The Grandeur of Guard & Grace in Downtown Denver

The 9,000 square ft. modern space in the heart of downtown Denver sets the tone of the sophisticated Guard & Grace. Known as a steakhouse located at 1801 California Street, the restaurant named after Chef/owner Troy Guard and his daughter, Grace, also offers an expansive seafood menu, taking cues from Japanese and Hawaiian influences like the generous portion of their Alaskan cod. 

At 5:30 pm on a weekday, I was ushered gracefully through the bevy of diners for their after work meal or for a romantic date. Getting a peak of the busy open kitchen plan, I felt the infectious vibrant energy. More so, my server was eager to tell stories of the seafood bounties on the menu, while the beverage manager listened intently to my sweet and sour preferences for cocktails and wine pairing.
miso cod
Alaskan black cod with sweet soy butter. Also served with a parker roll (not shown in photo)
Unexpected seafood varieties 
Guard & Grace features signature hand-cut steaks rubbed with Chef Troy's hand-crafted seasoning blend cooked over an oak-fired grill, and finished with demi-glace, chive butter and a roasted carrot. A filet flight is even offered to sample their prime, wagyu and grass fed cuts. However unlike other steakhouses that only offer limited non-steak dishes, Guard & Grace could also very well be known as a seafood restaurant. Some seafood highlights, which I gather was influenced by the chef's travels in Japan, include the following: 
  • The Alaskan black cod literally glistens with sweet soy butter. Sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds, the entree was further elevated with the sweetness from the vinaigrette and balanced with the crunchy texture of the brocollini.
  • Taco sushi using a homemade taco shell made out of wonton wrap. The fish is delicately half seared and topped with mango salsa, which is enhanced with dried plum powder for an added kick. The taco sits on a bed of fresh, garlicky guacamole.
  • Japanese diver scallops served as the chef's special of the day with chive butter and arugula salad didn't disappoint. It was plump, juicy, and served to perfection.
  • Oak grilled octopus, which was one of the eye popping options with its striking presentation, was prepared just right. Although octopus is easy to overcook, Guard & Grace's rendition of the grilled octopus was tender and can be devoured on its own or with a touch of red pepper sauce.
taco sushi
Taco sushi using fried wonton as taco shell
Japanese diver scallops as the special of the day
Oak grilled octopus
Oak grilled octopus with red pepper sauce
Don't forget the beverage pairing and dessert 
With low 70 degree wether, Spring was in full swing in Denver when I visited Guard & Grace. My meal was thoughtfully paired with a refreshing cocktail called From Oaxaca with love. I couldn't help but fall in love with the cocktail's sweet notes and visually appealing deep purple edible flower to contrast the light green mezcal concoction. 

The love I felt from the bountiful seafood and beverage pairing didn't wane as I savored through each dish. My meal ended with a warm, romantic date cake topped with brown butter ice cream. The dessert, which was a lighter version of a hot fudge brownie, was a finale to remember for a grand meal at the Guard & Grace, especially the dramatic caramel pour over with a hint of sexiness from the raspberry couli.
date cake
Date cake with brown butter ice cream

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review.

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