Sure you've heard of farm-to-table, but what about ranch-to-table? Head out to Parker Garage near Denver to check out this new concept, which focuses on serving meat, dairy and produce that is grown and raised on a nearby ranch.
The concept is the brainchild of Brent Walker, who grew up in Canada but moved to Colorado at the age of 29.
“I’ve always had a desire to create a restaurant based on the foundation of great relationships; fresh, seasonal ingredients and high standards in every area. To me, a restaurant should be so much more than customers just enjoying a great meal, it’s about creating an experience for them that leaves a lasting impression and makes them want to be a part of something great, even as a patron. I never settle for mediocrity. Never have and never will. I always feel I can do better.”
Parker Garage brings new ranch-to-table concept to front range — Photo courtesy of Parker Garage
The new restaurant is located in the historic Parker Garage building, repurposed to fit the needs of a modern kitchen. Visual references to its history peek through everywhere: from the original window frames hanging on the walls to the trusses and exposed brick walls, the dining experience feels refined yet rugged.
There isn't a bad seat in the house, but foodie enthusiasts should book the six-person chef's table for an immersive experience – Chef Duy Pham (formerly of Sushi Den, Epernay and Opal) will discuss menu items throughout your meal. For more relaxed dining, the outdoor seating overlooks Mainstreet and delivers prime people-watching.
Parker Garage offers lunch and dinner specials as well as a Sunday brunch. The dinner menu offers more expensive items ($26 and up) while the all-day menu ranges $10-15.
On the all-day menu, find starters, salads, sandwiches and entrees, all of which are affordably priced. The southern Colorado poutine ($10) is luscious with roasted Pueblo green chiles laid over melted cheese curds. The P.E.I. mussels, served with grilled French bread, garlic, roasted tomatoes, basil and a white wine broth is also tasty.
For the entrees, try the rich truffle potato gnocchi or the sous-vide rosemary chicken. The sous-vide method delivers incredible flavor intensity and luscious moisture in the final dish. The Colorado striped sea bass is another winner, served with lump crab orzo and roasted red pepper coulis.
The restaurant serves a complete selection of artisanal cocktails, craft beer and a full wine list, many of which are unique to Parker Garage. Try the Herman Joseph's Private Reserve or the Barmen Pilsner, both of which are made by AC Golden Brewing in Golden, Colo. and only served at a handful of restaurants. The Barmen (named after the German town Adolph Coors grew up in) takes seven full minutes to pour, preserving the foamy crown and refreshing, creamy Pilsner taste.