The second I walked into Steak au Poivre, I expected a diminutive man in a white suit to run past me, pointing into the air and screaming "Da plane, da plane!" The ambience of the place is very Fantasy Island, complete with wicker chairs, a big palm in the corner and Ricardo Montalban -- played here by Marco Colantonio. Marco's been a fixture in the Denver restaurant scene for several years, starting with Tamayo, moving on to Vega, stopping for a stint at Mel's and now lording over his very own fiefdom, Steak au Poivre, which opened in May in the old Manhattan Grill. I asked Marco -- otherworldly in his throwback suit, big fat tie, slicked-back hair and courtly demeanor -- if he thought I'd like the Stinger ($8). Without a hint of irony, he replied, "Well, that is what Cary Grant drank, a Stinger straight up." If it was good enough for some dead movie star, it seemed good enough for me. But after tasting the sweet elixir, made with Rémy Martin cognac and white creme de menthe, I thought I might be more interested in the drink of a reprobate like Jude Law -- someone who hangs out in France and has made major errors in judgment. Without consulting Marco this time, I decided that Law would go for a French 75 ($8), again with a Rémy Martin base, but with a lemon-juice kick and a splash of Taittinger that added lively bubbles. It was enough to have me thinking I was floating in some Fantasy Island pool, with an Alfie male beside me. The next time you're looking for a surreal experience, take your co-star to Steak au Poivre.
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