Rarely do I feel annoyed enough to really pan a restaurant--but please do not go to Nicky's Steakhouse in Estes Park. Really can't say anything good about it--very poor quality meat to start with. We had a $31 NY Strip that was small, tasteless and tough. Prime rib that was half fat and the rest tough and sinewy. The young server didn't know how to respond when she saw that I'd eaten about a third of it and I said the quality wasn't very good. Cold baked potatoes, bad soup and iceberg salad all added up to a lot of money and disappointment on a special occasion. The next night we went to the Tavern at Mary's Lake Lodge and loved it. Would go back in an instant. Did find a bakery in Estes called Aisle 2 Bread and Bakery--homemade granola, organic coffee and great peanut butter cookies. It's in a shopping center near the visitor's center.
In Boulder we loved the "food court" at the Farmer's Market--tamales, pupusas, spring rolls. Went to the Kitchen Next Door for a late light dinner. Not sure what all the fuss is about--it was okay. Pork sandwich had very little pork and a lot of bread. Soups and rolls were good. Wanted to go to Salt, but after letting us read the menu the hostess informed us that it was too late to seat us.
In Denver we were really disappointed that every single restaurant that we were interested in was closed for Labor Day. Maybe it's because we are used to big cities, but it never occurred to us that all 12 or so we were interested in would be closed. We ended up at Tamayo on Larimer Sq., which looked lovely with the overhead strings of lights. Tamayo was okay but overpriced in my opinion. Our waiter was hyped up and inattentive--although it wasn't busy, it took him quite a while to notice we were there and he seemed to have short term memory problems! We loved the Market on the square and found some brands of chocolate that are very hard to find. The next day we attempted to go to Snooze, but too long of a wait with a plane to catch. We were very sad to miss out on some of the great places recommended by Chowhounders, but we will be back! Seems like there are a lot of interesting neighborhood to check out in Denver!
1400 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202
Mary's Lake Lodge
2625 Marys Lake Rd, Estes Park, CO 80517
217 4th St, Castle Rock, CO 80104