Range, the just opened restaurant in the brand new Renaissance Downtown City Center Hotel in the former Colorado National Bank building, is so masterful with its culinary creations it can make a brussels sprout taste good to a person who normally can't stand this vegetable. Executive chef Paul Nagan is that good. The New West menu is creative and quite varied including everything from inexpensive wood-fire pizzas that truly stand out taste wise to deletable meat and seafood entrees. We loved the sea scallops with sweet potato mashers and Tasso ham. The shellfish was seared to perfection and the flavor was divine. If you like game meat, the ancho cocoa elk rack is the menu's star attraction. Also don't skip the equally creative cocktails – for something different try the Sage & Berries, it's a rum drink that tastes exactly like a sipping tequila. If possible save room for dessert.
Recommended for Restaurants near Sports Authority Field at Mile High because: The food is stellar and worth the experience alone. The craft cocktail list, focusing on Colorado spirits, is equally unique.
Becca's expert tip: If you just want something light (and very affordably priced) order one of the wood-fire pizzas. And Even if you normally hate brussels sprouts, try them here. My dining partner had never liked this veggie in her life before Range, where she ordered a second serving.
Tamayo is one of the most popular restaurants on historic Larimer Square with good reason. Richard Sandoval--of Zengo and La Biblioteca fame--has created a posh, airy space in which Mexican is reimagined as an artful, surprising cuisine yet true to its roots. Among the starters are a wild-mushroom flatbread with goat cheese, black-bean puree, caramelized onion and truffle oil, and a chile-encrusted calamari served with Napa cabbage salad and a chipotle-blood-orange reduction. La Tampiquena is one of the chef's specials, a dish featuring filet mignon and served with poblano-chile potato gratin, mole-cheese enchilada, cactus salad and guacamole. A variety of tacos and enchiladas round out the menu, and there are also cazuelas--traditional braises of chicken, pork shoulder or short ribs accompanied by warm tortillas, Mexican-style rice and crema fresca. Don't skimp on the delectable sides here, especially the caramelized plantains with chipotle butter.
The focus at this Highlands-area eatery is on heritage-raised meats from Colorado farms. The restaurant does its own butchering and cures the meats in-house (you can see the charcuterie room from the dining area). While the emphasis is definitely on meals that meat lovers will enjoy, meat is not the only option. There are also seafood selections, including oysters, and there's a vegetarian three-course tasting menu, so any group with diverse culinary preferences can come together to Old Major and enjoy a meal out. Arrive early for the well-priced happy hour menu and you'll save a few bucks without sacrificing taste (consider the Old Major charcuterie plate).
Recommended for Restaurants near Sports Authority Field at Mile High because: The meat is Colorado raised and the restaurant does its own butchering and curing in-house, so you know exactly what you're eating.
Christine's expert tip: Just because the focus is on meat and seafood (the motto here is "seafood, swine and wine") doesn't mean vegetarians are left out - there is a flavorful three-course vegetarian tasting menu.
Mediterranean influences inform the menu that includes extraordinary handmade pastas by Chef Jennifer Jasinski, who is also co-owner of the restaurant. The cavatelli is served with black truffle chicken sausage, morel mushroom, peas and spring onions, while the beet gnocchi has strawberries, hon-shimeji mushrooms, walnuts, tarragon and horseradish-fromage blanc. Among the phenomenal starter offerings are a roasted beet salad and the Rioja "picnic" plate with artisan meats, warm pine-nut-crusted goat cheese, Gorgonzola, olives, fennel salad, orange confit and almonds. It was no surprise to anyone who has had the good fortune to dine at Rioja when Jasinski became the first Denver chef to win the coveted James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southwest award in 2013. Grab a seat on the patio if the weather is nice, and enjoy people-watching as you sip a glass of wine. The impressive list features selections from Rioja, the Spanish wine region.
Recommended for Restaurants near Sports Authority Field at Mile High because: Consistently picked as one of Denver's top restaurants, it's hard to go wrong ordering at Rioja. Valet parking is another perk.
Christine's expert tip: On a sunny afternoon sit outside on the patio, as this restaurant offers some of the city's best people thanks to a middle of Larimer Square address.
Located in LoDo, where many of Denver's trendy new American and more casual restaurants reside, Coohill's features a menu that is traditional French at heart but with many of the ingredients sourced from Colorado farmers and purveyors. Dishes include duck confit, snails, foie gras, pate and a truffled egg and brioche served with fiddlehead fern. There's steak, lamb duck, salmon, halibut and scallops, too. Of course, like any good French restaurant, Coohill's has desserts to die for so plan on indulging. There's a solid selection of cocktails, craft beers and wine, and the restaurant also offers a nice list of ports as well. If you don't make
Recommended for Restaurants near Sports Authority Field at Mile High because: Many ingredients are locally sourced, so there is a cool French/Colorado fusion going on. We also love the curated cocktail, craft beer and wine menu.
Christine's expert tip: If you are dining alone, a community table makes the experience more social. Also leave room for dessert, as these are to die for.
A self-titled "progressive American steakhouse," Edge is sleek and sophisticated as befits its location in the elegant Four Seasons Hotel Denver. Meats here are fire grilled over pecan wood and the contemporary upscale menu offers more than 200 wines by the bottle and 50 wines by the glass. Steaks include a 16-oz bone-in buffalo rib eye and a 32-oz Porterhouse for two. Veal chops and lamb chops, tuna steaks, Scottish salmon and jumbo sea scallops are also offered and grilled to perfection, and there are a variety of toppings on offer, including lump crab citrus Hollandaise and pan-seared foie gras.
Recommended for Restaurants near Sports Authority Field at Mile High because: Inside the Four Seasons Hotel, it is a place to see and be seen, but it also does delicious fire grilled meats.
Christine's expert tip: Denver's movers and shakers come here to make power plays over lunch, and with seats for all styles of affairs – stake out a cushy armchair for casual conversation over drinks or grab a booth for a more formal business lunch.
Opened in April 2014, Guard and Grace is chef Troy Guard's latest. Steaks are front and center--there are 22 different options in three categories: Prime, Angus and Grass-fed, all made from Colorado-raised beef. It can be cooked however you like it from blue (very red, cold center) to well done. But the creative, distinctly contemporary menu also includes oak-grilled chicken enchiladas and Rocky Mountain trout among the entrees, a starter of oak-grilled carrots (rave reviews), excellent salads, vegetable- and meat-topped flatbreads and all kinds of shellfish in the raw bar, as well as American sturgeon caviar and both tuna and kampachi sashimi.
Recommended for Restaurants near Sports Authority Field at Mile High because: Because it serves the best steaks in town, always cooked to perfection. Plus the ambiance is swanky mod and perfect for post-game celebrations.
Christine's expert tip: The wait staff here is excellent, incredibly well versed not only in the menu, but also in the wine and cocktail lists so ask away.