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Jan 26, 2014 03:20 PM

Boulder - Need Recs for a Rehearsal Dinner Venue

Our son will be married in Boulder next year. We will be hosting the rehearsal dinner. Due to the many relatives and friends traveling from out of town to the wedding, we anticipate the rehearsal dinner will be on the large size (100). I have only been to Boulder once, briefly, and would greatly appreciate any suggestions. We would like not only good food and drink but an interesting or special venue or theme. Thanks.

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  1. That is a large group, so not sure who can handle it. For sure the Boulderado or St. Julien. Those are the 2 fancy downtown hotels, the Boulderado is the old hotel with history, the St. Julien is a very attractive newer venue.

    Plenty of great restaurants, but not sure who can handle a group that big. Maybe the Agora at Riverside, a new place (I just went to a wedding there) in an old building, with the best patio in Boulder.

    1. The Boulderado is worth a shot. We have enjoyed their hospitality in the past.

      1. The Flagstaff House can seat 100, and it is quite elegant with extraordinary views from the Flatirons. The Boulderado may be practical if you can reserve a block of rooms for the out of towners. A fun place with a mezzanine piano bar.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Veggo

          Thank you all - these are some great suggestions. Is Flagstaff House convenient to the center of town?

            1. re: jmk38

              Depends on your definition of "convenient". ;-) It's about 5 minutes up Flagstaff Rd (which is what Baseline Rd turns into when it hits the mts). So, if you were staying downtown, it's probably only 15 minutes drive, maybe 20 at most. But it's not walkable to anything (unless you count hiking trails as walkable).

              I have never eaten there, but it is an exceptional location with amazing views, and the food is top notch from what I hear. But a dinner for 100 people will cost a LOT of money there, it's probably Boulder's most expensive restaurant. Still, I am sure that it would be a dinner that the guests would remember forever.

              1. re: LurkerDan

                Very expensive. Boulderado would have rooms, both older period, and newer. Parking, and close to Jax Seafood, if they are still open....and yes I googled Jax.....still there...oysters yummmmmmm

                1. re: Raffles

                  The Agora at Riverside sounds interesting as well, especially the patio setting overlooking Boulder Creek. How is the food there?

                  1. re: jmk38

                    Going to be hard to answer, as they just opened and started serving food this month. That said, the food at the wedding I went to was very good, and the chef was the chef at a now-closed fine dining restaurant that was very good. So I suspect that the food will be at least good.

          1. here is a good link for you to go thru. Of course, some of them won't work but it's a good list. My friend also said something about the Alps Canyon Inn but she attended a wedding there. Not rehearsal dinner.

            11 Replies
            1. re: trolley

              Great list! I'll add some comments for the ones that say they can handle 100.

              Aji: a decent choice
              Attic: no way
              Dushanbe Teahouse: great choice for location, food is ok but the spot is awesome
              Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art: a catered place, would be a good location
              Frasca: fantastic food, wouldn't be cheap
              Oak: great food, wouldn't be cheap
              SALT: great food, wouldn't be cheap
              Shine: meh

              And not on the list: Red Lion, it's right across from the Alps mentioned above, and both are just a few minutes out of town. Food is ok and a very pretty location, they do a ton of weddings there.

                1. re: trolley

                  Thank you all for great suggestions. We want to host a rehearsal dinner that features good food, a pretty setting and a fun evening - and one able to accommodate various dietary restrictions. You all have given me a great list of "candidates" - a couple of questions: Would Salt and The Kitchen be too small? Would visitors prefer convenience (i.e., right on Pearl Street) over a view that requires a little drive? Thoughts? Thank you again.

                  1. re: jmk38

                    Convenience , e,g, The Boulderado Hotel near Pearl St., is temporary. The Flagstaff would be a memory maker. Tough call. You may want to do a reconnaissance trip.

                    1. re: jmk38

                      Oh - I left out one of the most important things: we'd like local flavor - don't want an East Coast-type meal.

                      1. re: jmk38

                        Ah, yes, think elk, venison, buffalo, Colorado lamb, trout.

