Friday, August 24, 2012

Dining Adventures: Denver

It has been about 1.5yrs since I left Denver and I was so excited to go back and visit for a few days. Aside from spending time with some great friends and their kids, I got to dine at a few of my favorite spots! Coloradans, you already know that there is an abundance of great restaurants and places to visit in town so I don't need to tell you that, but for those of you planning a trip to Denver hope you can check out some of the spots below!

The Brown Palace
“Sumptuous what remains an opulent setting.”
- Bon Appetit

The Afternoon Tea at The Brown Palace is a must! Sip some tea while enjoying the harpist or pianist. The tea is served with a variety of scones, clotted cream, and tea sandwiches. It was always fun to get a little dressed up and feel like an elegant lady! If that's not your cup of tea, go for the Sunday brunch. They have an amazing selection and great food!

Colorado Cherry
We stumbled upon this cute little gem while driving back from Rocky Mountain National Park. They have a great selection of ciders, jams, and of course, amazing cherry pie! Neither myself or my husband are fans of cherry pie, but theirs was amazing! It wasn't overly sweet or made from a can, instead it was fresh and just tart enough! I wish I could get this sent to my house...but I doubt it would get here in one piece.

Green Russell
GR was my first speakeasy experience! Wednesday's Pie serves as the storefront for this great bar. I finally got to go when my friend Karina came to visit me. We stopped by and sipped on great cocktails made by their talented and knowledgeable bartenders. While we didn't order any appetizers, we shared a strawberry rhubarb pie that was delicious! I'm sure the rest of their menu is pretty good too. I would recommend making a reservation if you plan on visiting!

For my champagne lovers, there is a great bar down the street called Corridor 44 that makes some great champagne cocktails! I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for champagne!

Snooze is one of my favorite breakfast spots! The food is great and the atmosphere is fun. You do need to show up at a decent time if you don't want to end up waiting too long, but for me it's worth the wait. They have fun benedicts and great pancakes that you can create a flight of!
On this particular day, my hubs got  bacon (which was crispy and not greasy) and a pancake flight that consisted of: The Vermonter, The Pancake of the Day (Carrot Cake), and The Coffee and Donuts pancake, which came with a side of espresso cream-YUM! I got the Chilaquiles Benedict. Corn tortillas were topped with carne asada, pico de gallo, and cilantro...I need to make this at home asap! Check out their website for locations!

Korean BBQ
Since I can't seem to find a good Korean restaurant around here, I loved getting some good BBQ in Colorado! Of course it's not as good as mom's cooking, but it'll do.  I posted a few different photos below for you to enjoy. Typically there are several side dishes as you can see on your left. Spicy, sweet, pickled, name it! The jalapenos and garlic are meant for you to grill or enjoy with your meat.
Kalbi or Bulgogi - Awesome Korean BBQ, it's fun when you can make it table side! When we get together with family my parents often make this. Mom marinates the meat and dad fires up the grill for some smoked goodness!
My aunt ordered a seafood soup as well, it may be for the adventurous foodie, but it's delicious and spicy. I also like to order soondubu, which is spicy and made with soft tofu. It's delicious, try it if you get a chance!
- Shin Sa Dong BBQ in Denver
- Silla in Denver
- Chodangol in NYC (The husband went here while traveling and loved it!)

There is an abundance of great breweries, wineries, and distilleries in Colorado, to the left is just one of them. I've only had the chance to enjoy MillerCoors and New Belgium, but there are several free tours for you to enjoy!

Click here to see more...

Rioja quickly became one of my favorite restaurants after my first dining experience. Now I don't want to hype it up too much because I know we all have different tastes, but check out the menu and head over if you're in town. Chef Jen has worked at several renowned restaurants, served as a sous chef for Wolfgang Puck, and even worked in Paris at Ledoyan, a Michelin two star resturant. She won't disappoint!
You will start your meal with a choice of several breads. My favorites are the rosemary and goat cheese biscuit and the lavender sourdough. The sourdough goes amazing with the artichoke torellini posted below. This past visit we started with an amuse bouche of spicy duck sausage and a gelee before moving onto our starters.
I had the artichoke tortellini which is served in a white truffle and artichoke broth. If you know me, you know how much I appreciate truffles! You can choose a smaller portion or make this into a dinner sized portion.  Just a heads up, the tortellini is very rich and flavorful! Don't forget to soak up the artichoke broth with your lavender sourdough bread!
For my main course I chose the Hawaiian Blue Prawns. It was served with a cold soba noodle salad and an uni broth. The husband went with a delightful lamb dish served with a saffron goat cheese risotto and a sweet and savory side of fava beans, dates, and chorizo.

For dessert I enjoyed my first baked alaska which was very tropical in flavor. Though I wouldn't order it again, it was good. The hubs got a beautiful plate of chocolate desserts...he won this time!

Rioja holds a special place in my heart as it is the place where B and I enjoyed our engagement dinner. Since it's a favorite spot of mine, he brought me to dinner after the proposal. Nothing like great food after one of the happiest moments of your life.

Hope you get to enjoy some of these great spots on your next visit to Denver! Have a wonderful weekend friends!

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