Eli Stokols, a prominent and award-winning local political reporter, has been active on Denver's scene since 2005. He may be tweeting live from the Capitol during the legislative session or spending his days tapping his political show that runs every Sunday morning on FOX 31, but this reporter loves to dine out. His Instagram feed is studded with food photos and many of his evenings spent at local restaurants or bars. Eater asked him all about that.
Say it's Sunday morning, and you want to go for brunch, where do you go? Well, if I get to choose where we go, Comida. Or Lucille's, if you want to be in a food-coma the rest of the day. And I haven't been to Snooze in a long time although I know it's really good. I had brunch at Beast + Bottle not too long ago, and that was really good.
Where do you go out within walking distance from you house when you don't want to drive? Not too many places, honestly. The only thing over there is all Frank Bonanno's restaurants. And you're not going to go to Mizuna or Luca for dinner every night. There's Benny's or Govnr's Park but we don't go out to eat there.
What was the last meal you had out and what dish do you remember? I went to Rioja. The artichoke ravioli. It's amazing. Everything else was good, but that was amazing.
Where do you go for a drink after work? A lot of times — because it's close to the station and close to where I live — either the Vesper Lounge or to Govnr's Park, even though it's kind of a dive.
Is there a restaurant that you haven't been to that you want to check out? The Populist just because I hear amazing things about it. The cool thing about Denver is that there are restaurants opening so fast that you feel like you can't get to the great new place that everyone is talking about, but I feel a little bit off my game to have not been there yet. My girlfriend and I like certain places, and we like going to those places pretty regularly. It's not always getting out of the routine.
What are those regular places? The Kitchen, Old Major, Uncle. Uncle is a crazy place where you're like, "Am I really going to wait an hour and a half for a noodle bowl?" And then we do.
What about a quick lunch? I'm either at the Capitol or I'm at the station. If I'm at the Capitol: the best thing in the world now is that there is a Masterpiece Deli on 17th and Sherman. And my girlfriend's office is on that same block, so we eat a lot of lunch at Masterpiece.
What do you get? More often that not, the pastrami. You can't beat that sandwich. At the station, there's that food complex across the street. Since Pizzeria Locale went in there, it's hard to… I tried to limit myself to once a week. I walk in there sometimes and I feel like Norm from Cheers. I walk in, and everyone is like "Norm!" And I'm like, "Oh god, I should probably stop coming here." Those are probably my two most regular lunch spots.
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Eli Stokols with fiancee Ellie [Photo: Adam Larkey]