STK brought its chic steakhouse/lounge combo to Denver with VIP parties over the weekend as a warm-up for opening to the public tonight. With outposts in posh locations like Ibiza, Milan, Las Vegas and South Beach, the restaurant group still has a commitment to local talent; STK's opening chef is William Tuggle, who headed kitchens big and small here in town — including Stout Street Social, Humboldt and White Lies — before joining the STK team.
Tuggle says that while the brand likes to have a certain amount of consistency from city to city, a good portion of the menu is specific to Denver and is up to him to create. The chef first made contact with the One Group, which oversees STK, when he was working in New York City two years ago; the group was interested in hiring him for a new STK there, but he had his sights set on Denver. Two years later, the group reached out to him again about the Denver opening, and Tuggle jumped at the opportunity to head up a high-end, high-volume kitchen. "I really love the company; they're a lot of fun," he says.
So while the emphasis is on steaks, Tuggle notes that there's nothing old-fashioned about STK. "We're modernizing some old-school dishes," he explains. "But the identity of each location is unique. I'll be using local purveyors for specials."
Those specials could include bison bone marrow and other bison cuts from Colorado ranches, something you won't see at any other STK. Beyond beef and bison, the menu includes plenty of small plates, from seared Hokkaido scallops to Colorado lamb ribs to tuna tartare, all with creative touches Tuggle has been honing since moving to Colorado.
Outside the kitchen, STK adds a swank, loungy vibe to this block of the 16th Street Mall, where a homely Office Depot building once stood. "It's pretty impressive," Tuggle states. "It's sleek and sexy."
Get in on the sleek, sexy fun from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday. For more photos, see our complete STK industry-night VIP party slideshow.
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