Dish on your Denver Restaurant Week dinner...and win another one

Categories: Contests

michael-hancock-denver-omelet-005.jpg
Mayor Michael Hancock kicks off Denver Restaurant Week.
Denver Restaurant Week has begun! Kitchens were scrambling to keep up with the crush last night, with sold-out houses all over town for the first day of DRW, which officially started February 25 and continues through March 9. It's the biggest eating-orgy ever, with a record 340 restaurants all offering special $52.80 dinners for two.

Where did you eat last night? Where are you planning to eat?

Share your Denver Restaurant Week experience -- good, bad or in between -- below. The best account posted by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 29, will win a Denver Restaurant Week gift certificate for $52.80 at Ocean Prime or Mataam Fez (your choice) -- which definitely gives you an idea of the wide range of restaurants participating this year.

See the full list of Denver Restaurant Week restaurants here.



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25 comments
Tired of stupid people
Tired of stupid people

I am tired of reading people's bitching about their meals during restaurant week.  You push the staff so hard-front of house and back of house to take on more reservations than a typical night.  You expect your seat at the exact time of your reservation but wait...you also think you should be able to stay as long as you want and expect the best service for such a small amount of money.  You can't have it both ways.  The people that have the nerve to bitch, you know what- YOU SUCK.  Why don't you go to these restaurants when it's not restaurant week and sit down and enjoy a good meal and stop bitching and complaining on open table, yelp, and westword.  You make it hard for the rest of us that would actually like to dine to have to wait 2 weeks for this shit show to end.  

tropicalchrome
tropicalchrome

Four of us went to 1515 for dinner this evening. The short version: wonderful food and service.

The long version: I started with the cauliflower soup with rye croutons, aged cheddar, and basil oil. It was thick and flavorful - the toppings complemented the soup rather than overwhelmed it. I had the short ribs for my entree over the grits with housemade ricotta and brussels sprouts. I had only question: why did they bother to bring me a sharp knife? The ribs fell apart under my fork and were utterly delicious. It's proof that I love my husband that I let him have TWO tastes. He had the sous vide pork tenderloin over carrot puree - again, truly fork tender and cooked to perfection.

For dessert, I had the chocolate fudge cake which should just be called chocolate fudge - it's that dense and rich. Maybe too rich for some people, but I'm a veteran chocoholic, so it was right up my alley. And they were happy to leave off the cherries! My husband had the banana cream tart with maple ice cream, also lovely and a bit lighter.

All in all it was a terrific meal, and I'm looking forward to a return visit sometime after Restaurant Week (since we still have two more reservations to go!).

Schwartzsusan
Schwartzsusan

I have been craving a meal at TAG, and made our 5280 dinner reservations for Feb. 26th, about 6 weeks ago, to be sure we got in there! The original rezzy was for four people, but at the least minute, we realized only three of us could go. I called TAG the day before and left them a message that we would only be three, but since I had had a skiing accident and tore a few major ligaments in my knee, could we please still have that extra chair, to rest my leg? No problem. They were very kind to me, from the moment we arrived to have the car valet parked, to the seating for four that we were given. Oh, I was not letting a banged up knee stop my TAG meal! :)

Our waiter was very accommodating and friendly, even though my crutches sort of hindered his access to my side of the table ( they offered to take them away for me, but...sorry, that's my right leg for a while,)...Anyhow, service was prompt, efficient and friendly, without feeling rushed or pushy. Thank you!

Between the three of us, we shared: Sweetbreads app (really delicious! Crispy and creamy at the same time), and two scallops apps. Scallops had a nice Sri racha based sauce, but weren't exceptional. Very good, but not memorable, like the sweetbreads. For our entrees, we had one order of Arctic Char, which was delicious and had these amazingly smoky flavored mushrooms with it, and two orders of Cornish Hen, with either Hen or Pheasant confit (awwwwwesome!) and my most favorite part of the meal, which was a tortellono filled with pheasant liver or something silky and flavorful.

For dessert, we ordered one of each possible choice, with the raspberry tart winning as most amazing.

The only complaint I would have, if I had to come up with one, was the fact that my drinks were nothing special. Wasn't crazy about either the vodka-based drink on the drink menu, or the glass of Rose I had. But all in all, we would definitely go back for another non-5280 meal!

John O.
John O.

