Ascent on Main
A getaway with great food
By Chris Michlewicz
Gone are the days when couples have to go to downtown Denver or the mountains for a romantic Valentine’s Day overnight. Parker just might be the place to spend February 14.
The Ascent on Main, formerly The Laszlo Hotel, is a four-story, red-brick hotel northwest of Mainstreet and Dransfeldt Road. It houses a diverse collection of dining and shopping options and comfy accommodations to fit any occasion. With 51 rooms and walking-distance proximity to the AMC Twenty Mile 10 theater, Douglas County couples might opt to stay local for a one-stop dining, entertainment and luxury-boutique hotel stay this year. On the bottom floor of the hotel are a cigar shop and jewelry store, adjoining the renowned Doug’s Day Diner.
The Ascent on Main, is anchored by a fine-dining restaurant called The Douglas Kitchen and Cocktails. Named for the county in which it resides, The Douglas is bringing fresh flavors to the Mainstreet corridor, with featured entrees like rabbit pot pie, potato-crusted halibut, and filet of bison. Starter selections include duck wings, a beet trio and petite beef wellington. Practically speaking, every single item on the menu is worth trying.A recent change to the menu incorporated locally-sourced proteins, like bison, rabbit, lamb and beef, said Jeffrey Coyle, director of food and beverage at The Douglas. That local focus extends to the bar, which offers up a variety of Colorado-made wine and whiskey.
Aside from the eclectic “elevated comfort food” that’s served, massive windows provide views of the southern and western landscape of the Front Range and are a major attraction. Natural sunlight pours in through the windows during the day and highlights the finished dark wood bar top and tables.
While the delectable dishes are most certainly 5-star quality, the setting is quite casual; jeans and a T-shirt fit just as well as a sport jacket or cocktail dress. “I love the idea of having an atmosphere that’s not intimidating for anyone,” Coyle said.
Those seeking a quiet, private environment find solace at The Douglas. The wine and cocktail menu is extensive and varied, and the fare matches perfectly with an occasion such as Valentine’s Day. Lighter options include the garden vegetable lentil bowl, featuring mixed-root vegetables, spiced lentils, red quinoa, almonds and sumac dressing. For something a little heavier, diners can indulge in the melt-off-the-bone beef short ribs served with mascarpone polenta, roasted winter veggies and a peppered red wine demi-glaze.
Another popular eatery, Upper Deck, occupies a portion of the second floor, and it tends to have a lively atmosphere, particularly on its outdoor patio. While not quite being a sports bar, it has six TVs and a more basic menu than The Douglas. It serves mainly burgers, chicken, sandwiches, appetizers and craft beer, and is family friendly.
With no indoor dining limitations in the county, The Douglas and Upper Deck are fully open Wednesday through Sunday. Coyle, and satisfied customers, are spreading the word about the restaurant being open to the general public.
“We’re not just an amenity to the hotel,” he said. “We want to make sure the community knows that you don’t have to be a guest in the hotel to dine with us.”
The top floor of The Ascent on Main centers around the soon-to-be-reopened Summit Lounge, the highest dining-and-drinks venue in the Town of Parker. It’s an ideal hangout for appetizers, a glass of wine, and an open-air front seat for a stunning Rocky Mountain sunset.
“We’re expecting that to be a very hot spot in the summertime,” Coyle said.
Parker, CO 80134
The Douglas: (720) 676-1503
Wed – Thur: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Upper Deck: (720) 676-1516
Wed – Thur: 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.