Fine Dining in Golden/Denver, CO
Hello all - visiting your board from Seattle. Have read several good posts re: cheap eats in Denver. I am finding myself in Golden, CO this December and am looking for input from local chowhounds. We are looking to celebrate my birthday on Dec 24th for a very nice meal.
The Briarwood Inn was suggested to us - anyone dined here? Impressions?
High hopes for chow in Colorado,
The last post recommended RADEX, and I just have to respectuflly give a different opinion. Radex has a great, hip environment, and the bar is cool, but the food is awful. For starters, they pour on way too much sauce on everything. We ordered rare tuna, and it came out medium. After sending it back, we received rare tuna...that was cold. Radex is never that crowded, and the people are nice, but it has gone severely downhill since it's opening.
Admittedly, it's been five years since I was last in the Denver area, but my favorite high-end restaurant was Gabriel's in Sedalia, which is just south of Denver on 85 (about 45 minutes from Golden). At a time when I didn't have two dimes to rub together, I still managed to eat there once every two months or so. Getting there is half the fun, since it's in the middle of nowhere in a converted house. (See the link below for a map.)
The food has both Italian and French elements, with wonderful sauces. As I recall, the way you order is a bit unusual. I think you only choose an entree, and everyone gets the same pre-selected appetizer (and possibly the same dessert as well). I never ate anything there I didn't love, and the shrimp gorgonzola dish (if it's still available) made me want to eat the plate to get the last bit of sauce.
Expensive, for sure, but worth it.
5450 N Highway 67, Sedalia, CO 80135
The Briarwood Inn is a lovely choice for a celebration, especially during the holiday season, when the dining room is awash in decorations. It's been around for years, they've not changed the menu, and they don't need to--the food, service,and ambiance doesn't need tweaking. It's perfect the way it is. Another wonderful choice in Golden is the Hilltop Cafe, which is housed in an old Victorian. Ian Kleinman, who is the chef there, is incredibly talented, and though he fancies whimsical presentations, some of which cross over into archetectual oblivion, his marriage of flavors is extraordinary. They also have a carefully chosen and very reasonably priced wine list. There is also 240 Union, just east of Golden, that isn't "fine dining" in terms of oppulence, but the food prepared by chef Matthew Franklin is as good as any you'll find in Denver, especially Franklin's fish dishes. It's loud, large, and fun, and a place I wouldn't miss on a trip here. In Denver, Tante Lousie is the grand aunt of all restaurants. In fact, when you call to make a reservation, Corky Douglas, who owns the place, will always ask if you're celebrating a special occasion. It, too, is located in an old Victorian home, with a number of different intimate dining rooms. In my opinion, it's the classiest restaurant in Denver, with unparalled service, an extraordinary wine list, and simply exquisite food. Given the timing ofyour trip, make sure to make reservations well in avance at any or all of these places.
Thanks everyone for your great recommendations on where and where not to go. I will be sure to report back on our trip and dining experiences!