Colorado Avid Golfer: High-Steaks Player
Perry’s Steakhouse has the chops to carve its own delectable niche.
The steakhouse competition in south Denver is tougher than…uh, I can’t say a two-dollar steak, can I? Fleming’s, Brook’s, Del Frisco’s, Shanahan’s Cool River-all offer an exceptional dining experience.
Now entering the fray is Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, near the Vistas at Park Meadows Retail Resort. from Castle Pines and points south, perry’s is a slightly closer destination, but approaching from the north for my first visit, I wondered: what could possibly set Perry’s apart? All of the big boys use USDA-aged Prime beef, so no advantage there. When I was seated and started perusing the menu for appetizers, I noticed standard steakhouse fare: Ahi tuna, calamari…wait, Homemade Polish Sausage?
And that’s the entry point for the Perry’s story, which goes back 35 years to the Scarsdale neighborhood of Houston, where Bob Perry ran a modest meat market. When son Chris graduated from college, he came to work at the shop and added tables. Then the operation expanded into the space next door, and then Chris opened the first Perry’s.
Chris has since crafted an effective resume. Legend has it he can look at a well-done steak and tell how much it weighed before it was cooked. Now the family-owned group of restaurants is expanding outside Texas. Earlier this year, Chicago got one; and in September Perry’s opened its 12th at Park Meadows. It’s the first-ever in Colorado, and it features all of Perry’s modern design touches – a towering wine wall, sleek yet gentle lighting, four private dining rooms for groups and special events, and an island bar.
There’s not a lot of pecan wood in Colorado, but Perry’s uses nothing else; it’s as tasty as hickory, but with a lighter aroma and a mellow, nutty flavor…which informs the Homemade Polish Sausage. There’s a heavy Polish population in central Texas; every barbecue house in the state can do a brisket but if you don’t have a good sausage, you won’t survive. Perry’s is heavy with paprika, sliced thin, served with barbecue and Dijon dipping sauces and club crackers. I proclaim it the best of the wurst.
But there’s no topping the seven-finger-high Pork Chop, one of the most fantastic entrees ever to confront my carnivorous cravings. It’s a hand-selected prime chop, rubbed with proprietary seasoning, dry-aged for two days, cured for another two, then slow smoked 4-6 hours. Upon order, it’s glazed, broiled for a bit of caramelization and served with homemade applesauce.
Perry’s used to bring the chop whole, but that proved a tad intimidating to diners who never eat anything bigger than their head. It’s now carved table-side into portions and plated as five pieces-the “eyelash” (the name Perry’s has given to the section found above the eye of the chop, the most marbled and melt-in-your-mouth tender), three baby back ribs and the center cut loin-topped with Perry’s signature herb-garlic butter (I thought I detected a hint of pecorino). For a bargain, check out the friday lunch special (where a smaller 5-finger chop is served for $12.95 and comes with whipped potatoes) or the Sunday dinner special (the seven-finger chop with salad and dessert).
Such presentation is one way Perry’s elevates There are plenty of table-side shows, and I recommend ordering Chateaubraind for two off the menu, a romantic, decadent meal that’s dished up with flair.
The signature Flaming Desserts are also showstoppers. Go for the Nutty d’Angelo – crushed pecans are cooked in butter, then engulfed in a whoosh of flames with brown sugar and brandy, served over vanilla Haagen-Dazs dipped in white chocolate and toasted almonds to form a delectable shell.
Premium wines are specially created by Amici Cellars of Napa Valley; the winemaker makes Perry’s private label Chardonnay (a Bordeaux style white, perfectly paired with the citrusy component of the Fried Asparagus appetizer) and Cabernet. Also, my introductory Homemade Polish Sausage was washed down with a Breckenridge Manhattan made with bourbon from Breckenridge Distillery, showing some local love.
Service is the other category where Perry’s throws down. Our waiter Jeff impeccably guided us through the meal, and I was more impressed than distracted by the managers’ earpieces. No, they weren’t expecting the president to walk in – anyone with a food allergy knows the sinking feeling of informing your server and hoping that word makes its way to the proper channels, but Perry’s people make certain that such details are covered every step of the way.
The eclectic setting also features live music daily in the bar and piped into the dining area. “Mr. Perry,” as the staff refers to him, works with a talent agency to meet his specific taste, which I’m happy to report, enjoyably ranges from Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to 10cc’s “Dreadlock Holiday” to Lorde’s “Royals.” Me, I left humming Crabby Appleton’s “Go Back.” I can’t wait to return to the Perry’s.
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