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Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area (second try)

Okay, so we had our offsite, and it was a lot of fun. Here's the food rundown:

Wed. dinner: Euclid Hall -- Food was good, but menu didn't offer much in the way of a safety net for the non-foodies. More significantly, while the ambience was very cool, they seated us in a table in one of the loudest parts of the restaurant, and gray stuff fell from the ceiling onto our clothing all night long. Not a place I would go back to.

Thurs. lunch: Brio -- Meant to have lunch at White Chocolate Grill, but neglected to make reservations in time, and wound up walking across the way to Brio. Decent Italian food, and the team raved about it.

Thurs. dinner: The Fort -- Definitely the best meal of the trip. Fantastic. Personally, I had the buffalo filet, and it was perfectly cooked and very flavorful. Top to bottom, it was amazing meal, with amazing ambience, and everybody came away happy. I would highly recommend The Fort, especially for a romantic or special dinner out.

Fri. lunch: Ordered sandwiches delivered from Smiling Moose Deli. Solid alternative to going out, since we needed bit more time for our meeting.

Fri. dinner: Toured Stranahan's and then had dinner at Rackhouse Pub next door. Great evening, and a perfect finish to the week. Rackhouse has a very creative menu with both traditional pub fare and more creative spins like the lobster mac & cheese. Again, the team raved about that evening, and I would definitely recommend it for a party night out.

Much thanks to the many Chowhounds who made suggestions for helping to make this a great off-site!

Feb 05, 2012
steelbrews in Mountain States

Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area (second try)

Direct hit! That's perfect! Thank you!

Jan 05, 2012
steelbrews in Mountain States

Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area (second try)

Thank you for the feedback, rlm! We'll have eight or nine people; can Fruition accommodate that size of a group comfortably, or are we going to wind up split between two tables? Also, any experience with The Fort?

Jan 02, 2012
steelbrews in Mountain States

Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area (second try)

Definitely an interesting idea! Unfortunately, one of my team members is very big into animal rescue, so I'm thinking surrounding him with mounted animal heads might be a bit on the risky side. Ah well, thanks for the suggestion!

Jan 02, 2012
steelbrews in Mountain States

Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area (second try)

(My apologies if this duplicates a previous post; I receiving a 500 error posting the first time, and am getting a 500 error when I try to open the original posting. Hopefully this attempt will go better!)

I am having my annual team off-site meetings in Denver this year, staying at the Hyatt Summerfield DTC. I like to treat my team to good meals and unusual experiences where possible. (Last year, we were in the Orlando area and went to the Bauern-Stube, an authentic German biergarten/restaurant.) In researching restaurants in the DTC area, I'm finding very little on the Chowhound boards that's not in downtown Denver. So, I've done my best and now I'd like some feedback on my preliminary selections.

Lunch Places -- must be reasonably close to the hotel with decent service so that we're not blowing 2+ hours on lunch -- Las Brisas, The White Chocolate Grill, and Fisher-Clark Delicatessen. (That last entry is one I plucked from the Chowhound boards based on recommendations, but it is toward the outer limit of how far I'm willing to travel during our lunch break.)

Dinner Places -- leaning toward a dinner at The Fort in Morrison (looks pricey; is the food worth it? is the experience/"wow factor" worth it?); Euclid Hall; and Wynkoop Brewing Company (followed by their Improv show in the basement). Fruition and Root Down also caught my eye as possible intriguing options.

So, any duds in my selections? Any better alternatives, either in the immediate DTC area for lunch, or the broader area for dinner? Any suggestions for unique "experience" places with good food? (Casa Bonita certainly looks like it fits the "experience" portion, but I can't say that any of the food reviews have impressed me.)

Thanks, fellow Chowhounds!

Jan 01, 2012
steelbrews in Mountain States

Dining in the Denver Tech Center Area

I am having my annual team off-site meetings in Denver this year, staying at the Hyatt Summerfield DTC. I like to treat my team to good meals and unusual experiences where possible. (Last year, we were in the Orlando area and went to the Bauern-Stube, an authentic German biergarten/restaurant.) In researching restaurants in the DTC area, I'm finding very little on the Chowhound boards that's not in downtown Denver. So, I've done my best and now I'd like some feedback on my preliminary selections.

Lunch Places -- must be reasonably close to the hotel with decent service so that we're not blowing 2+ hours on lunch -- Las Brisas, The White Chocolate Grill, and Fisher-Clark Delicatessen. (That last entry is one I plucked from the Chowhound boards based on recommendations, but it is toward the outer limit of how far I'm willing to travel during our lunch break.)

Dinner Places -- leaning toward a dinner at The Fort in Morrison (looks pricey; is the food worth it? is the experience/"wow factor" worth it?); Euclid Hall; and Wynkoop Brewing Company (followed by their Improv show in the basement). Fruition and Root Down also caught my eye as possible intriguing options.

So, any duds in my selections? Any better alternatives, either in the immediate DTC area for lunch, or the broader area for dinner? Any suggestions for unique "experience" places with good food? (Casa Bonita certainly looks like it fits the "experience" portion, but I can't say that any of the food reviews have impressed me.)

Thanks, fellow Chowhounds!

