Since our March issue hit newsstands, we’ve had a lot of feedback on our ranking of Denver’s 25 Best Restaurants. Whenever we generate a package like this, we expect—and hope—it will spur discussion. Not surprisingly, this package has. And although the vast majority of comments have been favorable, we’ve heard one not-so-favorable reaction again and again: Why no steak house?

We are, of course, well aware of Denver’s history as a meat-and-potatoes town, and we recognize that the steak house has its place—a significant one—in the local dining scene. But just because traditional steak houses hold a prized place in the Mile High City’s history doesn’t necessarily mean that one, or more, deserves a spot on our list.

Believe us, we love our beef—some of our favorite cuts include the porterhouse at Brook’s Steak House & Cellar and the Capital Grille‘s porcini-rubbed Delmonico—but recently, chefs and diners around the country, Denver and the Front Range included, have made a trend of cooking, and eating, more local, sustainable, and, arguably, lighter foods.

There’s an interest in grass-fed meats, locally raised chickens, and vegetables sourced within 100 miles. Many of the restaurants on our list (and many that aren’t) have made that commitment. In short, we believe our package reflects the new face of local dining.

We’d also like to note that nearly every restaurant (20 of 25) on our list has a steak on its menu—at prices that include side dishes, unlike the more traditional steak houses. Don’t miss Solera‘s grilled prime rib-eye with truffle frites, Cabrales butter, and house aïoli, or Z Cuisine‘s marinated tri-tip, grilled and sliced rare, with pea-shoot salad, parsnip purée, and sauce Robert.

We don’t expect the comments we’ve received about the absence of a steak house to be the last. With that in mind, we look forward to a continued, spirited, dialogue.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.