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rest suggestions for 3 summer nights in denver

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Hi- My husband and I will be in Denver for 3 nights end of august/early sept. We are from phila so are spoiled by small chef owned byobs with great food. We don't like steak houses or mexican. We would like to eat at a variety of places.We are staying at the hotel Monaco 1717 Champa Street, so close by would be a plus.
We need restaurants for Tues and Wed., and then are away Thurs eve. Fri we will do the art tour /open gallery scene so will play dinner by ear. Need a last restaurant for Sat eve. Thinking of Rojio for 1st night , and maybe Bistro Vendrome and Fruition for the other two but am more than open to suggestions. Thanks!

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  1. No BYOB in Colorado, so don't even think about that. Nearby? Can't get nearer than Panzano right in the Hotel Monaco. Not small, but chef Elise Wiggins is a talent, and her nothern Italian menu is terrific. By Rojio, I think you mean Rioja on Larimer St. Hope the free 16th Mall shuttle for that and other restaurants on the block. Most of the small, chef-driven restaurants are away from the downtown orbit. Fruiiition, Table 6, Olivea, D-Bar Desserts, Strings are among those east of downtown. A slew of fine little chef-owned eateries is clustered in the Highlands area, northwest of downtown.

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    Table 6
    609 Corona St., Denver, CO 80218

    Rioja
    1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

    Panzano
    909 17th St., Denver, CO 80202

    3 Replies
    1. re: ClaireWalter

      Claire's are all good suggestions; others are Fuel, Squeaky Bean, Venue, Beatrice & Woodsley, Z Cuisine, Bones, and maybe Twelve and Shazz (though I can't vouch for the latter two personally). But Claire's right that the quiet, low-key joints aren't to be found downtown.

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      Beatrice & Woodsley
      38 S. Broadway, Denver, CO 80209

      Shazz Cafe & Bar
      4262 Lowell Blvd, Denver, CO 80211

      1. re: tatamagouche

        We are fine with a bigger, 'cooler' restaurant also. Would also be fun to eat in a cool/popular location thoughnot if we have to sacrifice good food. We will try and eat in our hotel one night,thanks. Want to be sure we r not eating in the same type of restaurant ( food, atmosphere) each night. Does Rioja, frution and Bistro vendrone seem a good selection?

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        Rioja
        1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

        1. re: css

          Yes, yes, and yes, although for what it's worth, I don't love Fruition b/c of the ambiance—the place is very small, tables close together, no bar, and I just feel stiff and uncomfortable there. But the food is very good to be sure.

          Also, though BV is nice, it's a very straightforward bistro, nothing you can't get in Philly (and it's owned by Jasinski, whose Rioja you're already covering); you might, if you want to stay right around on Larimer, consider TAG or Osteria Marco, both of which would introduce you to different, acclaimed local chefs (Troy Guard and Frank Bonanno).

          Personally, of all the places that have been mentioned that are downtown, I'd do Rioja, Osteria Marco, and Panzano—but then that just shows my Western Med predilection.

          http://www.denveater.com

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          Osteria Marco
          1453 Larimer, Denver, CO 80202

          Rioja
          1431 Larimer Street, Denver, CO 80202

    2. Lala's has a nice patio - in Capitol Hill Area - south of downtown. Frank Bonanno's restaurants are good - a block away from Lala's, can't remember the name.

      1 Reply
      1. re: blythe

        Bones, Mizuna, Luca d'Italia (same owner of Osteria Marco mentioned above). They are indeed good, though the latter two are borderline special-occasion and Bones is very small and packed.

        I quite like Lala's as a casual neighborhood pizzeria, though I don't know if I'd consider it a must-go for a visitor...

        http://www.denveater.com