On my last two trips to Denver, I had the good fortune to spend some time at the Centennial Airport (APA), and dine at The Perfect Landing restaurant.
The Centennial Airport
The airport itself is run by the Denver jetCenter, a fixed-based operator. jetCenters of Colorado is composed of three full service Fixed Based Operators (FBOs): Colorado jetCenter (COS), Denver jetCenter (APA), and FT Collins-Loveland jetCenter (FNL). jetCenter offers flight services for business, general, commercial and military aircraft operations.
At all of the jetCenter locations (including at the Centennial Airport), these standard amenities are offered:
- Quick Turns
- Conference Rooms
- Free Wi-Fi
- Pilots Lounge
- Crew & Rental Cars
- Flight Planning
- Potable Water Service
The other cool thing I noticed that jetCenter offers is the Captain’s Club Rewards Visa Pre-paid card.
I spoke with Bekah who manned the Centennial Airport desk, and is employed by Denver jetCenter. She was extremely friendly, and since it was a quiet evening, she took some time to tell me some stories around her experiences at the airport. She said that a lot of locals frequent the airport, including some hard-core aviation buffs for plane-spotting activities.
Usually they sit upstairs at The Perfect Landing restaurant, but occasionally loiter around the gate area to catch a closer look of the aircraft and the crews. Over years there have been a few security incidents (especially since there’s no real security at the airport per se), especially with a few of the aviation fanatics, but mostly it’s quiet, no hassle, no problems. She also mentioned that the restaurant is the perfect date restaurant.
The airport lounge area was very well-maintained and had an authentic Colorado look and feel (fireplaces, stone and wood, and great views of the mountains, and computer terminals). Take a look for yourself. If you want to eat your dinner downstairs in the one of the comfortable fireplace lounge chairs, The Perfect Landing restaurant upstairs will deliver your meal to you (I took advantage of this the first time since I couldn’t make it up the stairs due to my ankle surgery).
The Perfect Landing Restaurant
The Perfect Landing restaurant has been owned and operated by the Carter family since 1992. It is located upstairs at the Centennial Airport, in the Denver Tech Center area (Centennial, CO).
It serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offers a great happy hour menu with lots of specials (Top Sirloin or Salmon for $11 etc) and drink specials (buy one bottle of wine get the second for 50 cents – we took advantage of this). The bar is gorgeous (cherry wood) and also boasts a piano – live music can be enjoyed on most evenings.
The best part is the view. Nearly all tables have a window view where you can see the Rockies Front Rage in the background, and of course the airfield in the foreground – watching unique aircraft take-off and land is the perfect setting for a relaxing (and often romantic) experience.
We had a large group and the restaurant easily accommodated us, and gave us a great view of the runway. Food service was at a moderate pace considering the size of our group, the our waiter was a good sport – we enjoyed witty banter with him around his knowledge of Japanese (a few people in our group new some phrases). He had apparently lived there for a while but “got out when Fukushima happened.”
The first time I visited The Perfect Landing, I had their sirloin special – it was delicious. I also tried the fried brie with apricot appetizer (yum). This time, I ordered a salmon burger which was just OK (a little heavy on the sauce), with sweet potato fries, which were excellent. I wouldn’t generally recommend ordering seafood in Colorado and I’m not really sure why I did or what I expected.
The Perfect Landing restaurant also does aircraft catering in case you decide to fly in to the airport and need to stock up your plane.
Sunday 7am-3pm breakfast and lunch served
Monday 7am-4pm breakfast and lunch served
Sunday and Monday 5pm-9pm dinner served
Tuesday thru Saturday 7am to 5pm breakfast and lunch served
Tuesday thru Saturday 5pm to 10pm dinner served
Boogie Bob in the piano bar Tuesday thru Saturday 5:30pm to 9pm (see picture of him playing the piano above)
If you love food and airplanes, and you happen to be in Colorado, I definitely recommend you take a side-trip to Centennial to check out the airport and The Perfect Landing restaurant.
And don’t forget to get your Frequent Landing Card stamped!