August 9, 2021, Bastien’s on East Colfax with my good friend X. Fantastic meal overall.
This is an old school steakhouse and a Denver fixture since the 1930’s. You walk into the place and it feels like 1987. The carpet, the color scheme, the wood paneling on the ceiling, exposed beams, black and white Ratpack-esque photos, all feel very 1987 for some reason. Which is a good thing, the 80s were the decade of my early adulthood. It could use a facelift as it feels more like a cafeteria/diner than a classy high-end restaurant. Although the food and prices are higher end, this place isn’t fancy, and not a recommended place for romance. But if you’re in the mood for a fat steak and homemade sides, this is the place. I love it. It’s a family dining experience. X had two Old Fashioned drinks, I had two Gin Rickeys, each cocktail exactly like the last. The bartenders definitely know what they’re doing and the consistency is appreciated. The cocktails were perfect, served in a highball, nothing fancy. X’s Old Fashioned look like a Colorado sunset. Perfect.
We were sat on the lower level in a leather booth, Sinatra was on the stereo. A black-and-white poster of Marilyn Monroe on the wall, which normally might look a little sleazy in a restaurant, but it actually works. Makes you feel like you’re one of the rat pack. As if later we will smoke whiskey and drink cigars. I digress…
We both started out with a salad, X ordered the Grilled Caesar. Not only was it amazing to look at, it was delicious. The romaine gently grilled, topped with plenty of parmesian, a creamy Caesar dressing, a light balsamic glaze drizzle, all topped with crispy buttery croutons. My salad was the classic lettuce wedge, with blue cheese dressing, bacon bits, and sufficient crumbled blue cheese to offset the Bermuda onion. Everything was tender, fresh and flavorful – well balanced, no one flavor overwhelming any other taste. My salad was delicious, every bite crunchy fresh crisp watery. The dressing creamy and unctuous married perfectly with the crisp wetness of the iceberg, the salty savory bacon and musty blue cheese crumbles.
The main course: We both had the bone in ribeye. Although Bastien’s has numerous toppings for their steaks from their famous sugar rub, gorgonzola, crab, balsamic, jalapeno, black and tan, … so many choices, so little time. Every time I leave there I promise to try one of their creative styles, but I always resort to the classic grilled steak. Our steaks were both cooked to a perfect medium rare, as ordered. The sides were steamed vegetables and a potato. X had the twice baked and I had the baked with sour cream and butter. I don’t know how a place can have the best baked potato, but Bastien’s are always spot on. The kind of potato that makes you want to eat the skin crispy with butter.
Service is perfect for this kind of joint. No disingenuous spiel, no one over-serving/hanging about, just good, timely, polite and accurate service. Glasses filled as needed, and drink orders taken as soon as our glasses were empty. I wish I could add in desert, but there is never enough room for it. The servings are plentiful, and although it’s a bit on the high end for a steak ($45), it’s a good value for the money. I never leave here hungry and always have leftovers for breakfast the next day.
Quality of Food/Drink: 4
Value for your money: 4
Overall Impression (average of the above): 4.125
Recommended: YES ! this is a solid B and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a good meal in a Denver landmark.