Summer Scene 10

The ViewHouse

Ever find yourself on a beautiful summer afternoon with a hungry family and a hankering for a patio dining experience? Oh yeah – and a strong desire NOT to drive into Denver? If so, you and yours might head over to the ViewHouse in Centennial, just 15 minutes from Highlands Ranch near Dry Creek and I-25. Pull up on a clear summer afternoon and you’ll surely find that others have had the same idea, but free valet awaits, no reservations are required, and – you soon learn – the kids can play in the large game room or enjoy lawn games outside like corn-hole and volleyball. Should you join the kids outside, or easily watch them from the open bar as you await that table with the promising view? The bar wins, and you scan the happy hour menu with deals like $3.00 sliders and drinks and $5.00 cocktails. You enjoy the live music while keeping an eye on the kiddos and marveling at the gigantic TVs around you, both indoors and out. Just as you and your family have forgotten you were “waiting” for your ViewHouse experience to begin, you’re led to a 2nd-floor patio table surrounded by breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountain front range.

Opened in 2014 after the flagship ViewHouse hit a home run at its location near Coors Field, the Centennial restaurant boasts more rooftop dining than the Denver spot, plus the largest LED TV screens in Colorado. Drawing diners from the surrounding ‘burbs and Denver Tech Center, the ViewHouse is big enough in both structure and soul to strike the right chord for all types of diners, from happy hour revelers and live-music fans to business types and date-night couples.

And you’ll find this same inclusiveness on the menu. Born in the mind of chef Jose Guerrero who at age 14 started cooking in his family’s restaurant near food-famous Cicero in Chicago, Guerrero brings years of experience working in fine dining establishments around the world, from Hong Kong and Thailand to Amsterdam and Mexico City. With partners Francois Safieddine, Brad Manske and Paulina Szafranski, he founded the “ViewHouse twist” of cooking food properly and using only the best products.

“Local when available, organic when possible, and always a fresh eating experience,” says Guerrero.

When local or organic is not an option, Guerrero sources ingredients from like-minded artisans, and that means no antibiotics, hormones, or byproducts. Guerrero’s aim:  to bring together “all the things a good bar would offer,” in a menu that suggests a Latin flair with French and Asian influences, “more Japanese than Chinese,” says Guerrero.

Menu favorites include the Smokey Sliders slow-cooked with Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, the Colorado Seared Striped Bass with lemon arugula, Lemon & Fig Flatbread, and the Nuts & Berries salad.

“And the kids menu isn’t just the fried stuff you find on many kids’ menus,” says Guerrero. “We’ve got [items including] pigs-in-a-blanket, mac and cheese, and a grilled chicken breast with any side they want.”

But ask Guerrero what he’s most passionate about, and it’s the $28.95 brunch buffet, served Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. “I’ve had brunches everywhere, and this rivals any,” says Guerrero.

If you’re one who defines a “neighborhood restaurant” as one within walking distance from home, the ViewHouse’s Tech Center location may not quite qualify. But few could argue that this is a community restaurant to be sure. With community running clubs and volleyball tournaments, 20,000 square feet available for banquets and events, and live music from local bands, you’ll find a lively crowd at the ViewHouse most every night of the week. Add that to the eats, the panoramic views, and the unappetizing thought of traveling into Denver after a long week of commuting, and the ViewHouse certainly qualifies as a “neighborhood restaurant” for us suburbanites.