Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area (second try)
(My apologies if this duplicates a previous post; I receiving a 500 error posting the first time, and am getting a 500 error when I try to open the original posting. Hopefully this attempt will go better!)
I am having my annual team off-site meetings in Denver this year, staying at the Hyatt Summerfield DTC. I like to treat my team to good meals and unusual experiences where possible. (Last year, we were in the Orlando area and went to the Bauern-Stube, an authentic German biergarten/restaurant.) In researching restaurants in the DTC area, I'm finding very little on the Chowhound boards that's not in downtown Denver. So, I've done my best and now I'd like some feedback on my preliminary selections.
Lunch Places -- must be reasonably close to the hotel with decent service so that we're not blowing 2+ hours on lunch -- Las Brisas, The White Chocolate Grill, and Fisher-Clark Delicatessen. (That last entry is one I plucked from the Chowhound boards based on recommendations, but it is toward the outer limit of how far I'm willing to travel during our lunch break.)
Dinner Places -- leaning toward a dinner at The Fort in Morrison (looks pricey; is the food worth it? is the experience/"wow factor" worth it?); Euclid Hall; and Wynkoop Brewing Company (followed by their Improv show in the basement). Fruition and Root Down also caught my eye as possible intriguing options.
So, any duds in my selections? Any better alternatives, either in the immediate DTC area for lunch, or the broader area for dinner? Any suggestions for unique "experience" places with good food? (Casa Bonita certainly looks like it fits the "experience" portion, but I can't say that any of the food reviews have impressed me.)
Thanks, fellow Chowhounds!
Fisher-Clark Deli is out of business. The White Chocolate Grill is a chain. Fruition is delicious but tiny, so if you have a large team that might not be a good choice. Root Down and their sister restaurant Linger nearby have interesting decor (mixed feelings on the food--have loved some dishes like the soups at both locations and disliked others like the raw samosas at Linger). I think Euclid Hall would be fun for a group, especially for beer fans, and the food is much better than at Wynkoop and suitable for sharing.
Edited to add that you might check out the Vallagio area nearby which has some independent restaurants such as Marco's Coal Fired Pizzeria and Street Kitchen Asian Bistro. http://www.vallagio.com/the-shops
I'm having a hard time thinking of anything meeting your "unusual experiences" criteria though (Casa Bonita on Colfax further north qualifies, but the food is horrendous and your team would enjoy it more if they were still in grade school).
I have never been there myself, but the Buckhorn Exchange is 1) Denver's oldest restaurant, 2) decorated wall-to-wall with animal heads, and 3) a place that actually serves prairie oysters. I know many who take out-of-town family there for an "experience" and the food is reputed to be quite good. Please do not go to Casa Bonita -- it's dreadful in every way.
If you were willing to travel to Fisher-Clark you may want to consider the Rackhouse Pub for lunch - it's a brewpub atmosphere with considerably more creative food than your typical brewpub, and it's located in the same building as Stranahan's Colorado Whiskey so you could combine lunch with a distillery tour, which might be a fun experience for the team.
For lunch (or even dinner)
The Hyatt at Clinton and Costilla? I work down the street from there. Yes on Las Brisas (there's even a $6 lunch special). Yes on the Vallagio - I have pho at Asian Street Kitchen a lot (curry katsu is really yummy, too)4 (I love this place!!). Yes on Russo's and Marco's. And Purple Ginger (Very quiet in there). In the little strip mall where that Greek Village place is opening - there's a really good Thai/Asian (Little Bankok (Tom Ka soup!)) place. And you can't go wrong with the pizza at Anthony's right next to it. Also - if you head over to Park Meadows ( County Line Road) - Earls and Thai Basil are is good, so its J Alexanders (on the north side of County Line Road) - as well as Jason's deli for deli food. There are lots of other places. You seem to have plenty of dinner recommendations. I wouldn't head all the way to the Fort. If you are downtown, go to the top of the new Hyatt for a drink and check out the view.
Okay, so we had our offsite, and it was a lot of fun. Here's the food rundown:
Wed. dinner: Euclid Hall -- Food was good, but menu didn't offer much in the way of a safety net for the non-foodies. More significantly, while the ambience was very cool, they seated us in a table in one of the loudest parts of the restaurant, and gray stuff fell from the ceiling onto our clothing all night long. Not a place I would go back to.
Thurs. lunch: Brio -- Meant to have lunch at White Chocolate Grill, but neglected to make reservations in time, and wound up walking across the way to Brio. Decent Italian food, and the team raved about it.
Thurs. dinner: The Fort -- Definitely the best meal of the trip. Fantastic. Personally, I had the buffalo filet, and it was perfectly cooked and very flavorful. Top to bottom, it was amazing meal, with amazing ambience, and everybody came away happy. I would highly recommend The Fort, especially for a romantic or special dinner out.
Fri. lunch: Ordered sandwiches delivered from Smiling Moose Deli. Solid alternative to going out, since we needed bit more time for our meeting.
Fri. dinner: Toured Stranahan's and then had dinner at Rackhouse Pub next door. Great evening, and a perfect finish to the week. Rackhouse has a very creative menu with both traditional pub fare and more creative spins like the lobster mac & cheese. Again, the team raved about that evening, and I would definitely recommend it for a party night out.
Much thanks to the many Chowhounds who made suggestions for helping to make this a great off-site!