Valentine’s Day Dinner in Denver
Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! And whether you’re celebrating with your significant other for the very first time, hunting for a first date location that’s sure to impress, celebrating an anniversary, or simply finally enjoying a night out without the kids, we’ve got you covered. Denver has no shortage of incredibly romantic places to enjoy fantastic food and sultry ambience, so here is our list of some of the best destinations to be sure and hit. With a food scene as dynamic as can be found in the Mile High City, be sure to make your reservations ahead of time so you can get a table at your first choice. As I’m sure you can imagine, the list of date-worth restaurants in Denver is so long, it was a struggle to just pick a few. But here’s some of our highlights for you to pick from:
We begin our restaurant journey in France with Brasserie Brixton. This unpretentious and fun French restaurant presents a focus on an expansive natural wine list and fresh ingredients, all within a modern open kitchen and marble-topped cozy bar. If you’re in the mood for something sweet to top off your dinner, may we suggest the ricotta donuts? If you’re more in the mood for a day-date, the brunch is just as exquisite with sourdough pancakes and a brunch burger smothered in gruyere and bacon.
Jovanina’s Broken Italian–
Our world journey continues into the comfort food of Italy. Jovanina’s Broken Italian is one of my personal favorites, especially if you can get yourself a table in Sotto Voce, the candlelit, subterranean, Prohibition wine-cellar inspired dining room at Jovanina’s. Jovanina’s Broken Italian brings a fresh, modern take on Italian cuisine, through a Colorado lens, to Denver’s Lower Downtown neighborhood. With a dinner menu built for sharing, menu staples include vegetable-forward dishes, handmade pasta, wood-fired pizza, seafood, steak and revolutionary desserts, all incorporating the best local and regional ingredients by season. The innovative beverage program features classic craft cocktails, wine and house-made cocktails on tap, barrel-aged spirits and seasonal liqueurs. If you’re not ready to call it a night after your dinner, you are only steps away from the Cruise Room or Cooper Lounge (two of my other favorite vibey lounges) for a delightful nightcap!
But perhaps the cuisine of Japan is a little more to your taste! Uchi, “house” in Japanese, is founded by James Beard Award-winning Chef Tyson Cole. A delicate balance of elevated food and impeccable service, Uchi offers non-traditional Japanese cuisine with signature tastings, sushi, and seasonal omakase. With an impeccable atmosphere and an even more dynamic menu featuring sushi, sashimi and incredible fresh seafood, Uchi sets the scene for the perfect date night. Overwhelmed by making menu decisions? Order the six- or 10-course omakase menu and let the chefs take care of the menu so you can focus on enjoying the moment.
Bao Brewhouse is a multi-concept restaurant featuring Chinese Cuisine. The first floor is known as the Tap Room, in which you will find Chinese street food inspired fare and a local rotating draft list. The second floor is known as our Tea Room, there you will find a more traditional dining experience with a twist. The Tea Room menu and ambiance creates a curated and intimate affair, with a vast tea selection ranging from herbal to puer, a thoughtfully selected wine list with a tea-centric cocktail program to satisfy even the most adventurous of palates. At the latter, expect a beer-forward drinks menu and hand-helds such as maple-miso chicken skewers and the restaurant’s namesake buns, stuffed with sweet-soy pork belly or fried tofu.
Mediterranean small plates take center stage at El Five, where the menu continues to feature a unique take on traditional Spanish and Mediterranean tapas with influences from North Africa and the Middle East. Enjoy this underrepresented cuisine while overlooking spectacular unobstructed city views of the downtown Denver skyline and Rockies foothills. Inside, the space is understated and sensual, and flanked by a large, open-air patio for sun-kissed Colorado nights. As the newest restaurant in the Edible Beats family, El Five celebrates the confluence of flavors, ideas and geographies made possible by a subtle shift in perspective.
The Plimouth Neighborhood Eatery–
If New Americana is more your speed, try The Plimouth! No matter how many times you visit, executive chef and owner Peter Ryan features an always-changing seasonal menu that will perpetually blow your mind. Set up like a true local neighborhood hangout, the food is anything but. The Plimouth believes in an eclectic yet approachable love for food. Their chefs draw from foundations in classic French and Italian cuisine, finding inspiration in seasonal and local ingredients that offer a modern twist to each dish. The ever-changing menus reflect the efforts of their collaboration with unique purveyors, local farmers, and artisan producers. It is a truly unique dining experience unlike any other.
Nocturne Jazz and Supper Club–
Want to have a fully immersive experience for your date night? Consider Nocturne for your Valentine’s Day then, a bi-level lounge & eatery serving up eclectic plates & cocktails amid live jazz music. Elevate the “supper” portion of your jazz and supper club experience with the seasonal three course menu or supplement your dinner with seasonally inspired small plates or cheese and charcuterie offerings. Dishes such as seasonal salads or confit duck leg are crafted by their culinary team with a focus on highlighting seasonality and the use of front range farmers, organic ranchers and other small-scale Colorado based purveyors. To heighten the dining experience, guests can also enjoy wine and cocktail pairings for each course hand selected by our sommelier and award winning beverage team. The acoustically designed room in the heart of Denver plays host to live jazz nightly (Wednesday through Sunday) that focuses on the exploration of a musical icon, the study of a jazz genre, or the exhibition of an Artist’s own original work.
EDGE Restaurant and Bar–
Need a date night location that’s proposal worthy? That would be EDGE located within the immaculate Four Seasons Hotel. Led by acclaimed chefs Craig Dryhurst and Andrew Lauer, this ultra-sexy 21st Century steakhouse will leave you feeling like royalty. From the seasonal craft cocktails and the oysters du jour, to the Wagyu beef cooked at the table on a hot stone, to the impeccable surf and/or turf entrée and fancy mac and cheeses (there are five) and sides, EDGE is absolutely worthy of a memorable date night. For an extra-intimate seat, reserve one of the velvet circle booths in the opulent dining room, and of course, save room for one of the expertly crafted desserts.