By Di Freeze
To celebrate its arrival, on April 30, Lansdowne Arms hosted a grand opening bash that benefited The Children’s Hospital. The event included cocktails, a three-course chef-selected meal paired with Benziger wine, and Irish entertainment in the form of the Michael Collins Drum & Pipe Band.
Lansdowne Arms is the newest addition to the Highlands Ranch Town Center located along Highlands Ranch Parkway between Lucent and Broadway at 9352 Dorchester Street. Serving up traditional Irish pub fare and American-inspired steaks and raw bar, Lansdowne Arms offers a comfortable dining room setting in addition to a unique bar/deck area on the second floor.
The first floor hosts a bar, sit-down dining and a private library, complete with its own patio. A sweeping grand staircase leads the way to the upper level where views of the mountains and downtown can be enjoyed from the 1,250-square-foot deck. Modeled after a yacht’s lounging deck, complete with wrap-around seating, a fire pit and projection TV screen, the deck will perfectly complement Colorado weather. The second floor indoor bar features metal and mirror details.
The restaurant will be a hit if it lives up to the fare presented at the grand opening, where guests began their meal with a spring mix salad, tossed in a champagne vinaigrette with sun-dried cherries and toasted almonds, complemented by Benziger Fume Blanc. Next came grilled lamb chops with an herb-Dijon-mustard crust, served with goat-cheese mashed potatoes with red-wine demi-glace, complemented by Benziger Syrah.
There were two choices for the main entrée. I can’t comment on the basil-pesto-aioli-crusted Atlantic salmon served with spring vegetable risotto and asparagus, because I didn’t choose it, but I will say that the beef tenderloin with a bordelaise sauce, served with gorgonzola au-gratin potatoes and asparagus, was fantastic and definitely something I’d order again—and again.
Those who saved room for dessert enjoyed warm apple pecan bread pudding, topped with brown bread ice cream, caramel sauce and vanilla whipped cream.
Chef Maxwell Morrow, formerly head chef at Fado in downtown Denver, masterminds the menu at Lansdowne Arms with consulting chef George Mahaffey. Previous to Fado, Morrow was sous chef at the ChopHouse when it opened in Denver.
Menu items include rack of lamb, sirloin shepherd’s pie (a famous favorite that originated at Darcy’s), and other classic Irish pub and steakhouse fare. Mahaffey, a James Beard award winner, will lend his creative culinary expertise to create new, seasonal items for the menu.
In this new venture, Rob Dawe and Dave Hickey, known for their contribution to the successful creation of Darcy’s Bistro and Pub in the DTC, have joined with fellow Darcy’s owners Colm O’Neill (owner of Boulder’s Conor O’Neill’s) and Aspen financier William Jordan.
Lansdowne’s namesake is the Lansdowne Road Stadium in Dublin. Lansdowne is the oldest of the world’s international rugby union grounds hosting Ireland’s matches since 1878. It remains a regular home to the internationals, known today as the 6 Nations. While Irish in name, the Australian-born Dawe has modeled the restaurant after his favorite Sydney haunts.
“Arms” is a common term—historically referring to a coat of arms—put on the name of a pub.
Lansdowne Arms is open daily, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., serving lunch and dinner, in addition to brunch on Sunday’s.
For more information regarding Lansdowne Arms, call 303-346-9136. For more information regarding The Children’s Hospital, visit www.childrenshospital.org or [http://www.imaginethemiracles.org].