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May 18, 2008 06:37 PM

Best restaurant in Denver for the day

We are staying in Denver for one night in July....What would you recommend for the best fine dining or trendy restaurant in Denver if you only have one evening?

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  1. On the patio at Highlands Garden Cafe is lovely and special. I'm also fond of Cuba Cuba (they have a patio too). The former takes reservations, the latter does not.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kitt

      Fruition and Table 6, both east of downtown, are good bets. Oft-recommended Rioja and Osteria Marco both at Larimer Square are options, tho' we were underwhelmed bu the service as Osteria Marco. If you like steak, Elway's (Cherry Creek and Ritz Carlton Denver) are current hotspots.French 250 in Cherry Creek is another possibility that might please. When you ask about "fine dining," I'm assuming that you're not too concerned about the bill.

    2. When you write "fine dining," I assume money is not an issue. Fine dining: Restaurant Kevin Taylor, the Palace Arms at the Brown Palace, Panzano, Rioja. Osteria Marco has gotten raves from some critics, but we were underwhelmed by the food and especially the service. Perhaps we expected to much. French 250 in Cherry Creek. Fruition or Table 6 east of downtown. If you like steak, Elway's (Cherry Creek and Ritz Carlton Denver locations) is super-trendy right now.

      8 Replies
      1. re: ClaireWalter

        thanks for the insight....we are staying at the ritz...

        1. re: mikecho

          According to the Westword, Table 6 just got named one of the 100 Best Restos in the World by the Robb Report or something, which is a little shocking, because it is not at all ambitious (or "fine dining"), it's a neighborhood place that does pot pies emphasizing the schmaltz and so on. But the food is outstanding.

          Fruition is very good too, a little too close for comfort for me though. No bar, white-cloth tables very close together. If I were to break or spill a glass or something, and Lord knows I've been known to, I'd probably cut or drench the folks at the next table.

          I'm not with Claire on Rioja, My experiences there have been very good for luscious, vaguely Mediterranean fare.

          I am with her on the fact that Kevin Taylor is the name Denver associates with fine dining but not necessarily with food worth the price.

          As for trendy I don't know what to tell you. I can't think of a criterion lower on my list.
          Actually, I do know what to tell you—Swimclub 32 in the Highlands. I hate everything about it except the mirror behind the bar and the nice bartenders but some people adore it.

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Re "I'm not with Claire on Rioja, My experiences there have been very good for luscious, vaguely Mediterranean fare." Read again, Tatamagouche. I wrote that we were "underwhelmed w/ the food and especially the service" at Osteria Marco, despite critics' priase. By contrast, we've had nothing but very good total experiences at Rioja.

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              Ah, I saw that period as a comma. Right you are!

              As for OM I still haven't gotten there myself.

            2. re: tatamagouche

              Table 6 must have the best PR machine for such a small restaurant. It gets amazing national press. The year it opened it made that Esquire list of 20 Best New Restaurants in the US. It wasn't even the best restaurant to open in Denver that year. More recently, I was reading a food feature on another city and it talked about different cities' "beloved neighborhood restaurants" and it was one of 2 or 3 places listed. There are 2 or 3 restaurants in that same neighborhood that I like more (Potager, Fruition, and possibly Mel's).

              Anywho, I don't know if you've ever looked at it, but Robb Report is so ridiculous. It's all about glorifying vulgarity and conspicuous consumption. I wouldn't trust it for any sort of culinary or cultural accuracy. I'd be willing to bet that their writer didn't even eat anywhere in Denver and the article was solely based on buzz, which Table 6 seems to get a lot of outside of Colorado.

              1. re: Megiac

                Interesting, Megiac. And it's definitely true that Mariani's reviewing MO leaves something to question.

                Still, a good PR machine isn't mutually exclusive with a great kitchen. Myself, I prefer Table 6 to both Fruition and Potager. Granted, as I said above, it's also doing something different, something that's more my style (a little comfier, more homey).

                1. re: tatamagouche

                  I definitely really like Table 6. Whenever I go, I am actually surprised by how good it is and wonder why I don't go more often. And I love the feel of it--it's probably one of my favorite restaurant spaces in Denver. It's third or fouth on my list of favorite restaurants in that neighborhood, but I really, really like to love the ones that I'd rank above it.

                  Also, I have to say that the last few times I've been to Potager it has been good, but not as good as I remember. I'm wondering if it has slid just a bit in the last year or so.

                2. re: Megiac

                  Table 6 has (or had) an excellent publicist, but I don't think that's necessarily why it made the Robb Report. Some years ago, it was surprising that Johnson's Corner made a list of the best breakfasts in the world on some equally presitigious list -- along with places like the Peninsula in Hong Kong. Turns out the writer grew up in Cheyenne, and when his family drove to Denver on old US 85, they always stopped at Johnson's Corner, a truck stopped, for cinammon rolls.

          2. Nine75 and The 9th Door are my faves in Central Denver - yum.

              1. If I only had one night to dine in Denver I would dine at Rioja. The reason is 1st the food is always unbelievable, and if what you ordered isn’t they will make sure that you find something that is. The bacon app is one of the best apps going. The second reason is Raja’s location it is located right on Larimer Square a beautiful street right in the heart of downtown. A perfect place for a post dinner stroll, which showcases one of the nicer areas of Denver. The third reason is they take reservations, Table Six does not. When I am on vacation I want to eat at my ideal time not when the restaurant is ready.

                Thomas Keller had one night to dine in denver and he chose rioja