Restaurant Show Suggestions - The Summit Steakhouse


September 26, 2015


It’s hard to believe that it’s been 40 years since we first visited the Aurora Summit steakhouse. Back then it was well-hidden in a nondescript strip center at the corner of Yale and Parker Road. Originally it was the dream of two brothers who’d been so impressed by a steakhouse named Ruth’s Chris and their steaks served on sizzling platters, that they decided to bring the concept to Colorado. There’s been a lot of change in the Denver restaurant scene since then, and a lot of restaurants have come and gone. Yet, somehow, the Aurora Summit, now renamed simply The Summit, has managed to evolve and survive. Over that time it’s had its ups and its downs, and changed hands several times, but a recent visit reminded us why it’s still one of the top steakhouses in Denver.

One of the biggest changes at The Summit occurred when it moved from its original home to the corner of South Havana and Yale. It was only a quarter-mile from where it had been before, but now it was in a free-standing building visible to the endless stream of traffic up and down Havana. And, while it takes more than visibility and access to make a good restaurant, at least the new location got people through the doors.

The interior of the restaurant is much the same today as it’s been over the years. While many of the steakhouses in the area have a heavy, masculine feel to them, The Summit, with its high ceilings and use of glass combined with wood paneling, offers a softer atmosphere that, while still elegant, is less formal. It’s a décor that allows for a suit and tie, or just a pair of jeans and an open-collared sport shirt.

When a restaurant calls itself a steakhouse, you obviously expect to find prime rib, rib-eyes, T-bones, and fillets on the menu, along with crab legs and lobster tails, and you won’t be disappointed with the selection at The Summit. Of course, you’ll also find the Chateaubriand for two, which has been on the menu since the restaurant opened. But Chef Patrick Swetnam, a new addition to The Summit staff, has broadened the selection to include some premium items that really put the restaurant over the top. For example, he offers three different cuts of incredibly tender and flavorful Wagyu steak. Yes, it’s trite to say they melt in your mouth, but these literally do. You’ll also find a rack of Colorado lamb, and Applewood-smoked baby-back ribs. But the absolute must-try item on this menu is his Sugar-Cured Quail, a delicate and flavorful dish that reflects his Texas background. All dinners are complete with freshly-baked bread and a choice of soup or salad. And, since you’re wondering, yes, food like this with this kind of ambiance, comes with a premium price-tag, but no more than you’d expect to spend at any other high-end steakhouse in Denver. Certainly, if you’re looking for a spectacular evening of dining, you’ll find it here.

The Summit Steakhouse is located at the southeast corner of Havana and Yale. They serve lunch during the week, dinner nightly, and an ala carte brunch on Sundays.

The Summit Steakhouse
2700 S. Havana St.