Cooking times are a bit different in the Mile High City thanks to the altitude, but that does nothing to slow down the professional chefs who operate the many fine-dining restaurants throughout Denver, Colorado. That's good news for Colorado lovebirds, because eating at a fancy restaurant is one of the classic ways to spend time with your significant other on Valentine's Day. If you live in the area, consider making a reservation at one of the following establishments.
Rioja takes its name from a region in Spain, and it serves a variety of fine Mediterranean meals with plenty of wines to match them. Rioja is open for lunch and dinner, and during both times, they serve hand-made pasta in appetizer or entree amounts plus main dishes that use chicken, spiced, lamb, fish, or vegetarian options. You could also choose a tasting menu and share a little of everything with your date. You should also consider getting one of Rioja's unique cocktails. The restaurant is on Larimer Street between 14th and 15th Street.
Work and Class
If you prefer your fine food in a less formal setting, you can head north on Larimer Street to Work and Class, a place that combines Southern American and Latin American foods with a simple dining room that still comes with cloth napkins. The menu changes based on what seasonal ingredients are available, but they include options like Cajun-fried catfish, roasted goat, dirty rice, and jalapeno cornbread. Work and Class also has a variety of wines, beers, and liquors, not to mention a few house cocktails.
Head up North Broadway until it becomes Brighton Boulevard and you'll spot Acorn on your right. Acorn has a very simple, industrial design that captures the feel of the old foundry that once filled the building. Acorn takes its name from the oak-fired grill and oven at the heart of the restaurant's kitchen, and just about every American-style menu option goes through the oak grill at some point. The menu is seasonal and always changing, and along with the food they offer high-booze, low-booze, and virgin cocktails.
Mercantile Dining and Provision
The uniquely named Mercantile Dining and Provision is both a fine-dining restaurant and a market where you can buy the house-made ingredients used in the restaurant's meals. Located in the Denver Union Station, Mercantile offers small plates, large plates, and family plates that consist of classic American comfort foods taken to the next level by a creative professional chef. If you're interested in how the food is made, you can sit in one of the seats with a good view of the open kitchen and watch the staff at work.
An expensive dinner is a classic way to spend your Valentine's Day, and the restaurants above are all good choices that offer different moods for different couples. They're also just a sample of the fine-dining establishments in Denver, so if all of them are booked solid on Valentine's Day, you'll have plenty of other good options to choose from.