A million miles from the beef cooked up at the Trail Dust are the dry, aged cuts offered at Shanahan’s, co-owned by Mike Shanahan, who led the Broncos to Super Bowl wins in 1997 and 1998 and who drops in occasionally. You’ll pass his Lombardi trophies on the way in as you catch a whiff of grilled filets, including Kobe, Wagyu and other premium cuts that speak to how well appetites have seasoned in Denver.

Managing partner Marc Steron, who ran Del Frisco’s Double Eagle a mile south before shaping the enduringly popular experience here, leads a team offering an experience as famous for its inviting character as for the culinary side. The latter might start with a signature cocktail, on the way to USDA prime aged steaks and seafood flown in daily, with the maximum experience being a 36-ounce Wagyu ribeye “Tomahawk, described as “a filet on steroids,” accompanied by a-la-carte sides and wine from a 5,400-bottle cellar, heavy on the reds.

Prices have risen since the Hungry Dutchman days, but you can find Sunday evening prix-fixe specials for $49 or $59 that include the prime.

Location: 5085 South Syracuse St., Denver; from I-25 head east on Belleview a half block to Syracuse, turn left.   

Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

The ocean is a thousand miles from here, but seafood has come a long way since the batter-fried days. Although hoofed creatures have been the preferred Denver fare from when the Buckhorn Exchange opened in 1893, new chophouses always nod to seafood—and the trendiest venues are highly marine-oriented.

Eddie V’s, launched in Austin in 2000, has a formula for seafood that’s spread to 29 locations, arriving in DTC in 2020. Swordfish from Block Island, scallops from George Banks and yellowtail from the Caribbean are each just a hop from DIA, and director of operations Matthew Yussef creates an experience that blends the freshness with a beguiling interior and excellent service—it’s Greenwood Village’s first bistro to capture a 5-star rating.

Along with a signature cocktail, your encounter might launch with Petrossian caviar, then move on to “The Big Eddie,” a medley of king crab, Maine lobster, a tuna poke, gulf shrimp and eight oysters. Or choose a Chilean seabass, Mediterranean branzino, Norwegian salmon or any of a number of beef options, including a 22-ounce ribeye (hand cut and aged more than 28 days). The music in the background is a live jazz trio.

Location: 5111 DTC Pkwy, Greenwood Village; from I-25 head east on Belleview a half block to DTC Pkwy, turn south.   


Ocean Prime
That craving to choose from surf or turf has put Ocean Prime in vogue at 17 locations from Beverly Hills to New York—and the concept is perfect for Coloradans’ biforkated tastes (DTC’s Prime in Belleview Promenade is matched to another downtown at Larimer Square). 

General manger John Witmer and executive chef Ryan Finnegan create the experience in a grandly styled space, elegant and very contemporary. Signature cocktails and a wine list are tailored to go in either culinary direction, but your repast might begin with a choice between East- or West-Coast oysters or a variety of sushi starters, such as intricately prepared rolls or a Hamachi crudo, before opting for a buttery textured Verlasso Chilean salmon. The beef route is just as alluring—an 8-ounce filet served alongside chili-seared spinach with cabernet jus.

With a very attractive lounge, specialty private dining rooms and an outdoor terrace, Ocean Prime also caters to the happy hour crowd and to family and business special events. There’s a Sunday surf-turf special.

Location: 8000 E. Belleview Ave., Greenwood Village; from I-25 head east on Belleview a block-and-a-half to Belleview Promenade.

Blue Island Oyster
The new urban vibe that spread south from DTC brought shopping, light rail, luxury homes and now top-rated dining. Blue Island Oyster, beside Lone Tree’s highly rated performing arts center, is getting a reputation for oysters, clams and sushi and offers outdoor dining as well as its trendy, contemporary indoor area. Look for a signature lobster roll, wild Atlantic cod, clam pasta, Loch Duart salmon and Georges Bank surf clams. 

Location: 10008 Commons St., Lone Tree; from I-25 head west on Lincoln Ave. 0.7 mi to Commons, turn left.

Hapa Sushi Grill & Sake Bar
This enterprise in the popular Landmark shopping and dining area of DTC is now a sushi institution both for the fresh quality and variety, as well as the chic serving areas with a sit-down bar and a patio—attracting sizable lunch and business crowds as well as for fine evening dining. Explore a wide assortment of sashimi, including hamachi (yellowtail), maguro (tuna), salmon and albacore, along with 19 varieties of roll preparations and seven choices of saki. And this is a great destination if you happen to be gluten-free.

Location: 5380 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Greenwood Village; from I-25 take E. Orchard Rd. west a block to Greenwood Plaza Blvd, turn north 0.3 mi., bear right on Greenwood Plaza to Landmark.