Ship Tavern, Brown Palace, Denver Colorado

I did not do this. Key photographs are not mine. I did not even drive there, although the place is only a mile away.

Photo by Travel and Leisure

Photo by Vogue

18th St. One Way via Lincoln St also one way. This is where you pull up for valet parking.
Photo by Brown

Photo by Hotel Chatter

Lobby apparently decorated for Christmas. But I am not sure. It is November 19th 2014

The Ship Tavern is dark. Very dark with tiny islands of light. A chiaroscuro nightmare for an amateur photographer trying to be inconspicuous and not making a big deal of it. I took photos only from where I sat without moving around or looking for special angles. I took my macro lens to photograph the food and that proved much less helpful for getting the whole room and nearly useless to get the sense of the splendor the lobby imposes. 

Nobody around seemed to mind. The Ship Tavern knocks down the antique elegance that the rest of the hotel presents. It offers hotel guests a more relaxed space. Joe enjoyed the sense of history inherent in the room, he was imaging it Dwight and Mamie's favorite space, he tried to convey the endless stream of historic persons who favored the place.

The room is not large nor imposing. Crowded with early American style captain's chairs. Checkered tablecloths. Exceedingly noisy, the hard surfaces do little to buffer the noise. When a neighboring double table occupied by middle-aged women who had been drinking with their meal all departed the decibel level inside was suddenly reduced by half. Later the light was reduced to lower level too as a man set up at a piano.

Every person I encountered was gracious, from valet parking to doorman, to wait staff to guests. Moving about twice using two wooden canes, observing me negotiate a path, guests would push away chairs to clear a way without any eye contact, without looking up, without breaking their own conversations. Quite extraordinary all that how each guest assessed the situation and responded so gracefully. 

The wait staff that night was two middle-aged men somewhat overweight and floppy, nothing at all uptight and not sloppy, negotiating through the cluttered captain's chairs making something of agile dancers of themselves, empty chairs pushed in by their movement cutting a path picking their way zig-zagging through. However, our server was female. So, three servers that I noticed. Service is excellent. I must say our server was the best we've ever had anywhere. Her timing outstanding, when I said so she beamed, with none of the conversation stopping interrogatives as rushed servers do, delivered on the server's own schedule. She saw we were engaged talking and allowed us all the time we liked then suddenly appeared when needed. She read our minds.

I nursed a Cuba Libre that tasted absolutely perfect. The drink matched the pinnacle of perfection I had in Mexico one time, and only one time, and failed to attain on my own ever since. I asked what kind of rum the bartender uses and she returned with the bartender's answer: Bacardi Silver. I've been using Bacardi all along, after all it is their own recipe, but none of my concoctions taste as good as this. The first sip hinted of chocolate and pure smoothness thereafter. And not too strong altogether. 

Model ships all around the whole place. Old models. 

I owned six such model ships myself, my sibs referred to me as Admiral at the time, funny because we are all Air Force brats, and I just recently gave them away to clear storage except for my two favorite model yachts in the old wooden plank and cloth sail type. I was interested in trying to match their models against mine but I saw nothing that matched, except for a small two-masted sloop that could be rigged up in different ways.

I wondered, good Lord, how do they keep all these things dusted? Dust them just once yourself and you realize why they are most often behind glass. 

Photo by Trip Advisor.

I was so enthralled with my plate of food I forgot to photograph my meal. I'm such a dunce sometimes. I'd make a terrible photojournalist. This is somebody else's prime rib.

My prime rib was accompanied with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. Not broccoli rabe as shown here. Mine had regular broccoli cooked perfectly and tasting better than my own broccoli at home. Probably steamed in white wine, I am guessing, and retaining its attractive crunch. Odd to be presented with such an impressive plate and go for the broccoli first, but that is what I did. My plate was served as dark pool of au juice that disappeared with the last fork of prime rib. I cleared my plate. 

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