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Here Are Denver's 15 Manliest Dishes Fit For Father's Day

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While Denver may be a meat-and-potatoes town, meat and potatoes aren't the only thing daddy wants on his day of fatherdom. Masculinity is not cilantro, pea soup, and living delicately – it's eating what you want to eat and enjoying it fully.

This is Ron Swanson in his element. And as delicious as so many restaurants are in this town, and Swanson will have his way with it. He'll take that burger, raise you two slices of bacon, and have quail sauce just because he can – because he deserves it. Father's Day is next Sunday, June 16, and Eater flexes its muscle and shares masculine dishes in Denver and Boulder that would make dad proud.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Ace Eat Serve

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Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Or, teach a man to eat Whole Crispy Bass – bones and all – at Ace Eat Serve and he is one content father.

The Buckhorn Exchange

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It’s difficult to make sense of the most masculine meal at The Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s oldest restaurant. There’s nothing more manly than roaming a free-range game feast. It’s the flannel-shirt equivalent of foraging. Maybe it’s the yak and ostrich offerings. Maybe it’s the buffalo prime rib or elk steak. Or maybe it’s just the taxidermy ambiance of rows upon rows of once-upon-a-time animals quietly watching as you dig in and chow-down.

Colt & Gray

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Nothing screams “man” more than duck balls, halibut collar, pig brain soufflé, headcheese, beef heart tartare, sweetbreads, foie gras – you get the point, it’s an altar of offal. For pops, order the pork – they’ve been butchering whole heritage hogs in house for years. The kitchen selects a cut for a given night, cooks it appropriately, and puts it in front of your face. Check for specials including whole trotter and roasted heads.

Euclid Hall

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A Euclid Hall sausagefest displaying the wares -- leberkäse, boudin noir, beef short rib kielbasa, butcher’s choice, currywurst. Chef de cuisine Jorel Pierce working under the tutelage of James Beard winning chef, Jen Jasinski, guarantee a gluttonous fete washed down with plenty of chilled (or cellar-temperature) craft beer.

EDGE Restaurant And Bar At Four Seasons Hotel Denver

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Porterhouse For Two: it’s the John Candy challenge of Father’s Day meals. This whopping 32-ounce steak is not your mom’s dish - side of bacon, Porterhouse for two, steak fries, and a half bottle of Napa Cab, finished with a slice of chocolate cake- no other happy ending required.

Elway's

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Go to Elway’s for a three-martini lunch; it’s dark inside and dad can play out his Don Draper fantasy. Start with the iceberg wedge salad, then the prime rib sandwich (Philly style if you must, because, well, it’s only 30-cents extra), and wash it all down with a half-bottle of 2009 Vieux Telegraph Chateneauneuf-du-Pape.
Go big or go home. Do the full tasting menu with supplements and let sommelier Kelly Wooldridge pour wine in your glass. No one wants to test-drive a Ferrari in a residential neighborhood.

Oak At Fourteenth, Boulder Co

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You think you should drink cocktails at OAK (they’re delicious), but drink single village mezcal and whatever they have on the special tap (not because it’s a small tap, but it’s delicious). Pair it with grilled Tender Belly Farm Berkshire pork loin – black mission figs, spring onions, asparagus, and, oh yeah, apple smoked bacon.

Old Major

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Do not pass go and collect $200, skip the sprouts and shoots, and God forbid, don’t be distracted by the three-course vegetarian tasting menu. This is where you unleash your inner Ron Swanson. Four fingers of Lagavulin 16 year and a 21-Day dry aged, 24-ounce, bone-in, Ribeye (extra foie gras butter if he’s man enough). Stick a fork in dad after dinner – he’s done.

Pinche Tacos

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Maybe dad has been undercast in a Judd Apatow movie. Go pinche eat some Pinche Tacos, gulp down tequila and whiskey, order the lengua, stare at the pretty girls in the Highlands, and let dad relive his college spring break fantasies. Pinche awesome.

Steuben's

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Have a dad who knows the difference between a bowline and a clove hitch? Take him to Steuben’s. Order him a Mount Gay & tonic and a lobster roll. His east coast-cred will be inflated.

Sushi Sasa

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Go omakase at Sasa (book 48 hours in advance) for the father enchanted by Bill Murray’s Lost in Translation and the dad with a man crush on Anthony Bourdain. It’s a chance to succumb to a sushi master cooking for you, remove all choice, and feed you until your credit is maxed out or you burst.

Table 6

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This is the Father’s Day experience of choice for the father who knows wine. Go in and let the masterful team led by Aaron Forman take the reins on your wine pairings. It will be impeccable, it will be perfect, and it won’t be what you thought you would order.

