When Rioja chef and co-owner Jennifer Jasinski wanted to simplify her life, the California native moved to Denver. She put her skills—honed by a decade working with Wolfgang Puck and at a Michelin two-star in Paris—to work and soon gained a local following. That led to the opening of Rioja. Rioja is one of the best Denver restaurants for a romantic night out to end your trip. The menu is Mediterranean inspired, but driven by local and seasonal ingredients that Jasinski sources from local artisans. Just a sample from the appetizers displays her talent for offbeat combinations: Dungeness crab-jicama-avocado roulade, for example, are served drizzled with carrot cumin vinaigrette and tossed with roasted rainbow carrots. Don’t worry, there are plenty of less adventurous (but no less tasty) items on the menu, such as the grilled salmon served with hearts of palm or pan-roasted Alaska Halibut steak. Our favorite is the Colorado Lamb Two Ways, which includes a grilled T-bone plus house made lamb merguez sausage. Rioja is located on romantic Larimer Street, which is beautifully lit at night.
- Open Hours: Monday to Tuesday from 05:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Wednesday to Thursday from 11:30 AM to 02:30 PM, Wednesday to Thursday from 05:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Friday from 11:30 AM to 02:30 PM, Friday from 05:00 PM to 11:00 PM, Saturday from 10:00 AM to 02:30 PM, Saturday from 05:00 PM to 11:00 PM, Sunday from 10:00 AM to 02:30 PM, Sunday from 05:00 PM to 10:00 PM
- Feature: Organic
- Credit Cards Accepted: visa, mastercard, amex, discover
- Takeout Available: Yes
- Nearest Train: 16th & California Station