Went to SALT in Boulder for the first time ever - we had been unable to get a table for last year's Restaurant Week.  This year - aha! we were sneaky and planned ahead by making reservations in advance!  Living in the Tech Center, Boulder seems like a world away and I'll admit, I am not a road trip person.  I consider the 7 mile drive to work a road trip, to give you perspective.  Anyway, at least the drive was scenic.  We arrived around 5 for a 6:00 dinner and grabbed a margarita at the restaurant/bar next door to SALT.  Great margarita, but it makes me wonder when you see a staff member bringing in 8 coffees from another place.  Hmmmm.  Anyway, the cowbell rang for our reservation and we headed to SALT.  The receptionist who greeted us reminded me of the hostess from Claw from the movie "Date Night"...sweet, but there was a tiger lurking.  I chose the white bean soup (lukewarm), the spare ribs and a fantastic dessert of chocolate, caramel and peanut butter ice cream!  Being my first time there, I'll admit I loved the ambience of the small restaurant - sitting at the end of my table, I was party to a wind machine of waiters and waitresses whooshing by with plates from the kitchen.  The clunky sounds of a  hardwood floor at least let me know they were coming!  Our waitress was a very sweet gal who was very attentive, but I wonder if she incurred her black eye dodging the Nascar 500 that was occurring in the aisle next to me.  Perhaps that's why my soup was cool?  Dunno.  Anyway, I'd totally go again - the food was good and my company was the best! 

Heather
Heather

We went to Ambria on Saturday night.  I had not heard much about Ambria when I made the reservation a couple weeks ago, but the menu looked like it had great potential.  Some of the dishes reminded me of dishes I love at Root Down.  Then, last week, this blog had an interview with the chef at Ambria and I was looking forward to trying the carrot salad.  I'm glad I did because it was the only thing between the two of us that was worth eating.  Nothing was bad, per say, but nothing was great.  We had the butternut squash and red pepper soup, which had an odd, unidentifiable taste...none of which was squash or roasted red pepper.  The carrot salad was pretty good, but not outstanding.  For the main dishes, we had the chicken and the beef, neither of which were bad, they just weren't great.  The chard/lentil mix that came with the chicken had great potential, but lacked much of a taste of anything.  The desserts were ok.  The chocolate pots de creme just tasted like a standard pudding, and the bread pudding was just not quite right.  Overall, we didn't dislike our meal, but have no reason to return.

Julie
Julie

A group of us went to Euclid Hall Saturday night and had an amazing time.  Service was great and food was fantastic as always.  Still dreaming about the marrow......Simply put, it was meat butter.

Julie Diana Hurn-Behler
Julie Diana Hurn-Behler

We were excited to try Coohills last night for DRW. I got my reservation the 1st day I could.  We arrived at 6 and noticed the place wasn’t even at half capacity. We were seated immediately and given an  iPad with the wine selection on it, then a HUGE paper menu for the beer and cocktails. I thought that was a bit odd. I also felt a bit rushed when trying to select a cocktail. I ended up choosing a strawberry vodka concoction and the Dr got a sazerac. My drink was very pretty pink but with a funky taste and gritty texture. The Dr. says his drink isn’t made correctly and we decide on what we will eat. Our waitress came by to see how our drinks are, the Dr. said he has had better and she insisted on having the drink corrected. She asked him what he thought of it and he said “Well, if you are going to put me on the spot, it’s missing the simple syrup”… I LOLed. Then she comes back and said the bartender admitted to having forgotten the sugar packet… ugh. Yes, they just dumped an entire sugar packet into his existing drink and handed it back to him. We then shared the artichoke app and shrimp app. The artichoke was terribly undercooked so I couldn’t pull off the leafs or separate the heart without quite a bit of work. The shrimp was covered in a bland tomato sauce. Then we shared the filet and the mushroom risotto. Disappointed again. The filet was oddly shaped being too thin and too wide for a filet. The meat also had an odd metallic after taste. The potato side dish tasted pretty much like diner hash browns. My risotto was again undercooked having a gritty crunch to it. Additionally, it was over salted. Dessert was laughable. A small square of nougat ice cream, a smear of fruit puree and 3 crumbles of a toffee-like substance. We left still hungry. Looking forward to the 5 DRW reservations I have left.

Ashley
Ashley

Dined at Trillium last night, and while the husband was skeptical prior, he was ultimately won over. We both went with options that normally wouldn't be our first choices, and for this we were pleasantly rewarded. Husband's entree selection of chicken with egg noodles and Brussels sprouts overcame our typical "you can get chicken anywhere" mindset, and the trout entree dispelled my apprehension about skin-on fish. I also got a little crazy and ordered a glass of the Riesling of the month, after reading the impassioned case for Riesling made on the beverage menu. Wish I could remember the name, but this vino paired nicely with the trout and, as promised, was a far cry from the overly sweet Rieslings I jumped ship on years ago.