The Kitchen Denver

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Sit down and order up the Grand Kitchen Seafood Platter, a spread that includes whole Ingrid’s lobster, oyster, chilled smoked mussels, littleneck clams, and King Crab legs. With a bottle of Grand Cru Champagne Piere Peters Blanc de Blanc, dad can be James Bond for one night. (Martinis be damned.)

Twelve Restaurant

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A little sweetbreads, a little chicken liver, and a lot of flatiron steak. Walking into the man-den of Twelve is a bit more rustic, a little less touched, and transports you back home to the kitchen when dad was cooking.

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Ace Eat Serve

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Or, teach a man to eat Whole Crispy Bass – bones and all – at Ace Eat Serve and he is one content father.

The Buckhorn Exchange

It’s difficult to make sense of the most masculine meal at The Buckhorn Exchange, Denver’s oldest restaurant. There’s nothing more manly than roaming a free-range game feast. It’s the flannel-shirt equivalent of foraging. Maybe it’s the yak and ostrich offerings. Maybe it’s the buffalo prime rib or elk steak. Or maybe it’s just the taxidermy ambiance of rows upon rows of once-upon-a-time animals quietly watching as you dig in and chow-down.

Colt & Gray

Nothing screams “man” more than duck balls, halibut collar, pig brain soufflé, headcheese, beef heart tartare, sweetbreads, foie gras – you get the point, it’s an altar of offal. For pops, order the pork – they’ve been butchering whole heritage hogs in house for years. The kitchen selects a cut for a given night, cooks it appropriately, and puts it in front of your face. Check for specials including whole trotter and roasted heads.

Euclid Hall

A Euclid Hall sausagefest displaying the wares -- leberkäse, boudin noir, beef short rib kielbasa, butcher’s choice, currywurst. Chef de cuisine Jorel Pierce working under the tutelage of James Beard winning chef, Jen Jasinski, guarantee a gluttonous fete washed down with plenty of chilled (or cellar-temperature) craft beer.

EDGE Restaurant And Bar At Four Seasons Hotel Denver

Porterhouse For Two: it’s the John Candy challenge of Father’s Day meals. This whopping 32-ounce steak is not your mom’s dish - side of bacon, Porterhouse for two, steak fries, and a half bottle of Napa Cab, finished with a slice of chocolate cake- no other happy ending required.

Elway's

Go to Elway’s for a three-martini lunch; it’s dark inside and dad can play out his Don Draper fantasy. Start with the iceberg wedge salad, then the prime rib sandwich (Philly style if you must, because, well, it’s only 30-cents extra), and wash it all down with a half-bottle of 2009 Vieux Telegraph Chateneauneuf-du-Pape.

Mizuna

Go big or go home. Do the full tasting menu with supplements and let sommelier Kelly Wooldridge pour wine in your glass. No one wants to test-drive a Ferrari in a residential neighborhood.

Oak At Fourteenth, Boulder Co

You think you should drink cocktails at OAK (they’re delicious), but drink single village mezcal and whatever they have on the special tap (not because it’s a small tap, but it’s delicious). Pair it with grilled Tender Belly Farm Berkshire pork loin – black mission figs, spring onions, asparagus, and, oh yeah, apple smoked bacon.

Old Major

Do not pass go and collect $200, skip the sprouts and shoots, and God forbid, don’t be distracted by the three-course vegetarian tasting menu. This is where you unleash your inner Ron Swanson. Four fingers of Lagavulin 16 year and a 21-Day dry aged, 24-ounce, bone-in, Ribeye (extra foie gras butter if he’s man enough). Stick a fork in dad after dinner – he’s done.

Pinche Tacos

Maybe dad has been undercast in a Judd Apatow movie. Go pinche eat some Pinche Tacos, gulp down tequila and whiskey, order the lengua, stare at the pretty girls in the Highlands, and let dad relive his college spring break fantasies. Pinche awesome.

Steuben's

Have a dad who knows the difference between a bowline and a clove hitch? Take him to Steuben’s. Order him a Mount Gay & tonic and a lobster roll. His east coast-cred will be inflated.

Sushi Sasa

Go omakase at Sasa (book 48 hours in advance) for the father enchanted by Bill Murray’s Lost in Translation and the dad with a man crush on Anthony Bourdain. It’s a chance to succumb to a sushi master cooking for you, remove all choice, and feed you until your credit is maxed out or you burst.

Table 6

This is the Father’s Day experience of choice for the father who knows wine. Go in and let the masterful team led by Aaron Forman take the reins on your wine pairings. It will be impeccable, it will be perfect, and it won’t be what you thought you would order.

The Kitchen Denver

Sit down and order up the Grand Kitchen Seafood Platter, a spread that includes whole Ingrid’s lobster, oyster, chilled smoked mussels, littleneck clams, and King Crab legs. With a bottle of Grand Cru Champagne Piere Peters Blanc de Blanc, dad can be James Bond for one night. (Martinis be damned.)

Twelve Restaurant