The Four Seasons — from Seattle to Bali — is a lodestar of luxury and comfort. You dine at the Four Seasons when an expense account has your back or when you want to spend an evening, however brief, in the cashmere-clad lap of luxury. That said, the happy hour at EDGE Restaurant & Bar in Denver's Four Seasons Hotel, served daily from 5 to 7:30 p.m., is surprisingly low-maintenance and un-fussy. It's a place where you can grab a Coors and watch the game without sweating the suits around you. But the idea of champagne on a beer budget is sometimes better than the reality.
EDGE is pitched as a "progressive American steakhouse," something that Executive Chef Simon Purvis describes as a "creative and different" approach that combines the expected cuts, chops and sides along with a heavy dose of international flavor and New American invention. Purvis's menu is indeed interesting enough to stand out among the crowd-pleasing kitchens clustered around the Convention Center, but it also has the goods to satisfy out-of towners who expect a cattle drive down Speer Boulevard. The decor almost reaches those same heights — dark wood, transparent glass, marble and slate are expensive and impressive, even if the dining room will soon look as dated as the nearby Ritz-Carlton.
Drink specials at the EDGE Bar vary from high- to middle-brow — $7 wells, five bucks for New Amsterdam vodka cocktails, $5 wine or bubbly, and $4 for Coors Light or "bartender's choice" bottled beers. A frosty glass of Deschutes Black Butte Porter for four Washingtons is a great way to stay on my good side, EDGE. For the edible offerings, a couple of appetizers on the menu are slashed to half-price, like a cheese plate ($8) or an order of sweet potato fries ($4). The happy hour menu as a whole seems more pared down and typical than I was expecting. But then again, it's just a bar menu, and a hotel bar menu at that: completely separate from what's served in the dining room (another conspiracy of the one percent!).
Shamefully, I ended up ordering the two least edgy things on the menu: a hummus plate ($5) and some buffalo wings ($5). The hummus is not too far from what you could buy by the gallon at Costco, refusing to offer any spice or texture. The nicely grill-marked pita, though, hints that the grill is where the real heat is at EDGE. As for the wings: the only thing special about them is the the quantity-to-price ratio. The sauce was delightfully spicy, although it splattered over just about everything. This is food meant to be eaten in the privacy of a suite, rather than in a classy steakhouse. Taking pity, the bartender threw me a pre-packaged, lemon-scented moist towelette. Even if my experience was a bit bland, that, my friends, is what I call luxury. If you can avoid orange sauce stains on your shirt front and cuffs, you too can be a big shot for a few hours.
Perfect For: If it's a significant culinary experience you're after, head to the dining room. But if you're hanging with a visitor to Denver — or you're a visitor yourself — the EDGE Bar provides all the comfort you could need without having to venture far.
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Don't Miss: Chances are I would have been better served had I indulged in the (nonsensically named) grilled steak asado ($18), a 10-ounce New York strip with a dollop of chimmichurri that's closer to EDGE's specialty than wings or garbanzo bean dip. But if you're dining late and want to escape the LoDo insanity, a number of filling dishes on the bar menu are available until midnight.Follow @CafeWestword