Located at the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, Denver is quickly becoming one of America’s favourite culinary destinations. A thriving restaurant scene and blooming beverage industry means visitors to Colorado’s Mile High City have a slew of options to chose from in the dining and drinking department.
The Beatrice & Woodsley team take top prize for jaw-dropping restaurant decor in Denver. The interior of the restaurant features white linens that hang as breezy partitions throughout a dining room spotted with aspen trees. A mosaic of kerosene lanterns dangle from the ceiling offering a web of rustic chandeliers. Wine bottles are stored under the sprawling bar top while chainsaws offer support to the liquor bottles sitting atop each shelf.
B&W offers social dining with a seasonally influenced rustic American menu. The cuisine here is a homage to America’s melting-pot of recipes and methods and playfully combines today’s palettes with the traditions and flavours of the old world. Highlights include crispy crawfish beignets and a thought-provoking dish coyly named “Spaghetti and Wheatballs,” which features salad of celeriac, parsnip and parsley with steel-cut oat croquettes, feta and tomato-almond gazpacho.
Denver’s most celebrated restaurant is located in historic Larimer Square and recently won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in America’s Southwest. Rioja’s chef Jennifer Jasinski finds inspiration in European technique to perfectly showcase her very own award-winning nouveau Americana cuisine.
Highlights from Rioja’s mouthwatering menu include Artichoke Tortelloni stuffed with goat cheese which sits in a steaming bowl of artichoke broth and truffle essence, as well as an unforgettable Virginia Ham and Watermelon Sandwich served with addictive corn dog battered okra with cilantro bacon aioli for dipping.
Sweet Action Ice Cream wins my People’s Choice Award for Denver’s favourite culinary experience. Locals regularly line up in droves for a chance to snack on the city’s best ice cream.
Sweet Action uses fresh Colorado dairy with the finest seasonal ingredients to produce eye-bulging concoctions for your sugar cone. During my visit, I sampled raspberry chocolate, Colorado melon, chocolate hazelnut and strawberry rhubarb.
Colorado’s favourite home-grown spirit can be found at Stranahan’s Colorado Whisky. A visit to the distillery is a must for any beverage connoisseur because it is the first and only micro distillery in Colorado and the Rocky Mountains. A perfect opportunity to sip some local 94-proof history.
Guests to the distillery enjoy a 45-minute complimentary tour of the distillery, which includes an overview of the company, a guided stroll through the production brew house, still house and rack house. Whisky fans rejoice at the end of the tour when samples are splashed into glasses for a final sip and savour.
Beast + Bottle is a rustic American restaurant serving craft dinner and brunch in the heart of Denver’s hipster 17th Ave. “Beast” refers to the restaurant’s appreciation for the whole animal, utilizing all parts to honour its integrity and “bottle” refers to the team’s love for great beverages, as seen in their excellent local brew offering, wines by the glass and creative cocktail list.
Highlights from the kitchen include watermelon “ravioli” stuffed with barbecued pulled pork, fried green tomatoes with duck liver mousse, mizuna, tomato relish and a divine yellow corn souffle adorned with black truffle, popcorn shoots, celery and crème fraiche.