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Apr 7, 2009 12:03 PM

Downtown Denver

My wife and i are headed to denver for a weekend in June and staying downtown, need ideas for local restaurants. I was there a few months ago and ate at Rioja and had Motjito's across the street (not sure of where) and thought both were very good.

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  1. Further parameters—cost, cuisine type?

    3 Replies
    1. re: tatamagouche

      No parameters on cuisine type, as far as cost goes I am sure we will want something nice one night where cost is not an issue and something more casual and less expensive the next. I don’t really have cost parameters though. Rioja was reasonable for cost by my standards, which is my only local place to compare.

      1. re: rugbyboy

        A couple of useful threads, though not all are downtown-specific.

        You probably had the mojitos at Tamayo...

    2. A couple thoughts: For marvelous sushi and Japanese, head to Sushi Sasa on 15th & Platte. For tapas and live music, try The 9th Door on Blake. And Kevin Taylor inside the Hotel Teatro is the only Mobil Four Star-rated restaurant in Denver if you really want to splurge.

      2 Replies
      1. re: epicurina

        If you are having dinner in the Denver metro area tonight, please consider visiting one of these excellent restaurants, as 25% of the proceeds will be donated to Project Angel Heart (which delivers wholesome, nutritionally-appropriate meals to people with serious diseases):

        Fellow hound tatamagouche and I will be ambassadors at one of the places, but you will have to guess which one if you want to come heckle us. :-)

      2. We eat at the Ling and Louie's in the Tabor Center. It's Great. Your wife will love the water-wall. The Happy Hour is fantastic.

        7 Replies
        1. re: chuck81

          Looks pretty PF Chang-esque, no? What's great about it?

          1. re: tatamagouche

            Tatamagouche - It looks PF Chang-esque because it is PF Chang-esque. Both are chains, PFC is gigger and older and HQed in Scottsdale. L&L's has 2 locations in Denver & one in Scottsdale (another coming in Chandler). I'm not crazy about Chang's either (haven't been to Ling & Louie's), but a lot of people do like the atmosphere (clean!), the fact the servers all speak Engish and that the menu is not exotic and is non-threatening. The posts about Ling & Louie's in Scottsdale ( are overall positive. Again, it might not be to everyone's liking, but a lot of people wee favorably impressed by the food.

            1. re: ClaireWalter

              Ling and Louie's is crap. I've been to the Stapleton location and can't imagine ever trying it again unless dragged there unconscious. Many people are favorably impressed by the food at Olive Garden too, but that doesn't mean it's a place for chowhounds. I am not sure which one was worse on the Culinary Calamity Scale--Islamadora in the Bass Pro Shop or Ling and Louie's.

              1. re: rlm

                Personally, RLM, I agree with you. I don't do chains (or eateries in hook and bullet big box stores) either. But other people DO like to eat in "concepts" rather than in restaurants and are happy with a sprightly atmosphere and a menu designed by a marketing committee.

                We had dinner at PF Chang's once with friends who desperately wanted to go there (ditto with a single experience at the Cheesecake Factory). Neither experience killed us -- but neither inspired a return visit either. The reality is that there's no admission test for, and some people DO like the predictability of chains.

                1. re: ClaireWalter

                  Yes, I seem to remember your recommending Maggiano's to out-of-towners:

                  Chains are sometimes unavoidable (my Stapleton experiences were from work happy hours) and some of them like Capital Grille can put together a good experience. I do wonder how CG is doing after Darden took them over though. Anyone been to an outpost of CG recently?

                  Since the OP has already been to Rioja, unless their June trip has already occurred, they could check out Osteria Marco nearby or give TAG a try. Further out from the core: Z Cuisine, Fruition, Sushi Sasa. I think Frasca in Boulder is definitely worth a drive, even a really long one from another coast. :)

                  1. re: rlm

                    I've been to Ling and Louie's at Stapleton (once!) and thought it was pretty bad.

                    1. re: rlm

                      You have a good memory, RLM. I did suggest Maggiano's to a group of about a dozen looking for a place downtown -- on a weekend. PrimeBar, which opened recently, is enormous (the old Palomino space) and could probably handle a big group on a weekend too.

          2. O my - need to be listed - Bistro Vendome, oysters at The Oceanaire, mussels at The Cruise Room, Pizza at Anthony's or Two Fisted Marios. On 15th - across the highway - there's Forest Room 5, Vita, and Lola. All yummy.