Jan 01, 2012
steelbrews in Mountain States

Need budget recommendations within 15 minutes drive of Sophia Antipolis

Woo-hoo! Unexpectedly, I am blessed with a rental car for my three-day stay in Sophia Antipolis. Yesterday (limited to bus and taxi), I spent the day in Antibes and had pleasant if unremarkable crepes at Cafe le Clemenceau and La Croustille. Problem is, we are subject to our client's travel policy, which limits meals to $70/day, or about 45 EUR. The client will be supplying breakfast and lunch today and tomorrow, so I am looking for suggestions of great food, reasonably priced, within a 15-20 minute drive of Sophia Antipolis. Another site I visited suggested that Le Ber-sur-Loup and Gourdon were particularly scenic towns with good restaurants; any specific suggestions or pointers in a different direction? Thanks!

Oct 09, 2011
steelbrews in France

Where to stay/eat near Uxbridge

Home at last! I am truly grateful to my fellow Chowhounds -- it definitely made for a more adventurous (and tasty!) trip! So, here's the recap from a food/beer perspective:

Sunday, completely jet lagged, with three hours sleep (including a two-hour nap), I made my way to Uxbridge to replace the suit coat I left in my car back home. I stopped in The Queen's Head (not knowing it was a chain) for a snack and a pint, only to find they were no longer serving food. I asked the bartender for something dark and malty, but not too hoppy, and the Doom Bar he suggested turned out to be (to borrow from Monty Python) a lot like making love in a canoe.

After that disappointment (self-inflicted -- The Queens Head was never on any of my target lists), I grabbed a taxi to Denham Village, with intent to dine at The Swan Inn. Much to my surprise, they do not serve food from 4:00-6:30 PM! (Must be a UK thing as I ran into the same thing at a couple of other places during my trip.) So I went next door to The Green Man to enjoy a couple of pints of Rebellion Smuggler and a bowl of chips. The chips were okay, nothing special, but the patrons were friendly and welcoming, and the beer garden was lovely. As for the beer, well, if you haven't had Rebellion Smuggler, I highly recommend it! A very nice dark ale, with a strong but balanced malty flavor, and just enough hopping to suggest a higher ABV than actually present, without the associated alcohol bite. Magnificent!

Two hours later, I wandered next door and had dinner at The Swan Inn. Good, but not great, but certainly a strong choice. I opened with a lamb kofta appetizer, served with greens and red pepper hummus. Very nice, and the hummus was particularly good. As my entree, I had their upscale version of bangers and mash, with pork & leek sausages (a very nice touch) with creamy mashed potatoes and a red wine gravy. Washed it all down with a pint of Rebellion IPA, which reminded me how good a quality IPA can actually be. (If you haven't noticed yet, I became a big fan of Marlow's local brewery on this trip!)

Monday was an exercise in frustration. Lunches both Monday and Tuesday were ordered in for the meetings, so I'll ignore those altogether. For dinner on Monday, I decided to make my way to Southall, with intent to dine at Brilliant's. While the maitre d' was able to give me excellent directions to Brilliant's (via bus and foot), including looking it up on the computer, he did not notice that they were closed on Mondays (and due to technical issues, I was unable to check it myself). As a result, I wound up settling for dinner at Himani's, which was a bit underwhelming. While the coconut rice was quite nice -- a subtle but ever-present flavor of coconut, with an excellent texture -- the garlic naan could definitely have stood a good bit more garlic, and the bhindi definitely left much to be desired. That said, it was the least expensive meal of my trip, so I suppose I cannot complain too much.

By Tuesday evening, I was burned out from my meetings. I didn't feel like riding a bus anywhere; I just wanted a nice walk and a decent pint of ale. Rolling the dice, I walked a half hour from the Arora to the Pheasant Inn (http://www.pheasant-restaurant.co.uk/). Wow! And I do mean wow! I absolutely wallowed in a freshly made steak & Stilton pie that was phenomenal -- tender bits of steak, with pockets of Stilton flavor that accented without overpowering, all wrapped in a delightfully flaky crust. I don't even remember what the sides were, nor did I particularly care at that point. Dessert was a Belgian waffle evocative of ones I've had on the streets of Dinant, buried under a mountain of strawberries and blueberries, drizzled with a dark chocolate that could not have been better measured for perfect balance. Washed it all down with a couple of pints of John Smith's, and walked back to the hotel fully sated and happy. Definitely a nice finish to the trip!

Once again, much thanks to my fellow chowhounds for the many useful suggestions and tips! It sure beat eating hotel food for three days!

May 28, 2011
steelbrews in U.K./Ireland

Where to stay/eat near Uxbridge

Thanks, frogprince! Actually, I wound up not getting the rental car, and booking a room at the Arora, as my trip's been shortened. I come in on a Sunday (in two weeks), have business meetings for two days, and then fly out again on Wednesday. Brutal.

So far, I have four places tagged in my notes as possible targets: Brilliant's in Southall, Dhaba in Ilseworth, The Hind's Head in Bray, and The Swan in Denham Village. Sunday is the only day I know I'll have complete control of my destiny (i.e. the client could be making dinner arrangements for Monday and Tuesday night); any suggestions for which places (of the four I listed, or ones that are even better) I should absolutely target for the one day when I know I can control my own meals? And yes, I will taxiing and tubing to wherever I need to go.

