The Wanderer

A 5280 Geek Denver Restaurant Review:

The Shanty Supper Club

by John Andreula


Recently I met Ashley Gamer (cool name, I know!), the media & social events coordinator of the Denver restaurants Syrup & The Shanty Supper Club. I had the privilege of making Ashley’s acquaintance at the recent Denver Mac & Cheese Festival. Ashley was there serving the The Shanty Supper Club‘s Wisconsin mac & cheese with a cheese blend she was cooking right there at the table. It was on point!

shanty Mac & Cheese
The Shanty Supper Club Mac & Cheese (photo courtesy of Ashley)

I thoroughly enjoyed the connection with Ashley, so naturally, when she invited me to come down and try The Shanty Supper Club I could not refuse. Accepting Ashley’s invitation follows through on three of my five Geek Resolutions for 2019; being a better, more engaged member of the Colorado geek community, supporting a local business, and supporting people in my acquaintance.

The Shanty Supper Club is located at 1033 E 17th Avenue. It’s directly between the 16th St. Mall and City Park in the neighborhood referred to as uptown locally.

My wife and I headed down to the restaurant for an early Valentine’s dinner. Shanty had 4.5 stars on yelp, so I felt confident it would be sure bet for a romantic evening out with my love.

We chose to go two days before the actual “holiday” of Valentine’s. Dinner on Valentine’s night can be pure madness. Oftentimes restaurants offer special menus for couples. Those specials usually include libations and an inflated bill. My wife and I don’t require either.

Upon arrival, we were able to find free parking on the street. We got a spot in front of the neighboring establishment, mere yards from the restaurant’s entrance.

There was a patio out front that will probably make for a wonderful outdoor dining experience in the warmer months. But it’s February, and it sure felt like it, stepping outside on that Tuesday night.

We entered the restaurant and it was quiet. The interior of Shanty is not large, but the calm setting along with the subtle, dim lighting made for a romantic ambiance. The decor of Shanty is in the styling of an old school pub.

On the bar-side wall near the entry is a huge painted mural of an old fisherman, or an Englishman, or an old English fisherman. In any case, it’s a cool logo for the restaurant. It also appeared on the menus. In addition to the mural and the dim lighting, there was lots of wood and dark booth seating. It definitely presented a hip factor to the restaurant.

We were told to sit where we liked by the lone server/bartender on duty. Two patrons were sitting at the bar and a couple with a young child was at one of the tables. We chose a table in the back corner. My wife and I shared the side with the booth and had a open view of the whole restaurant as well as the multiple televisions above the bar playing sports.

The server gave us time with our menus and answered our questions. The menu, although only one sizable page, offered many tasty choices. This is a rare feat, considering that I limit my dining selections to poultry, fish, and vegetarian. We opted for the chicken pot pie and the three-piece fried chicken dinner.

We waited for quite a bit while the food was being prepared. Each time the server brought a plate out of the kitchen we got excited thinking it would be ours, but alas, several of the other customers dishes were ahead of ours in the queue.

I only saw one cook in the kitchen and we were having a date night, so we settled into the wait. It would just serve to build up our appetite.

We were definitely good and hungry when the food finally arrived, and we were duly rewarded for our patience.

The fried chicken dinner came out first. It was served with our choice of two sides. From the many tempting options, we selected the fried corn and the potato cakes. Choosing these made this dinner selection 100% deep fried. We had no regrets, especially after seeing and eating the food.

The three pieces of chicken were breaded and greasy, but good fried chicken usually is. Large chunks of the breading would flake off in my hands and on my plate. It was so good. I could not stop picking them up and eating them.

The side of potato cakes came in three large pieces. These may have been my favorite taste of the meal. The cakes were brown and slightly crispy on the outside, and they were soft and warm on the inside.

The potato cakes reminded me what the offspring of a latke and a knish would taste and look like. They were pure fried perfection!

The two pieces of corn were served on the cob, flash-fried, with minimal breading. This is the first time I had corn prepared this way. It didn’t turn out very different from campfire or boiled corn. It was just a bit crispier.

The corn was good, but it wasn’t special. The cobs were probably the low-point of the meal and that’s saying a lot about the entirety of the experience.

The chicken pot pie came out shortly after the fried chicken plate. It was heaped onto a large plate. The healthy portion of creamy chicken and veggies was topped with two large, crispy puff-pastries.¹

I’m used to pot pies served inside the pie crust and I love pot pies. This one almost made me a convert to this variation. It was amazing. The flavors co-mingled well.

The cuts of chicken were tender and high quality. This pot pie was legit! If you order it, make sure you eat it while it’s hot.

We finished dinner and still had one large piece of chicken and a half potato cake packaged up in a to-go container. My wife and I were both completely stuffed and thoroughly satisfied.

Dinner at The Shanty Supper Club was perfect. I could not have asked for a better place to enjoy a Valentine’s date-night with my partner.

The experience was top notch. The ambiance was subtle, but spectacular. The service was understated, but on point. The best part of all, they let their food be the true star of the evening.

We will definitely return to The Shanty Supper Club. The experience was so good that we might even make an extra trip down to Denver to try one of its sister breakfast restaurants, Syrup.

The Shanty Supper Club serves some serious comfort food. I recommend Shanty to anyone who is looking for a wonderful meal, but is not too worried about their caloric intake. Plan on not feeling too bad if you come down and get tempted by many of the hearty dishes they are serving.

Treat yourself. Call it your cheat day. You only live once! In the case of The Shanty Supper Club, being bad can be so very good and so rewarding.

¹An interesting side note. Shanty offered two variations of the pot pie: chicken or wild mushroom. Chicken is $12.99 and wild mushroom is $14.99. I asked the server which she preferred and she frankly informed me that the chicken pot pie contains everything that the mushroom one includes, but it also has chicken. She said the wild mushroom pot pie is just the vegetarian option. I thought it being priced two dollars more was quite curious.

#theWanderer (photo & article edits by the incomparable Kodid Laraque-Two Elk)

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