends and have been there with 40 firefighters for a bachelor party. Its certainly a fun place. The Vato G does recommend the RIO for its strong points :∫

That was a weird review, I know, but if you have questions I will answer them directly. RIO is the restaurant I don’t always want to go to but still sometimes end up there. It’s not a bad place…..they try very hard and once again, great atmosphere and service and REALLY good margs! By the way they have six locations in Colorado and have been around for 25 years so they are obviously doing something right.  My tastes are just my tastes and I have been there a total of probably 25 or 30 times and have eaten there probably three.


Fat Jacks Supersubs

Posted by Vato on February 10, 2011 at 10:28 pm in Subs

Capitol Hill

1245 E. Colfax

on Lafayette at Colfax

Tel: (303) 830-SUBS (7827)

Fax: (303) 839-JACK (5225)

Denver University

4101 E. Evans Ave.

Tel: (303) 757-SUBS (7827)

FAX: (303) 757-0382

Leetsdale

6603 Leetsdale Dr.

Tel: 303-329-7827

Fax: 303-355-7827

With three locations Fat Jacks is one of my favorite sub shops. I have been going there for several years and I can say with much confidence you are positively going to get the freshest subs in town. I have to take a snippet from their website (not because I’m lazy simply because they already state what I’m saying)

In 2000, Ryan Ward in partnership with his brother Jeff Ward opened the first Fat Jack’s on East Colfax Avenue with the hope of creating not just another chain sub shop. They wanted to create a place that has become a rarity. In the day and age where the sandwich shop has become just another piece to the corporate puzzle, the Ward brothers wanted something different. They wanted a neighborhood place with a neighborhood feel, where they knew you and you knew them. All while serving the BEST SUBS IN TOWN!

Using the finest ingredients, employing quality neighborhood folks, and providing great friendly service, their dream became a reality. In 2003, a second Fat Jack’s was born, in the University of Denver area. As Fat Jacks continued to grow, Mark Ward, the last of the Ward brothers, was brought onboard to continue the family-feel at each Fat Jack’s. The Ward brothers take pride in each and every sub they serve and they know that you will agree.

I know these guys personally and I will put my name on the fact that these subs are delicious and  fresh.

The Vato G highly recommends Fat Jacks Supersubs :)


Sports Column

Posted by Vato on February 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm in Sports Bar
1930 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202 | 303.296.1930
Sports Column is your classic sports bar. One block away from Coors Field this place has it all.  If you are in the mood to watch your favorite sporting event with an ice cold beer for great prices this is the place for you. Granted its not fine dining but come on……. everyone wants a good burger and a few cold beers every now and then. They have an abundance of televisions along with a great menu to make this an easy choice for my number one sports bar in Denver. Whether you have a group of forty or its just you and a couple friends, this place can accommodate groups of all sizes.
In the summer time they open the roof and it’s easy to see why its packed most of the week. Excellent service with even better happy hour deals.  I have eaten here for lunch many times when I want good food in a relaxing atmosphere and feel like watching ESPN. I would recommend the buffalo chicken sandwich :)   Also if you like the UFC and don’t want to pay for the fight, head down to Sports Column and have a few beers and enjoy the fights.  This place is a lot of fun. Great atmosphere. The Vato G highly recommends Sports Column :)
  • Rated by ESPN.com as one of the top ten Baseball bar and grills in America
  • Rated by The Sporting news as top 25 Sports Bars in America
  • Rated By Sports Illustrated top 20 sports bars in America
  • Rated by Fox Sports Net Denver’s Best Sports Bar

Marlowes

Posted by Vato on February 8, 2011 at 5:51 am in American Cuisine

(303) 595-3700, 501 16th St, Denver, CO, www.marlowesdenver.com

Vato has been to Marlowes many times it is one of my staples. With all the glitz and glamour new restaurants in Denver it’s refreshing to walk into Marlowes and know what your going to experience.  I have been here for both lunch and Dinner numerous times and both with business associates and with my family. I have NEVER had a bad meal at Marlowes. If ever there was a fail safe great restaurant in Downtown with a wonderful atmosphere, this is it.

Marlowes offers what I would characterize as American Style cuisine. They nail it. Every dish is lavish and fresh and the chefs obviously take great pride in their work.  I often order the Chipotle Chicken pasta for lunch….it’s my favorite….Sauteed Julienne chicken tossed with roasted red peppers, garlic, spring onion and Chipotle Alfredo sauce. For 12.00 there is no way you will finish it and it makes a great midnight snack….or like right now….if you happen to be typing a review!  For dinner I have had everything from the King Crab legs to the 12 ounce New York Strip which comes with horseradish mashed potatoes and truffle-dolce blue cheese-leek butter.  This place is no joke. They also have a great happy hour and one of the best 16th street mall locations there is.  In the summer you can have a cold beverage on the patio and watch the people walk by or they throw open the huge patio windows for a nice breeze (granted its a little cold for that right now!) through the nice bar area.  I have even been to a reception on the second floor which was also exceptional.  The building is steeped in history and was actually built in 1891.  They are also locally owned and operated….which I dig.

With vaulted ceilings and amazing moldings as well as a Vermont cherry wood bar, they really have kept that impressive design that is so desirable today, from more than a century ago.  A very cool place. The Vato G highly recommends Marlowes :)

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