Every neighborhood needs a neighborhood Italian joint, particularly one as good as Tonti's. From the outside, there's nothing special about this strip-mall spot, nothing that separates it from the hundreds of also-rans plugging away night after night. You could drive by it a hundred times and never give it a second look. But if you do happen to drop in, Tonti's will quickly become your default choice for every lazy Tuesday, every family night with the kids, every quiet Friday when you don't feel like cooking, but don't feel like going anywhere that requires too much effort. Or any effort at all.

A bottle of red, a bottle of white, a nice table looking out on the hustle and bustle of Cherry Creek on a Saturday night, and a date to meet there once a week at the same time -- that's all it takes to fall in love. Billy Joel understood that, and so does Greg Goldfogel, owner of Ristorante Amore. On any night of the week, maybe half of the customers are regulars who've been coming in once a week, sometimes more, since the night they discovered the place. But with all those regulars, things were beginning to get tight for everyone else. So Goldfogel expanded his twenty-seater into a space next door, opening up plenty of room for a new crop of customers to come in, discover the charms of Amore and fall in love.


A bottle of red, a bottle of white, a nice table looking out on the hustle and bustle of Cherry Creek on a Saturday night, and a date to meet there once a week at the same time -- that's all it takes to fall in love. Billy Joel understood that, and so does Greg Goldfogel, owner of Ristorante Amore. On any night of the week, maybe half of the customers are regulars who've been coming in once a week, sometimes more, since the night they discovered the place. But with all those regulars, things were beginning to get tight for everyone else. So Goldfogel expanded his twenty-seater into a space next door, opening up plenty of room for a new crop of customers to come in, discover the charms of Amore and fall in love.

No matter how much you eat or how long you stay at Frasca, you'll always leave wanting more -- and you'll start planning your return as soon as possible. A month should be long enough to rebuild your bank account, although considering the quality of the food and the talent in the kitchen, the prices are pretty reasonable. And while the crowds are borderline fanatical at this point -- filling the comfortable dining room from the minute the doors open until long after they should have closed, clogging up the reservation book three weeks in advance for anything approaching a prime-time seating -- Frasca is one of the very few places in the country, not just Colorado, where this sort of fawning, zealous passion is entirely deserved. One visit is simply not enough.


Frasca Food and Wine
Kelly Kaoudis
No matter how much you eat or how long you stay at Frasca, you'll always leave wanting more -- and you'll start planning your return as soon as possible. A month should be long enough to rebuild your bank account, although considering the quality of the food and the talent in the kitchen, the prices are pretty reasonable. And while the crowds are borderline fanatical at this point -- filling the comfortable dining room from the minute the doors open until long after they should have closed, clogging up the reservation book three weeks in advance for anything approaching a prime-time seating -- Frasca is one of the very few places in the country, not just Colorado, where this sort of fawning, zealous passion is entirely deserved. One visit is simply not enough.

In this decidedly steak-and-potatoes town, where steakhouses spring up faster than mushrooms after a soaking rain, Capital Grille remains a cut above the rest. We've eaten a lot of prime and put away a lot of baked potatoes at meat markets around the city, putting up with snooty servers and imperious hosts. And we've always come back to Capital Grille, where the service is superb -- the staff in their ill-fitting butcher's coats, the bartenders in their bow ties, the hostesses in their big smiles -- and the solid, old-school decor brightened up just enough by the view across the back of the sleek, modern bar. The steaks are fantastic, of course, as is the rest of the food. In fact, everything about Capital Grille is just a little bit better, a little bit smoother, a little bit more polished than the competition. We'll steak our lives on that.

In this decidedly steak-and-potatoes town, where steakhouses spring up faster than mushrooms after a soaking rain, Capital Grille remains a cut above the rest. We've eaten a lot of prime and put away a lot of baked potatoes at meat markets around the city, putting up with snooty servers and imperious hosts. And we've always come back to Capital Grille, where the service is superb -- the staff in their ill-fitting butcher's coats, the bartenders in their bow ties, the hostesses in their big smiles -- and the solid, old-school decor brightened up just enough by the view across the back of the sleek, modern bar. The steaks are fantastic, of course, as is the rest of the food. In fact, everything about Capital Grille is just a little bit better, a little bit smoother, a little bit more polished than the competition. We'll steak our lives on that.

We don't care how many newfangled steakhouses open in this burg, we'll keep going to Bastien's. We don't care if one opens where the steaks are dipped in gold and served by waitresses booted from Hooters for being of too low a moral character, we'll still keep going to Bastien's. As a matter of fact, a steakhouse could open where naked women delivered filet mignons to us in the bathtub and then paid us to eat them, and we'd still find time to visit Bastien's, because there's simply no other place in Denver (or probably the world) that serves a great twenty-dollar sugar steak in an atmosphere as swingin'-'60s swank as this Colfax landmark.


Bastien's Restaurant
Mark Antonation
We don't care how many newfangled steakhouses open in this burg, we'll keep going to Bastien's. We don't care if one opens where the steaks are dipped in gold and served by waitresses booted from Hooters for being of too low a moral character, we'll still keep going to Bastien's. As a matter of fact, a steakhouse could open where naked women delivered filet mignons to us in the bathtub and then paid us to eat them, and we'd still find time to visit Bastien's, because there's simply no other place in Denver (or probably the world) that serves a great twenty-dollar sugar steak in an atmosphere as swingin'-'60s swank as this Colfax landmark.

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.


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