My Christmas tradition was the same for 28 years before I moved to Denver: Wake up to the smell of cinnamon buns, race downstairs to open presents while the Disney parade marched by on the television in the background and then head to Grandma’s for dinner with the whole family. That’s the thing about the holidays — they’re formed by traditions.
But sometimes, the mold can be broken.
Last year, my mom and stepdad flew to Denver for a short yet amazing 80-hour adventure that was filled with more restaurants than I tend to visit in an entire month. Festive cocktails were flowing, and we got dressed up every day and we indulged in food we would never eat for the special occasion. After experiencing the ease of dining out on Christmas Eve at The Brown Palace and Christmas Day at Palm Restaurant, we may never look back.
If the thought of coming up with your own holiday-themed drinks, cooking everything just right and dealing with a pile of dishes is cramping your holiday style, we have a list of restaurants here to help.
Rosenberg’s Bagels and Delicatessen at Stanley Marketplace
2501 Dallas St., Aurora; 5-10 p.m. Dec. 24.
Dec. 24, 6 p.m.
$60, adults (including open bar), $30 under 21 (under 2 free)
Tickets available at any of the three Rosenberg’s stores in Denver, or at Eventbrite.
Rosenberg’s imported and reinterpreted the tradition observed by many big-city Jewish families: Chinese food on Christmas Eve, followed by a movie. The third-annual family friendly Jewish Christmas Chinese Food Pop-Up this year moves to Stanley Marketplace. This doubles the number of people who can dig into a plate of kung pao pastrami or sample house-smoked salmon Rangoon while watching “A Christmas Story” and “The Hebrew Hammer” on a big-ish screen. Proceeds — including the auction of a “golden ticket” that allows you to cut in line at any Rosenberg’s for a year — benefit Project Angel Heart.
Kachina Southwestern Grill
1890 Wazee St., Denver
Dec. 25, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
$50, adults. $15, kids under 12
Reserve at OpenTable
Kachina in Denver’s historic Dairy Block turns up the heat for Christmas dinner with a special menu served family-style — whether your family is two or 20 people. Sample roasted prime rib, achiote-brined turkey and grilled pork tenderloin with a side of apple and Chimayo-spiced chutney. Dishes include traditional Southwestern comfort foods, including rajas con crema (roasted poblano chiles, onions and corn in a Mexican cream), cinnamon and ancho chile-glazed capriotada (think: bread pudding) and apple empanadas with dulce de leche. And if you’re committed to wearing an ugly holiday sweater, go ahead — if yours is the ugliest, you could win a future dinner for two.
Frasca Food and Wine
1738 Pearl St., Boulder
Dec. 24, seating begins at 4 p.m.
$200 per person, or $340 per person with wine pairings (includes tax and gratuity.)
Reserve at frascafoodandwine.com
No one can really agree on the origins of celebrating Christmas Eve with seven fish-based dishes. But the evolution of the tradition takes an elegant turn at Frasca Food and Wine, a restaurant fabled for its ability to elevate the humble ingredients into luxurious dishes. The menu is still a work in progress, but likely courses include a winter chicory salad with fried smelts and fluke poached with black truffles, roasted mushrooms and cipollini onions. You can choose a carefully curated wine tasting to go with the fixed-price dinner, or sample a few wines from the restaurant’s extensive by-the-glass menu.
Hyatt Regency Denver 27th Floor
650 15th St., Denver
Dec. 24 and 25 until 10 p.m.
Let’s be honest. A fair number of us will be last-minute shopping Sunday. So why not make it an evening, with a post-retail glass of wine and a bite to eat before heading off to church? Peaks Lounge serves from a carefully curated menu of drinks and small plates and you can quaff and nosh while taking in the bright Christmas lights of the city from the 27th floor of the Colorado Convention Center hotel. The lounge is open on Christmas, too.
