When you need a restaurant to impress a tough crowd, break the ice with a new business contact or keep a teen occupied, there is no better option than one that provides tableside service. It’s an old tradition that spans many types of cuisines, whether French crepe Suzettes with flaming Grand Marnier or Japanese hibachi style. Denver has a some good spots that will flame, grill, pour, mash and mix tableside.
St Julien Hotel & Spa
900 Walnut St.
Boulder, CO 80302
Jill’s takes tableside service seriously, thanks to the charming and hospitable Phillippe Antoine, the general manager. Antoine has just the right flair of entertainment and French joie de vivre when he prepares Ceasar salads, bananas foster and crêpes Maison or Suzette tableside. His crisp storytelling, with a delightful French accent, gets emulsified in with the fresh romaine, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, anchovies and perfectly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. For dessert, watch closely as Antoine sets fire to the butter, sugar, rum or Grand Marnier. His carefully waxed mustache inches ever so close to the climbing flames. Jill’s also serves chocolate fondue for the table, complete with graham crackers, marshmallows, fruit and cookies.
1575 Boulder St.
Denver, CO 80211
There are a lot of places in Denver that serve guacamole tableside, but Lola is a fan favorite. Maybe it’s the margaritas or maybe it’s the beach-scene cuisine, but the tableside guacamole will take you away from Denver, at least for a little while. The perfect guacamole needs just the right hand to smooth it out, but keep some texture. Lola does just this. Be sure to order the four salsa sampler to pair with it – charred tomato chipotle, hot habanero-avocado, smokey poblano and a sharp tomatillo-green apple.
Related: Top Sangria in Denver
701 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203
Frank Bonanno’s Bones is both playful and serious. Bones is serious about the quality of the food, but playful enough to noodle around with some fun themes. Bones is all about noodles. Soba, rice, udon and ramen are but a few of the long stranded staples of Asian cuisine. The one tableside dish that Bones is most known for is the lobster ramen. Nestled in the ramen is soft poached lobster, edamame, miso and scallions, with a tableside pouring of the lobster broth. Bones gives the dish a hint of French richness with a beurre blanc.
2124 Larimer St.
Denver CO 80205
Ignite, near Coors Field, is all about the flame. From wood-fired wings to fire-roasted pizza, Ignite takes full advantage of the fact that when man discovered fire, it was a good thing. Ignite leaves the best fire show for the end of the evening with the crème brulee. The creamy dessert is torched tableside so guests can watch the sugar caramelize before your eyes. The only rule is to wait for it to cool before digging in. For the best seating, ask for the rooftop patio.
Mount Fuji Hibachi and Sushi Bar
601 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203
Traditional Japanese hibachi cooking has become a right of passage for prom dates and birthdays. It’s the best of food street performance but with a roof. Mount Fuji Hibachi and Sushi Bar entertains guests around a big steel griddle as seafood, steak and chicken sizzle. Kids love to watch the chef toss sharp steely knives and flick bits of shrimp into the air. And for once, adults will put down their cell phones to watch their dish come together. Hibachi dinners come with soup, salad, appetizer and main course choices of vegetables, chicken, filet mignon, steak and seafood, including scallops, shrimp, salmon and lobster.