                      2. re: jmk38

                        In Boulder dietary restriction is the norm so most restaurants can probably accommodate you. What kind? If it's gluten free you're in luck. There are a few Gluten free types of places. Shine is one (haven't eaten there bc I once went and waited at the front for a few minutes and got ignored so we walked) Fresh Thymes Eatery is another gluten free place. I know that I tried going to The Kitchen Next Door and they were closed for a party. I would call Salt and The Kitchen directly. Both Kitchen, Flagstaff, Salt are very local. They all use local ingredients.

                        1. re: trolley

                          Several lifelong vegetarians, a couple of vegans, several on low fat/low cholesterol diets. The rest of us love everything.

                          1. re: jmk38

                            The special diets shouldn't be a problem. It's hard for us to say what your guests would like, downtown is certainly nice as people can stroll along the mall, or if they're staying at the Boulderado, people can stroll from the hotel. Salt is probably bigger than the Kitchen (which might be too small). It's a nice space and you'd probably have the whole restaurant.

                            If you can afford the Flagstaff House and they can accommodate (as noted, most every place in Boulder can accommodate dietary restrictions of any kind, but the super high end place may be an exception, i don't know), it will be a memory maker as Veggo said. It will be an experience they won't forget. It's hard for me to comprehend or compare, as the place is not really on my dining radar, but if everyone is from out of town, it will knock their socks off.

                      3. re: trolley

                        I've actually not eaten there, but have heard some fairly negative reviews from people I trust, and just don't think the space or the food can compare with some of the other options.

                        1. re: LurkerDan

                          the only experience I had at Shine was trying to eat there. I stood in front what felt like forever and the "host" just looked at me while she cleaned tables. Then when I we walked out she tried to get us. Odd. The place was nearly empty but look like they had a big rush before hand.

                  2. You should consider the Greenbriar Inn, which is about 15-20 min. north of town (but a gorgeous drive). We had our wedding reception there and were thrilled. Amazing food, beautiful venue, and the staff really took care of everything. I'm a vegetarian and that was not an issue (we had two veggie options among our guests' entree choices--a brie and vegetable tartlet and a mushroom pasta--but there were many more we could have chosen from. The meat eaters seemed to enjoy the steak, which if I remember had a sherry-and-gorgonzola thing going on). The staff set up a gourmet coffee bar for us that featured lattes and spoons dipped in chocolate (that the wee ones among my relatives kept absconding with...) And despite how much our guests gushed about the food, it was cheaper than a lot of the other quotes we got, partially because it's slightly out of town, so we didn't have to pay Boulder's relatively high city taxes.

                    If you'd prefer something downtown, maybe the Mediterranean Restaurant (The Med)? It's got a sort of something-for-everyone feel (although everything is broadly mediterranean) and an excellent tapas menu. The place is also huge and nice. As for local flavor, I'd say our strength isn't really elk and buffalo meat; really I think our strongest cuisine is Latin food. I'd vote for Zolo Grill in that category, although you'd have to do some checking to make sure the entire party could be accommodated between the dining room and patio.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: goiabada

                      Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions, advice and guidance. Thus far, I have been in touch by phone/email with Salt, The Kitchen and Flagstaff House.
                      It seems The Kitchen just won't be able to accommodate a group our size; same for Salt, unless we'd be willing to break up into groups on two floors (we don't want that); however, the folks at Salt are recommending their sister restaurant, Colterra (in particular the patio there) - do any of you have experience with this place? Thanks again.

                      1. re: jmk38

                        Colterra is a fabulous restaurant, I actually like it more than Salt. It's a bit more formal and fancy feeling, less trendy and hip. And it's not in downtown Boulder, it's in Niwot, a small town just a few minutes away. I am having a hard time imagining the space, if I recall Colterra is in a house, and I have never been on the patio, so someone else will have to comment on that (but I have heard very good things about their patio). But foodwise, you would be doing quite well.

                        It won't be as convenient and walkable to all things Boulder, but it is in the heart of Niwot and walkable to a few other places, so it's not in the middle of nowhere. And if someone is staying in downtown Boulder, it's still probably only 15 minutes drive, maybe 20 during the busiest times.