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Mike Shanahan or no Mike Shanahan, Shanahan's, the steakhouse, is ready to meat you

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While Mike Shanahan, the former head coach of the Denver Broncos, is reportedly in talks with the Washington Redskins to become that team's next head coach, his eponymous steakhouse finally opened on Christmas Eve at 5085 South Syracruse Street after a series of test dinners. "Mike was involved from this restaurant from day one, and he's very, very proud of it, and he'll be here whenever he can," insists restaurant pro Marc Steron, the former general manager of Del Frisco's, who along with Shanahan and businessman Steve Mooney, signed the steakhouse deal. Steron won't divulge the price tag of that deal, saying only that "it was a lot."

Which might be the understatement of 2009, considering the show stopping bar tricked out in enough glassware to shatter Shanahan's 35000-square-foot mansion and the handsome dining room, bedecked with a 25-foot tall granite fireplace, polished woods, plush leather and a long wine wall.

Just pass the front door, glass cases protect the collection of Super Bowl rings and Vince Lombardi trophies Shanahan has amassed over the years, which Steron is more than happy to share with guests. "We really wanted to create a welcoming environment that afforded casualness and approachability, a place that could be for a celebration or just your neighborhood restaurant, explains Steron, who describes Shanahan's as "a modern alternative to a classic steakhouse."

The menu is a bit of a departure, too, which explains, in part, why Steron hired ex-McCormick's chef, and fish head, Stephen Vice, to command the kitchen. "There should be more to steakhouses than just just steak," says Steron. "I wanted fresh seafood, too, and Steve was the perfect guy to balance my experience in the steakhouse world with his fish experience." To that end, Vice's board is half aquatic -- halibut and tuna, swordfish and ahi tuna, lobster and Alaskan king crab legs -- and half carnivorous, with hand-selected, wet-aged Prime classic cuts of cow (except for the filet, which is choice), lamb chops, duck, osso buco and brick chicken appearing the menu.

The menu is expansive, as well as expensive, with entrees averaging around $32, though the 24-ounce porterhouse will make you cough up $48. But the bar menu, says Steron, is going to be larger than what you'll find at most houses of steer, and the prices won't send you into sticker shock. "The bar menu will be very affordable," promises Steron.

Shanahan's is open for dinner from 5 p.m. daily. For more info, call 303-770-7300.

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