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December, 2008, Page 154
Lamb chops with goat cheese fondue
No major steak house chains have yet tested the westside waters. Does independent Arrowhead Grill have the chops to break the ice?
Chef/owner Charles Schwerd has manned the grill for such protein peddlers as Mastro’s, Ruth’s Chris and, most recently, John Elway’s Denver steak house. He clearly knows his product and processes, and he’s attempting to work them into the west side’s first independent steak house, Arrowhead Grill.
Setting the scene, the generously proportioned foyer with an eye-catching waterfall wall provides a great sense of arrival. It’s spacious and spare inside, done in shades of sand and charcoal. Lighting is effective, but there’s something missing. Maybe candles on the almost-bare tables or a splash-of-color would raise the excitement level.
The menu is tight. While steaks occupy the front burner, there are seafood options and enough hearty appetizers and big salads for picky eaters to craft a lighter meal.
Don’t miss the half-dozen Kumamoto oysters ($9.95), glossy and frilled as a Versace gown. The pristine presentation includes mignonette sauce, a sparky mix of shallots and vinegar that underscores the sweetness of the bivalves.
Also enticing are the carefully trimmed lamb chops with a velvety goat cheese fondue ($10.95) that can easily work as an entrée.
I’m not sure what Rhode Island-style calamari ($6.95) is supposed to be, but the oceanic ringlets were flabby and not enhanced by pulpy pickled peppers and baby corn. They were also salted to a parching fare-thee-well, as was everything we tried on my second visit, starting with golden-crusted bread served drenched in garlic butter. That included the delectably caramelized grilled artichoke ($8.95) that, along with salt, was doused with harsh Cajun-like seasoning and the oily, as opposed to buttery, and oddly spunkless Louisiana-style BBQ shrimp ($9.95).
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