Chris
Chris

We have a standing DRW reservation at ChoLon. One of the best run and exceptional restaurant experiences in Denver. Never do I hit a  restaurant without a plan of action (ChoLon's menu on their website comes with pics and video of most of their dishes). Saturday night was no different. Started with the soup dumplings. Instead of choosing two different first dishes, we shared two orders. There is not a more satisfying bite in Denver. Sweet onion soup and guryere in a single bite. It would be hard to share one order. From there we moved onto the Cauliflower soup with curried raisin emulsion (wonderfully sweet with a nice slow burn) and earthy veggies...way better than expected. Also had the fried rice with poached egg and their interpretation of kung pao chicken. Really solid dishes. Last but not least is the desert. I have not had a better desert in Denver. You HAVE to get the Chocolate Cake, Salted Peanut Ice Cream, Toasted Marshmallow dish. The cake (molten chocolate on the inside) and the ice cream are incredible. Can't miss this.....so yummy. It was also fun to watch Chef Lon expedite each dish. You knew that nothing but the best would get past him. So well run....the staff are also incredibly professional.Still to come....Linger and Trillium! Can't wait!!!!

Huskerhu
Huskerhu

District Meats on Saturday looked like they had just opened the first time for business.  The restaurant was maybe 50% full when we got there, with more staff than guests it seemed and yet confusion reigned supreme. We sat towards the back and it was almost comedy watching food runners bring food to tables...the wrong tables...then they'd just wander throughout the restaurant trying to find who it belonged to...and we watched this happen multiple times, not just once or twice.  I hear Charlie Palmer is in town tonight for a dinner event, hopefully he'll rally the troops and get the service at this place back together.   After we sat down it took 40 minutes to get water...because they ran out of water we were told...really?  Out of Denver's finest tap water?  15 minutes to get drinks after ordering, but then somewhat redeemed themselves when the food came out in fairly short order after ordering.  The food was good, not great.  We probably wouldn't come back until they had at least decent service.  I understand it's the first night of restaurant week, but the place is only 60% full, you've got staff everywhere, our server has 4 tables to take care of and yet we wait 40 minutes for water?  Crazy.  This place has already swallowed up a few restaurants and looks like it might not be long before it does another.

Sophiem
Sophiem

I joined on some friend's reservations at District Meats. I was not terribly impressed. It took us 40 minutes to order our food which by the time we had we were out of bread and had consumed one bottle of wine. The food was just OK and one of the entrees brought out was the wrong one. That error was fixed but the food runner that bought it out didn't really make any verbal response to the problem so we weren't sure if he had heard that there was one. The sirloin was chewy and I didn't eat my whole entree so I asked for it to be boxed up- the server forgot but did bring me a new entree to go before we left.

The other thing that I wasn't so in to was the GIANT tvs that grace the walls behind the bar. They are very distracting and take away from what is otherwise a very nice looking restaurant. In any case I don't think I'll be back, I know that DRW is busy but there is never a good excuse for bad service.

Stephen P Weiner
Stephen P Weiner

I believe in trying the newest resetaurants with the most buzz during restuarant week.  Saturday, we tried Trillium - a beautiful place in a seedy neighborhood (This might have been why the place wasn't packed) - The food was execellent - especially if you are into vegetables.

On Sunday we tried Charcoal - another terrifically designed place with open kitchen and tasty food -  The regular menu is very diverse and worth trying - The meals were all enjoyed - The owner worked very hard to keep things moving.  This restuarant was completely full.

Coming up are five other places - with the new one being Cafebar.

Jonny Hambone
Jonny Hambone

Trillium deserves the highest accolades of any Denver dining establishment right now solely on it's exemplary service standards... best service in Denver, hands down, on all fronts (food service, time of service, wine service, hostesses, busing, replacement of flatware, crumbing, etc.). But in addition to the complementary service standards it affords, Trillium also offers up a polished wine list that is truly affordable and a flight of gastronomy that far exceeds any I've had the pleasure of undertaking in this fair city for quite some time. Appetizer, Entree and Dessert alike were equally profound and balanced, and when paired with a 5280 price level, I think I may have died and gone straight to heaven if heaven exists in Finland, Sweden or some other place as pleasant in Scandinavia. Oompa! Highlights of the night: bacon whipped cream, roasted beet pudding and the desserts are sublime!!! Trillium is a perfect name to betwixt, because I hope to go to Trillium a trillium times over before I am no longer obliged to dine at Denver's finest new restaurant. Bravo! And just as Ahnold states, "I'll be back!"

Rosio
Rosio

To open up DRW last night we went to Corridor 44. We had been there for champagne and desserts before but never dinner. Their menu was great and the portions were very generous! I had the salmon caviar chips to start, scallops for dinner, and shared chocolate truffles for dessert while my husband started with mussels and the filet for dinner. The filet and scallops were cooked perfectly! For what we had, $52.80 was a steal and left us a little extra to enjoy a bottle of champagne at this fantastic champagne bar. The service was great and the staff was very friendly. It was great to see such a great representation during DRW, some menus were "thin" for this week and it showed Corridor 44 really understood what this week is about. We will definitely be back. Very excited about the rest of our reservations at Restaurant Kevin Taylor, Fresh Fish Co, Denver Chophouse, and La Founde. 