May 08, 2011
steelbrews in U.K./Ireland

Where to stay/eat near Uxbridge

Actually, Farley, I really appreciate all the feedback, and you guys have me looking into renting a car anyway! I love all types of Indian food, as well as Afghan, so frogprince's post was right in my wheelhouse! Mind you, I also recall England having very flavorful sausages (bangers), which I love. So let's open this up -- I'll spring for the rental car and probably stay at the Crowne Plaza. Now emboldened with wheels, I'm obviously taking at least one drive out to Southall; where else should I plan to feast? Thanks!

Apr 24, 2011
steelbrews in U.K./Ireland

Where to stay/eat near Uxbridge

Sorry, guess my original post wasn't clear. Of the three areas, Heathrow, Harrow, and West Drayton, which has the best restaurants within walking distance? I'm likely to pick my lodgings based on proximity to good food. Hence the post on Chowhound.

Apr 21, 2011
steelbrews in U.K./Ireland

Where to stay/eat near Uxbridge

I will be traveling to the UK for three days of meetings in Uxbridge. Not sure how much free time I'm going to have yet, and need to do this "on the cheap." Reasonable lodging options appear to be the Crowne Plaza Heathrow, Grim's Dyke (up in Harrow), or Harmondsworth Hall (in West Drayton). I don't care for the city, but love good food and good beer and don't mind walking around for it. I should have Sunday to myself (if nothing else), and will probably try to figure out a reasonable day trip somewhere, but would prefer to avoid renting a car if I can help it, as that's definitely not cheap in the UK. So reasonable walking distance to a rail station would be a big plus, but none of the three appears to offer that (though Google Maps isn't the most reliable at UK addresses). I'm a big fan of castles, ruins, and ancient monuments. (For our honeymoon, my wife and I did two weeks around UK, including Avebury, Stonehenge and a weekend in Stornoway so we could visit the Standing Stones of Callanish.)

From what I've read so far, Harmondsworth Hall sounds like the best option for me, as it's within walking distance of a couple of decent pubs, but not sure if one of the other places would be a better choice. Anybody have any opinions or thoughts either way? Suggestions for a reasonable day trip from any of those three venues? Any can't-miss restaurants in the area? Thanks!

Apr 21, 2011
steelbrews in U.K./Ireland

Family dining advice in Quebec City for Winter Carnaval

We're heading to Quebec City this weekend for the first time ever. Thanks to the great folks at Chowhound (and a tip o' the hat to TripAdvisor), we've got a pretty good meal plan laid out. Here are the basic parameters.

Who: Me (adventurous foodie, loves to try new places), my wife (open-minded, but doesn't like pretentious), my 13-year-old daughter (semi-open-minded, loves a good Croque Monsieur) and my 10-year-old son (prefers to stick to staple kid classics like chicken fingers and pizza, but enjoys a good plate of buffalo wings).
Where: Staying at the Hotel Manoir-Victoria, with NO car. We expect to do all travel on foot.

Here's what I have tentatively planned:

Friday dinner: Le Lapin Saute
Saturday breakfast: Le Petit Cochon Dingue
Saturday lunch: Le Pain Beni (could be Ashton if we wind up eating later or the family needs a break from the Carnavale)
Saturday dinner: Ashton (if we didn't eat there for lunch) or ???
Sunday breakfast: Au Petit Coin Breton
Sunday lunch: Paillard

I've gotten some weird advice from TripAdvisor folks, and frankly, I trust my fellow Chowhounds more when it comes to food. But it's enough to make me ask a few questions:

* I decided to go with Lapin Saute for dinner and Pain Beni for lunch based on their on-line menus, as Pain Beni appears to have a more kid-friendly lunch menu, while Lapin Saute appeared to have more kid-friendly options for dinner. But a couple of folks on TripAdvisor are saying it's exactly the opposite. Your thoughts, please?

* Several people on TripAdvisor explicitly recommended against Cochon Dingue for breakfast, mostly (it seems) based on location. Their on-line menu is really enticing, and it doesn't seem like it's that far from the hotel. Am I missing something?

* I know we need to make reservations for dinner Friday. Will we need to make lunch reservations for lunch at Pain Beni?

Thanks very much for your help!

-----
Le Petit Cochon Dingue
24 Champlain, Quebec, QC G1K, CA

Au Petit Coin Breton
1029 Rue Saint-Jean, Quebec, QC G1R1R9, CA

Feb 01, 2011
steelbrews in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Triangulating for lunch: Waltham, Hopkinton and Logan

I'll be in Waltham for a business meeting Friday morning, and would like to meet a friend who works in Hopkinton for lunch before I race back to Logan. I'll be using taxis every step of the way, so I'm looking for a reasonable place to meet my friend that won't put me farther away from the airport, but won't kill his entire afternoon either. I was looking at the Newton area (seems to be a logical meeting place, near the Pike too), but I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks!

Dec 05, 2006
steelbrews in Greater Boston Area