So I admit, I am a little biased here, because I firmly believe that beef/pork cheek and oxtail are the 2 best cuts of meat ever. Oxtail is the first thing I order when I get to Miami. I also make Newscastle Oxtail Stew every winter. So yes, I love oxtail. But I haven’t found a lot of places in Denver that make it — which brings me to Range (inside the Renaissance Hotel at 17th & Champa).
Range is a “New American West” restaurant that focuses on food and libations that highlight the — you guessed it — American West. This includes an awesome oxtail gnocchi dish. The only down side is that it’s an appetizer and not an entree, because I want more of it.
Range technically calls these “Semolina Gnocchi” (in reference to the coarse grindings of durum wheat that the gnocchi are made of) — but I feel like “Oxtail Gnocchi” needs to be the name, since that’s the best part. It’s composed of braised oxtail, semolina gnocchi, mushrooms, marzano tomatoes, romano, and torn herbs ($13). It’s full of flavor and the oxtail melts in your mouth (as it should). I wouldn’t mind if it had a little more oxtail in relation to the gnocchi, though.
Happy Hour: 3-6pm
So here’s the thing. The oxtail gnocchi here are great. Would I come here all the time for them, or for a full dinner? Probably not, just because I couldn’t afford to. With cocktails at $15, wines at $50+, and entrees at about $30 (the lamb, which I think was the best thing on the entree list, is $38)… I’d go broke. During happy hour though, you can get $4 draft beer, $5 Colorado cocktails, $6 local wines, and $7 specialty cocktails. Oh, and small food plates for $6.
My personal favorite HH cocktail here was the “D’Agave Old Fashioned” (which at $7 is WAY better than the normal $15 price tag). It’s a mix of tequila muddled with sliced lemon, lime, jalapeño, and honeycomb — and topped with ginger beer.
These little loaded potatoes are actually some of my favorites that I’ve had — probably because they come with habañero bacon, peppadew havarti, and crème fraiche. So they’re a little spicier and creamier than what you’ll get most places.
If you’re really hungry, the wood oven flatbreads are a steal during happy hour for $6. The options are Artichoke & Kale, or Pepperoni & Jalapeño (I’ll let you guess which one I recommend).
So these weren’t on the happy hour menu (I think they should be) — but they’re not too bad at $13 on the regular menu, considering the portion. Grilled jalapeño peppers with applewood bacon, chorizo, haystack chevre, and fresno jam.
And don’t forget to check out the hotel lobby.
You can also take your HH drinks out here, since there’s a bar in the lobby. It’s a pretty impressive space that spans almost the entire first floor: