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Midvalley Restaurants: Darwin's

Todd Hartley's picture

A relative newcomer to the midvalley scene, Darwin’s Beer and Grill is the brainchild of Steve Sklar, whose previous ventures have included Aspen’s Grill Next Door and the Big Hoss Grill in Snowmass Village. Sklar took over the long-vacant spot adjacent to Movieland in El Jebel, extended the kitchen and added a bar to create Darwin’s, which is fast becoming a fixture with midvalley locals as well as the cinema crowd.

In the spirit of its namesake, Darwin’s menu boasts of being “Ever Evolving.” So along with standards like fish and chips, burgers and steaks, expect to find the unexpected. Recent additions to the roster have included mahi mahi tacos, beef stroganoff, chicken tortilla soup and crab legs every weekend. Sklar’s philosophy is to try something as a special, and if people like it he adds it to the menu.

The food is top-notch, too. Particular standouts include the Anasazi chicken wraps, the crab cakes and some of the best pork green chili you’ll ever find. The two steaks on the menu are a prime rib and a filet mignon in mushroom sauce that rivals anything at twice the price. And in a nod to folks on their way to the movies, Darwin’s offers a full slate of appetizers, from wings and calamari to egg rolls and crab mac and cheese.

The addition of a bar to the former El Korita space has given Darwin’s a focal point that was lacking in its predecessor, making for a lively meeting spot and neighborhood hangout, with three high-definition TVs for sports viewing. A healthy lineup of tap and bottled beers is augmented by plenty of vodkas and tequilas and such fanciful concoctions as the mango cosmopolitan and the guava mojito. With its airy outside porch, Darwin’s is sure to be a hit on lazy summer evenings with anyone looking for a boat drink to beat the heat.

Another of Sklar’s philosophies is to keep things affordable, and at Darwin’s he’s down that nicely. Save for the crab legs, nothing on the menu is over $20, and there is a sizable kids menu, making Darwin’s a great place to bring the family without having to pay an arm and a leg.

For a friendly, affordable family meal or a quick snack on the way to or from a movie, Darwin’s fills the bill perfectly. The menu is varied, the portions are big, and the prices can’t be beat. If you’re looking for fancy food served with an attitude, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a good, honest meal, you’ll enjoy Darwin’s immensely.