Chef Duy Pham's culinary career in Colorado has been all over the map. Starting at the legendary Tante Louise on Colfax, he also ran Restaurant Fifteen Twenty-One in Pueblo for several years before heading back to Denver to man the kitchen at Epernay. His latest venture is in suburban Parker, and it's called -- appropriately -- Parker Garage. Taking over the old Warhorse space (which operated for over thirty years there) and restoring it to emphasize its original form as a garage and gas station originally built in 1916, Pham and owner Brent Walker are bringing elevated dining to the casual but unique spot.
Pham is definitely taking risks with his menu at Parker Garage, considering the small-town location and the style of the previous tenant of the building. But it's not entirely blind to casual, pub-style fare even while hitting on more modern notes. The starter list alternates between a crowd-pleasing poutine with Pueblo green chile and a more delicate Colorado striped bass sashimi. Smoked salmon prepared two ways shares space with pork belly in stout BBQ sauce. While words like "crepinette" and "parmesan foam" may not be common to the suburban bar-and-grill scene, steak, pork tenderloin and Colorado lamb seem to hit the right notes, at least for those willing to pay city prices.
Large family-style plates are also included, from a 32-ounce rack of pork to whole duck done two ways with grape gastrique. It's all part of what Parker Garage is billing as " intentionally crafted cuisine with something for everyone." Chef-driven cuisine in a casual setting is definitely the trend in Denver, and now it seems destined for the outlying communities, too.
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Keep reading to see more of Danielle Lirette's photos of the food and people at Parker Garage.