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NEW TO DENVER AREA - NEED UPSCALE REC

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I just moved to Denver from manhattan and I'm looking for a really memorable dinner recommendation for my boyfriends birthday. Frasca is his favorite in the area so far, but in trying to be a little more creative, I was hoping to find somewhere else along those lines. Past birthday dinners in NY have been Eleven Madison Park and Blue Hill at Stone Barns. I have gone through the posts here but was hoping to find an overwhelmingly unanimous recommendation. Thanks in advance for your help

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  1. I would go with the tasting menu at Mizuna. Does not look like much from the outside, but excellent service and delicious food. My better half and I have been Frasca regulars for almost 8 years and I took him to Mizuna this year as a surprise for something different. I shamefully admit I had not been in years (usually hit up the chef's more casual Osteria Marco or Bones) and really enjoyed it. He was not as happy with the wine pairings as he usually is at Frasca, but we did like the sommelier so maybe just personal preferences on his part. (I abstained since we couldn't leave the car that night.) If I'm going to spend that kind of money though, I trust no one as much as Frasca to deliver.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rlm

      It is more casual than upscale, but Oak at Fourteenth in Boulder on Pearl is also highly recommended. Owners and several others in kitchen and behind bar are ex-Frasca staffers, so they know about great service and quality food.

    2. Try The Kitchen http://thekitchencommunity.com/ for a down-to-earth upscale experience. They just opened a downtown Denver location. Or, my favorite, Salt in Boulder. http://www.saltboulderbistro.com/ It's worth the drive. Website doesn't do it justice. I have been more than impressed with each dish I've had there. You could also try Cafe Bar. http://www.cafebarcolorado.com/

      1 Reply
      1. re: amyk00025

        I found Cafe Bar to be an overpriced disappointment. I would agree with the rec for The Kitchen.

      2. I don't think you'll find an overwhelmingly unanimous recommendation. For classically fancy/expensive, another Boulder option might be the Flagstaff House; Colterra in Niwot might be a good choice too. While I like Salt and the Kitchen, I don't think they're in the same league from a "special dinner" POV.

        In Denver, I love Rioja, and have heard great things about Fruition. I ate at Mizuna once and was not blown away, but it was just once. Restaurant Kevin Taylor will also give you the "fancy expensive restaurant, special dinner" vibe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: LurkerDan

          I guess it depends on your own personal style. I always am a fan of good design, simple, good ingredients. I hate pretentiousness and so I stay away from certain restaurants in town that attract that type. I thought of another one you might want to look up Hungryinny: http://beatriceandwoodsley.com/. This place is in an active and vibrant area of Broadway and the windows are tinted yellow. Can't miss it.

        2. Try Bittersweet on Alemeda east of Broadway. Link www.bittersweetdenver.com/ Super fresh food some of which they grow themselves. Excellent restaurant.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheapandlazygourmet

            See? There is no consensus as you feared. :) I'd just go to Frasca. If you have enough time to check out the other places on this list before you book, maybe sneak in and have a nibble at the bar at each and see what you think or dispatch a friend that you trust. I've had good meals at most of the places listed here.

          2. It was a while ago that we had a wonderful meal at Fruition. Have a look at our review posted on the following Chow thread about Denver fine dining: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/570484

            If you have questions, call or e-mail Paul Attardi, General Manager and Co-owner of Fruition. He will be helpful. (His e-mail address, by the way, is paul@fruitionrestaurant.com).

            Happy eating!