Allyson Fredeen isn't a big fan of fish -- her aversion dates back to some squeamish incident in her childhood -- so it was ironic that when Elway's Downtown first opened in the Ritz-Carlton, it installed a raw bar at the front of the bar, at the entrance to the dining room. As public relations coordinator for the hotel, Fredeen had to push seafood as well as the steak for which Elway's had become known at its Cherry Creek location. "I've always been around it," she confides. "I just won't eat it."
But while Fredeen isn't a big fan of fish, she's a big fan of the sushi bar that replaced the Elway's raw bar in April.
"When people find we offer sushi, they're pleasantly surprised. Downtown doesn't boast many sushi options," she says. "The sushi bar is a little more welcoming to the guest. Somebody has to be there to make the rolls. It creates a more welcoming face."
Especially when that face belongs to Jake Rand, who came to Elway's from Sushi Den. And slowly, he's convincing even Fredeen to try some of his specialties. "I stomached most of it," she confesses.
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The best way to get in the swim at Elway's Downtown could be Sushi Sunday, offered from 4 to 9 p.m. every week, when $20 (not including tax and gratuity) buys you any roll from the sushi menu as well as any nigiri (two pieces of salmon, shrimp, hamachi, unagi or tuna), along with miso soup, edamame, your choice of beer, wine or sake from a special list and free valet parking (where you could find your vehicle nestled up alongside that of Chris "Birdman" Anderson, who works out in the building and frequently parks there).
Rand is in the process of tweaking the sushi menu, with a roll-out in the next week or so.
And that's not the only change at Elway's Downtown. While Robert Bogart remains the chef at Elway's, Freeden reports that Justin Fields has just been promoted to oversee all of the hotel's culinary operations, including banquets, room service (Elway's 24/7) and the restaurant.