The Westin Downtown Hotel
1672 Lawrence St., Denver
Dec. 24 and 25, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Some say Christmas is a time to be with family and make memories. Some say Christmas is all about the holiday ambiance. And some say it’s not Christmas without a crab-stuffed lobster. For those seeking an indulgent Christmas with a view, a holiday-decorated Palm restaurant in the heart of downtown will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Grab a table by the window to look upon Denver’s ice rink while sipping on a Hanging Chad: Grey Goose La Poire, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, pomegranate purée, hand-squeezed lemon and lime juice. Then it’s on to a lavash main course of prime rib or lobster.
Beast + Bottle
719 E. 17th Ave., Denver
Dec. 24, seating starts at 4:30 p.m.
What the duck? Christmas Eve dinner at Beast + Bottle is all about the fowl, featuring duck liver mousse, honey-lacquered duck breast, five spice confit duck legs and three side dishes. The dinner comes with a lovely bottle of specially selected wine to complement your meal — or, bar manager John Feuresanger will make you some of his wicked eggnog, upon request. For a sweet ending, try the house-made buche de noel — described by executive chef/proprietor Paul C. Reilly as “totes adorbs.” The atmosphere is New England Country Christmas, and the intention is to “impart the same feeling of your extended family’s Christmas celebration,” Reilly said. Price: $121 per couple. Seatings begin at 4:30 p.m. Make reservations before Dec. 21 at 303-623-3223.
EDGE Restaurant and Bar
Four Seasons Hotel Denver, 1111 14th St., Denver
Dec. 25. brunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; dinner 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Walk into the lobby of the Four Seasons in downtown Denver and you will want to gawk for a while at the life-sized gingerbread sleigh built by the EDGE pastry chefs, together with a mailbox — made of chocolate — to send missives to Santa. (The sleigh is filled with toy donations for the Denver Santa Claus Shop, which benefits more than 14,000 needy kids for the holidays.) Then head to the EDGE Restaurant and Bar, which offers brunch and dinner on Christmas Day. The brunch, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is $80 per adult, $30 per child 12 and under. Options include Maine lobster bisque, beet carpaccio, roasted prime rib and organic steelhead trout. Holiday dessert selections include Buche de Noel, cranberry pear pavolva and peppermint marshmallows. Festive cocktails include The Nutracker, a holiday version of the Manhattan. Dinner is from 2 to 9 p.m., and is $85 per adult, $30 per child 12 and under. For reservations, call 303-389-3050 or visit edgerestaurantdenver.c
Devil’s Thumb Ranch
3530 CR-83, Tabernash
Dec. 25, 5-9 p.m. at Heck’s Tavern, 4-10 p.m. at the Ranch House Restaurant
This working ranch of 6,000 acres is located down the valley from the Continental Divide. But visitors won’t have to work to enjoy the authentic ranch Christmas, complete with a skating rink, sleigh rides (depending on the snow), sledding hill and more. On Christmas Day, Heck’s Tavern is offering a prime rib buffet from 5 to 9 p.m. Cost is $39 per adult, half-price for kids 12 and under. (Call 970-726-7013 for reservations.) The Ranch House Restaurant is offering a four-course dinner that includes lobster tail, herb-crusted Wagyu beef and Rocky Mountain stuffed trout. Cost is $72 for adults, half price for kids 12 and under. The bar staff has come up with some special holiday cocktails, including the Evergreen Swizzle (made with pine liqueur and garnished with a rosemary stave) and a Hibiscus Gin Sour (with Idlewild gin made in Winter Park).
918 17th St., Denver
Dec. 25, 4-9 p.m.
Not only will there be no dishes with this dinner, it’s also prix-fixe. We’re talking no thinking on this holiday. Range, inside the historic renovated Colorado National Bank, will be offering a three-course Christmas dinner for $60 per person on Christmas Day. The menu will feature roasted beet and spinach salad, your choice of prime rib or Arctic char and, finally, peppermint mocha pot de creme. If you’re actually looking to make some choices on Christmas Day, the full menu will also be available. Diners can make reservations at 720-726-4800 or on Open Table.
Published at Thu, 21 Dec 2017 05:33:56 +0000