From its home on Broadway, Club 404 has seen a lot of Denver history come and go -- more than fifty years of it -- and during all that time, there's been one constant. And that would be Jerry Feld, 404's owner. Sure, he's now got family helping him with the day-to-day business of running the joint, but it's a rare night that Feld himself isn't somewhere on the premises, either pouring drinks, working the floor or knocking around in the kitchen, where his crew bangs out Denver's best cheap steaks. How cheap? How about nine dollars for the 404 T-bone? This isn't the most delicate of cuts, but it's still a damned fine piece of meat, and it comes with a straight iceberg salad, dressings served in giant plastic jugs, sides of out-of-the-box mash and out-of-the-can gravy, and -- if you're lucky -- a wink from a waitress who's been working the room for nearly as long as Feld has owned it.


Denver Wheel Club 404
From its home on Broadway, Club 404 has seen a lot of Denver history come and go -- more than fifty years of it -- and during all that time, there's been one constant. And that would be Jerry Feld, 404's owner. Sure, he's now got family helping him with the day-to-day business of running the joint, but it's a rare night that Feld himself isn't somewhere on the premises, either pouring drinks, working the floor or knocking around in the kitchen, where his crew bangs out Denver's best cheap steaks. How cheap? How about nine dollars for the 404 T-bone? This isn't the most delicate of cuts, but it's still a damned fine piece of meat, and it comes with a straight iceberg salad, dressings served in giant plastic jugs, sides of out-of-the-box mash and out-of-the-can gravy, and -- if you're lucky -- a wink from a waitress who's been working the room for nearly as long as Feld has owned it.

No, Big John isn't flipping tenderloins on the grills in the back, but he does show up every now and then -- and he's nothing but gracious when he does. And, no, the dining room isn't filled with fat guys in Broncos jerseys and sweatpants. Actually, Elway's draws the kind of crowd you see at every other high-tone address in Cherry Creek, as well as a good number of steakhouse converts who've been wooed away from some of the more established temples of meat. And while the place does have John Elway's name everlastingly attached to it, it's a restaurant first and foremost, with a pro team running a pro house where the comfort of their guests and the grub coming out of the galley is more important than anything else. Eateries opened by current and former celebrities have become something of a staple -- and a joke -- in this brave new post-Planet Hollywood world, but Elway's is serious about what it does, and does it well.

Elway's Cherry Creek
No, Big John isn't flipping tenderloins on the grills in the back, but he does show up every now and then -- and he's nothing but gracious when he does. And, no, the dining room isn't filled with fat guys in Broncos jerseys and sweatpants. Actually, Elway's draws the kind of crowd you see at every other high-tone address in Cherry Creek, as well as a good number of steakhouse converts who've been wooed away from some of the more established temples of meat. And while the place does have John Elway's name everlastingly attached to it, it's a restaurant first and foremost, with a pro team running a pro house where the comfort of their guests and the grub coming out of the galley is more important than anything else. Eateries opened by current and former celebrities have become something of a staple -- and a joke -- in this brave new post-Planet Hollywood world, but Elway's is serious about what it does, and does it well.

There are some rooms where we like seeing everyone dressed to the nines, restaurants where dignity and formality and pomp feel right. And then there's the Northwoods Inn. Here, the ragtime piano player wears arm garters and people throw their peanut shells on the floor and eat soup out of a communal pot. Here, the house can serve something on the order of 300 customers at a time, and does so three, sometimes four turns a night, every night. Here, families with kids, old folks, young couples on dates, businessmen, famous faces and absolute nobodies are treated the same -- like the walking cash dispensers that they are. But no one ever walked away hungry from the Northwoods Inn. No one ever had anything less than a decent feed at fair prices. And no one even seems to complain about the wait -- which can sometimes be upwards of two hours -- because here, as at Disneyland, once the fun is over, no one remembers the lines.

There are some rooms where we like seeing everyone dressed to the nines, restaurants where dignity and formality and pomp feel right. And then there's the Northwoods Inn. Here, the ragtime piano player wears arm garters and people throw their peanut shells on the floor and eat soup out of a communal pot. Here, the house can serve something on the order of 300 customers at a time, and does so three, sometimes four turns a night, every night. Here, families with kids, old folks, young couples on dates, businessmen, famous faces and absolute nobodies are treated the same -- like the walking cash dispensers that they are. But no one ever walked away hungry from the Northwoods Inn. No one ever had anything less than a decent feed at fair prices. And no one even seems to complain about the wait -- which can sometimes be upwards of two hours -- because here, as at Disneyland, once the fun is over, no one remembers the lines.

Maybe it's the wonderfully pretentious presentation of the lobster bisque, the bowl brought by a soft-footed server who laces the top of the soup with decanted sherry for a fine, sharp, smoky alcohol hit. Or maybe it's the liquid velvet texture and strong lobster flavor of the bisque itself, an ideal balance between creamy richness and big buttery whacks of lobster that proves that the kitchen knows more than just how to grill a steak. We're not sure why we love the lobster bisque at the Capital Grille. But we do know that we never miss a chance to order it.


Maybe it's the wonderfully pretentious presentation of the lobster bisque, the bowl brought by a soft-footed server who laces the top of the soup with decanted sherry for a fine, sharp, smoky alcohol hit. Or maybe it's the liquid velvet texture and strong lobster flavor of the bisque itself, an ideal balance between creamy richness and big buttery whacks of lobster that proves that the kitchen knows more than just how to grill a steak. We're not sure why we love the lobster bisque at the Capital Grille. But we do know that we never miss a chance to order it.

Everyone knows about the great seafood at McCormick's: the daily airlifts of fresh fish, the weekly and seasonal specials, the talented kitchen that's there to put everything together, the terrific dining room and bar spaces tucked into the corner of the classic Oxford Hotel. But one of the lesser-known winners on this decidedly fishy menu are the burgers, which are everything a meat-lovin' man needs: a soft, chewy bun, fresh fixings and a good-sized patty that doesn't turn to boot leather, even at medium-well. Making a good burger better yet is the price, if you happen to hit McCormick's during one of its two daily happy hours. From 3 to 6 p.m. any day, and from 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, the burger is offered as one of the dozen-plus items on the $1.95 bar menu.

Everyone knows about the great seafood at McCormick's: the daily airlifts of fresh fish, the weekly and seasonal specials, the talented kitchen that's there to put everything together, the terrific dining room and bar spaces tucked into the corner of the classic Oxford Hotel. But one of the lesser-known winners on this decidedly fishy menu are the burgers, which are everything a meat-lovin' man needs: a soft, chewy bun, fresh fixings and a good-sized patty that doesn't turn to boot leather, even at medium-well. Making a good burger better yet is the price, if you happen to hit McCormick's during one of its two daily happy hours. From 3 to 6 p.m. any day, and from 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, the burger is offered as one of the dozen-plus items on the $1.95 bar menu.

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