Christopher Peters
Christopher Peters

Grabbed the babe and hit up TAG last night.  Seated right away, service was great!  The couple next to us recommended the arctic char entree & the quinoa appetizer.  Also ordered duck tongue buns, the pork loin entree, and the bread pudding dessert.  The buns could've competed with Linger's ~ they were stunners.  The arctic char was served over crispy, fried brussels sprouts, and drizzled in a rich, almost chicken-pot-pie-like leek gravy that was superb!  All in all a terrific evening - great service, great food, and most importantly, great company :)

Jody McGuirk
Jody McGuirk

My husband and I ate at Linger last night and it was great. First time there and we can't wait to go again. I had the pork dumplings for app, the mahi for entre, and the peanut butter & jelly mouse dessert. My husband had the chick-pea soup app, short rib entre, and the mud pie dessert. The only thing that was just ok was his soup. His short ribs were possibly the best we have ever tasted, my fish was perfectly cooked and delicious. We both loved our desserts too-if one complaint-my peanut butter/jelly dessert could've used more jelly. They were swamped too-and did a nice job of keeping up with our table.

Scott L
Scott L

Got to Cuba Cuba about 515 on Saturday. Already an hour and a half wait... decided to leave, against our better judgement. Went to Rock Bottom instead. Beer was great, but food was poor (raw burger, sent back to kitchen and it came back blacker and more dense than a hockey puck). Should have waited for the deliciousness that is CubaCuba!

Gee Whiz
Gee Whiz

Me and the Missies drove out from Kansas last night as this is the time of the year we get to go out and have dinner.  I went to the Outback and it was god damn good, that wedge salad was to die for with just the right amount of bacon, mmmm I'm still thinking about it.  My sirloin steak was also very good and don't forget about that baked potato too which was loaded with sour cream and those green onions.  I'll definately be back next year.

Katarinamartinez
Katarinamartinez

I went to Ghost Plate and Tap last night. Honestly, not worth it. I had the Balsamic Braised Shortribs with Lentils and Leeks. It was glorified pot roast. My boyfriend had the Scottish Salmon with Anasazi Beans and Duck Cassoulet. Extremely fishy. Not to mention, the food wasn't hot--just a strange luke warm. Everyone was VERY nice, but I'm going to have to veto it from the extensive list of options for anyone who was planning on going.

Renee Nagle
Renee Nagle

Well I should have planned better, so many places to try and so little time. But then the hard part...trying to get in. Trying to find a restaurant downtown because of an event we were attending so were limited on our availability and time last night. We finally ended up at PF Changs which is always good, but the funny part was never ended up eatting the $52.80 deal! My daughter gave up sweets for lent and almost all the menus have it,,,crazy girl! Ended up eatting from the regular menu but still enjoyed everything we got!

AFMark
AFMark

My wife and I went to Bistro Vendome last night...WOW.  We drove up from the Springs for night #1 of DRW and could not have been more happy with the food, wine, and service.  From our server to the Manager to the Chef who whisked through the bar periodically, our meal was precisely executed and coordinated, we were taken care of exceptionally well, and enjoyed each and every plate immensely.  Bravo, Bistro Vendome, you clearly understand what RW is all about and embrace it whole heartedly. 

Dawn
Dawn

We went to Jonesy's - which was delish! Service was friendly and efficient as always. Their whole menu was an option, which was great. If you're looking for a great deal, it may not be your place (our friends' meals were only ~$49, which is what they were charged - but at least our server let them know!). If you're looking for a diverse selection of excellent food at a great local restaurant. Go to Jonesys! I'm still craving their dolce de leche with sea salt.  Yum!

RakingInTheDough
RakingInTheDough

I work at a wildly busy (both during RW and after) Larimer Square restaurant that has been doing 3 full turns on every seat in the house...everything has been perfect. With a little planning, organization, proper product ordering, and efficient staffing, you can turn RW into an immense success by showcasing what your restaurant does best. I think people do have the right to bitch if their RW experience is shitty...why should we all assume half the joints in Denver are only capable of providing good food and service when they are slow with light covers? THATS the part that sucks. A lot of restaurants need to step up their game and rise to meet the challenge of RW, because believe me, its possible to get it done right.

Guest
Guest

 ....you drove all the way from Kansas for DRW to go to Outback?!

guest1
guest1

 you obviously don't know sarcasm when its biting you in the butt

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