Different kind of neighborhood, different kind of neighborhood restaurant. While Cowbobas (see review, page 55) is all about feeding the locals what they want, so is Elway's. And chef Tyler Wiard and his crew have put together a new menu that speaks right to the primal needs of Cherry Creekers: all steaks and swank. The room here is as sumptuous as Cowbobas is spartan, not so much clubby as sleek and organic and classy (which is surprising for a steakhouse these days). Service is warm and professional, able to act independently and always in the best interests of the customers. A lot of what's great about the Elway's experience is thanks to Tom Moxcey, a great manager and floorman who's been with the operation from its beginning, just over two years ago. Before the beginning, actually: He sat with Big John himself while Elway picked out the table linens and dessert lineup.

But the food is all Wiard. Since taking over this galley several months ago, he's showed admirable restraint in his fixes. He's added a little more seafood to the mix, some appetizers that are both simple (a crab cocktail presented as snowy-white shelled meat over cocktail sauce over shredded lettuce in a bowl -- luxury unaffected) and smart (a lobster cocktail mounted like the shrimp -- over smoking dry ice -- but with whole tails hooked over the rim of the glass, presenting an unparalleled vision of excess). The steaks are the same high quality, but Wiard gives them a super-hot sear that adds a nice, salty crust to the outside of even the rarest hunk of beef and an ethereally caramelized flavor to that first bite.

A meal here isn't cheap, but it's worth the price. You can eat an excellent burger, drink water instead of champagne and get out the door for under thirty bucks -- but you wouldn't be doing justice to yourself or to Elway's. When you come here, you want to go all out: eat too much and drink too much and enjoy the full board. Life's too short for anything else.

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