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BY PEYTON GARCIA • FRIDAY, NOV. 19, 2021

Good morning Denver City Casters!

It is T-minus six days until my favorite day of the entire year — Thanksgiving!! 🦃 And as a self-professed professional eater but a woefully lacking chef, I’ve rounded up a few places that will do the cooking for you (dine-in or take-out) next Thursday. Plus, another personal restaurant recommendation (date night edition!) at the bottom of this especially delicious newsletter. Dig in! 

🔎 SOMETHING TO KEEP AN EYE ON

News we're watching going into the weekend: 

🎙️ SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

A look back at our shows of the week:

👉 Find them all at denver.citycast.fm.

🍽️😋 WHERE TO DINE OUT ON THANKSGIVING

If you’re looking for options:
If the group can’t agree on what to have for dinner, reserve a table at Citizen Rail for their three-course prix-fixe meal that allows you to select your starter, entrée, and dessert from a list of delicious special holiday options. Baked oysters, stuffed pork loin, smoked turkey, roasted bass — they’ve got it all. The price per person is $75, and 10% of proceeds will be donated to nonprofit No Kid Hungry.

If you want to get fancy:
If you want to fancify things, make a reservation for LoDo steakhouse Urban Farmer. They’ll be serving up top-tier plates like sweet potato gnocchi and roast prime rib with foie gras butter for $80 per adult.

If you like the classics:
Keep it traditional with The Kitchen’s dine-in service, dishing up a variety of options on a four-course prix-fixe menu. If your heart (and stomach) are set on the classics like roasted turkey, braised greens, and pumpkin pie, you’ll find all that and more for $75 per adult.

Still looking? Axios Denver had a few more suggestions... 

🥡🍗 WHERE TO PICK UP FOR THANKSGIVING

If you want a lot of food:
Chef Troy Guard is cooking up the whole package — turkey neck stuffing, french onion gravy, chive mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, plus your choice between herb roasted turkey or prime rib for the pièce de résistance. There’s also the more affordable option to bake your own bird and just get the sides. His Thanksgiving Boxes at Guard and Grace serve six people and range in cost from $135 to upwards of $300 depending on how many extra goodies you want to add.

If you just need a single serving:
If all that seems like too much, keep it modest with Woodie Fisher’s to-go meal ($65 per person) loaded up with traditional holiday go-tos like roasted turkey breast, whipped potatoes, classic herb stuffing, and bourbon pecan pie for dessert — but you have to make your order today!

If you’re over turkey and pie:
Scrap tradition altogether and order the Friendsgiving meal for four from Lou’s Food Bar, featuring a whole fried hot chicken, creamy mac n’ cheese, tater tots, coleslaw, fried Brussels sprouts, and cake — all for $50.

Need more ideas? Westword rounded up to-go options from across the metro area… 

🥧🍺 THE IMPORTANT STUFF

The pie:
We all know the bird and the sides are just deliciously distracting obstacles standing in the way of the real prize — the pie. Skip the store-bought pumpkin and pecan this year and shop the myriad of local bakeries whipping up sinfully sweet desserts from scratch. 5280 Magazine called in a literal pie expert to share his go-to pie shops in the area. I mean, no one is going to get mad if I bring 15 different pies to dinner… right?

The booze:
Speaking of special treats, Denver’s Tivoli Brewing Co. and Epic Brewing Co. crafted specialty cranberry ales to pair perfectly with whatever is on the dinner table next week. Tivoli’s “Get Stuffed Holiday Ale” is an 8.8% ABV brew spiced with cranberry, orange, and clove. Epic’s “Cranberry IPA” is a hoppy 7.5% ABV blend of fruity and floral notes to balance out all the savory on the menu.

Both!
Denver Beer Co. has partnered with Arvada’s Hinman Pie (spoiler: they’re on the 5280 pie guy’s list☝️) this holiday season to offer an unparalleled pairing. Pick up two DBC crowlers and one Hinman pie for $45 at any DBC taproom, or for only $20, you can grab a seat at the bar and have a slice and a pint all to yourself!

🥂 SOMETHING ELSE TO EAT

Peyton’s Plate: French 75
I am filing this week’s restaurant recommendation under “Date Night.” It’s classy, romantic, French, and undeniably an indulgent experience. Last week, I was invited to the grand (post-pandemic) re-opening of French 75, a modern French bistro by one of my favorite local chefs and restaurateurs, Frank Bonanno. Chef Frank is most well known for his ultra fine-dining flagship establishment, Mizuna. French 75 is a more laid-back kid sister to Frank’s famed first venture, and the menu makes French classics feel approachable. But, I mean, lobster burrata and prosecco on tap? Sure, I’ll wear my heels for that.

Here’s what I tried:

Butter poached lobster and housemade burrata with heirloom tomatoes, wasabi, and fish roe ($22): Gorgeous plating, bright flavors, perfect textures — you’ve got the bitterness of the arugula, a softness in the cheese, a literal burst of salt from the roe, savory chunks of lobster — *Chefs kiss!*

Frankie’s Tagliatelle” ($23): If you’re not ready to dive into some of the more adventurous plates on the menu (and even if you are!), you cannot go wrong with this dish of thick, hand rolled noodles covered in creamy, cheesy bechamel sauce and country cured ham. It’s homemade and it shows. This is one I could eat over and over again.

24-hour roasted duck confit and foie gras stuffing ($29): If you’ve never had duck, this plate is a beautiful introduction. Perfectly crispy skin, mouthwateringly tender meat, stuffing cooked in melted duck juices, and some crisp greens for balance (and so you don’t feel like a total glutton).

Madagascar vanilla bean crème brulée ($10): A classic for a reason. And like everything else Frank puts on his menu, he’s perfected something you didn’t even think needed improving. 

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