Chef Anthony Ramos was born in New York but has lived in Colorado since 1980, growing up in Aurora and the Five Points neighborhood. The chef has spent most of his culinary career in Colorado but has traveled throughout the U.S. cooking regional American specialties. So Ramos's new gig with the Palm Restaurant downtown feels like an appropriate fit, considering that the eatery also got its start in New York before branching out to other cities, including Denver, where it arrived in 1996.
"One of my passions is exploring American culinary traditions," Ramos explains, adding that over the years he's worked in Chicago, New Orleans and all along the West Coast, among other locations, relying on a network of chef friends to land jobs in various cities in his younger days.
The Palm offers Ramos the opportunity to show off his knowledge in a stable environment; the eatery has been around since 1926, after all. "There's both freedom and longevity here," the chef notes. "And there's a local focus with what Denver customers want."
Steak and seafood get top billing at the posh restaurant, which managed to maintain its Denver charm even after a remodel in 2016, retaining the caricatures of local celebrities on the walls, a tradition started at the Manhattan original.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
So what are Denver diners with a few bucks to blow craving? This time of year at the Palm, it's lobster, with the season just kicking off in the North Atlantic. Ramos describes the restaurant's new four-pound lobster dinner as "honestly a great value right now," despite its $99 price tag.
Keep in mind that you'll be splitting the lobster with a dining companion, and you'll get two starters (a choice from two salads and lobster bisque) and a family-style side to accompany the burly crustacean. Ramos points out that these lobsters hail from Nova Scotia, where they grow extremely slowly in cold, deep, nutrient-rich waters, and are flown in daily. "One and a half to two pounds is kind of the sweet spot," he says of a standard restaurant lobster, "but the bigger ones are still nice and sweet like a young lobster."
The Palm goes bigger — Ramos says often up to seven pounds — for an additional $15 per pound, depending on availability the day of your visit. "The lobster is served with just butter and a little lemon — otherwise you're ruining it," he adds. You can also specify a male or female lobster if both are in stock, since customers often enjoy the roe — great on City Bakery bread provided by the kitchen — that comes with a female.
Leftovers are often a reality when dealing with this much shellfish; the restaurant is happy to share recipe ideas for cooking with your leftover lobster at home. The $99 lobster dinner for two, plus other lobster specials, runs now through July 31. The Palm Restaurant is located at 1672 Lawrence Street downtown; visit the restaurant's website or call 303-825-7256 for details and reservations.