What’s New for Denver’s Restaurant Week 2018

Denver’s 2018 Restaurant Week is happening now through March 4!   Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to try the latest new restaurants or visit some of the iconic dining jewels of Denver’s culinary fame.

So, what’s new for Denver’s Restaurant Week 2018?  It seems like almost everything!  With so many new restaurants, new menu prices and even new dining neighborhoods…the 2018 Denver Restaurant Week is really an experience like never before!

What’s New for Denver’s Restaurant Week 2018: $25, $35, $45 Menu Pricing

One of the big changes this year are the three new fixed menu price points, $25, $35 and $45.  The new menu prices open up Denver’s Restaurant Week to many new restaurants in a great range of prices, locations and types of fare.

A couple $25 menus of note are: Bang Up to the Elephant a creative fun new restaurant in Capitol Hill from the Beatrice & Woodsley team; and Deep Roots Winery and Bistro a small but mighty family owned bistro in Lower Downtown (LoDo) that makes their own wine.

What’s New for Denver’s Restaurant Week 2018: Dozens of New Denver Restaurants

Whoever had the task of signing new restaurants up for Denver’s 2018 Restaurant Week had their hands full!   At first glance, you might think you even pulled up a search for the wrong city.  There are so many new names and addresses, you will want to get going on those reservations right away.

New Chic Denver Hotels = Ultra Cool New Restaurants

Much of the cool new restaurant explosion can at least in part be attributed to the ultra chic new hotels that opened in the past year or two.  These are definitely a hot ticket for Restaurant week!

You might try to get one of the sought after reservations at Quality Italian in Cherry Creek’s swanky Halcyon; do a pre-theatre dinner at Corinne in the Le Meridien downtown near the Denver Center for Performing Arts; or try the Spanish tapas at Ultreia next to The Crawford Hotel in Union Station highlighting special dishes by James Beard Best Chef Jennifer Jasinski from Rioja.

I am really looking forward to trying out the fry bread and authentically crafted menu at Kachina Southwestern GrillKachina Southwestern is attached to the super cool new Maven Hotel that opened recently in the new Dairy Block by Coors Field.

Kachina Southwestern Grill in the Maven Hotel near Coors Field

Lots of New Places To Try Behind Union Station

Beware: if you are thinking of catching up on ALL the new restaurants in Denver, think again.  It would be pretty much impossible to get to all of Denver’s new restaurants in over the next week much less the next year.  You can make a good dent in your list though at some great prices.

Just the new restaurants popping up behind Union Station alone could fill your whole Restaurant Week calendar.  Some of these of these glamorous new must visits are:

Hearth & Dram

Union Station, 1801 Wewatta Street, Denver, CO 80202

This new contemporary eatery stands out for its high style and unparalleled offering of 470 different kinds of whiskey.  Ever since its opening about a year ago, Hearth & Dram has created a lot of buzz and all for good reason.  For the next ten days, Chef John Harry, Chef de Cuisine, will be serving a $45 fixed menu of beef tatar, crab beignets, hangar steak or salmon and a profiterole dessert.  Other choices include chicken liver mousse and a king salmon entrée.

Hearth and Dram behind Union Station

Wayward

Riverfront – 1610 Little Raven Street, Denver, CO 80202

Cauliflower soup, fancy ricotta toast with fennel pollen, and a savory pork tostada could start off your restaurant week meal at Riverfront’s Wayward.  It gets even better.  The $35 fixed price dinner also features one of three choices: sweet potato gnocchi with roasted apples, brussel sprouts and blue cheese; chicken with and heirloom carrot salad; or a pork dish with puffed farro and charred tomatoes. There are two hard to choose from chocolate possibilities for dessert, and a third non chocolate option – so I don’t need to mention it.

Wayward (Picture courtesy of Wayward Restaurant) in Riverfront

Wewatta Point Seafood

Union Station – 1607 Wewatta Street, Denver, CO 80202

Seafood aficionados are always a bit surprised how landlocked Denver can boast such fresh and sustainable seafood.  New to the scene Wewatta Point Seafood is featuring a $45 restaurant week menu with diver scallops and a choice of ceviche, New England chowda or wedge salad.  Among the flurry of good food in downtown Denver, Wewatta’s general manager, Charlie Hall, says his team prides themselves on their hospitality and service.

Our Service is where we hang our hat. We’ve taken the time to hire the right people who really care and are a team from the top to the bottom.  We strive to make not just a great dining experience but a great overall experience.

Wewatta Point Seafood also goes the extra mile to bring in fresh seafood five days a week.

Wewatta Point Seafood behind Union Station

Citizen Rail is another fun new restaurant behind Union Station offering a great Restaurant Week menu with wood fired fare, much of which is sourced from local farms and fields. Perusing the restaurant week menus will show there doesn’t seem to be any shortage of pork and bacon in Denver these days.  The Pig & the Sprout, also new behind Union Station, is serving “bacon candy”- a porky pleasure with thick slices of bacon, pressed in turbinado sugar, cayenne seasoning, smoked and finished in the oven and served over their apple cider vinaigrette slaw.  Both Citizen Rail and the Pig & the Sprout have a $35 Restaurant Week menu.

LoHi and the Highlands Are Always a Reliable Go To for Something New and Exciting!

The Family Jones Spirit House

LoHi – 3245 Osage Street, Denver, CO 80211

The new Family Jones Spirit House has one of the less expensive restaurant week menus, and it is packed with quality and terrific options.  Menu choices include: Vietnamese jambalaya, beef short rib Wellington, spinach-ricotta cannelloni with egg, and roasted cod with clam stuffing in chorizo broth.   For dessert you can try buttermilk apple pie, gin n’ tonic sorbet or crispy brownie dumplings with banana ice cream.

FnG 

Highlands -3940 W. 32nd Avenue, CO 80212

Another great $25 menu in the Highlands can be found at Chef Troy Guard’s new neighborhood restaurant, FnG.  FnG opened a couple of months ago and has a great tag line: “Dine Hard!” FNG’s menu features some great healthy choices: a grilled fish sandwich, funky hummus, and a roasted carrot and avocado salad with crunchy seeds and citrus dressing.  Don’t worry, there are plenty of sinful delights to choose from too like the chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes.

The Bindery, Eatery, Market and Bakery

LoHi – 1817 Central, Denver, CO 80211

Chef Linda Hampsten Fox recently opened one of the other much talked about new LoHi restaurants, The Bindery. I like to go to restaurants with menu choices I cannot prepare myself.  The Bindery certainly meets this requirement.  The $45 fixed price menu includes extraordinary selections like beer braised smoked rabbit, Hen Coq au Vin and braised beef cheeks, Gnocchi al Mano, pappardelle with sweet and sour wild boar and dark cocoa and mint.

Some other exciting new restaurants in Highlands participating in Restaurant Week to check out are: Marcella’s Ristorante Pizzeria and Wine Bar, El Five and El Jefe.

New Restaurants Coming out of the Woodwork in Downtown Denver

Downtown Denver is constantly evolving with new culinary experiences. In the heart of the main hustle and bustle of downtown Frank Bonanno opened his splashy new restaurant this year, French 75  Oskar Blues Grill & Brew, a new tap room and music venue at 16th and Market in LoDo is another fun place to try. If you go, you can say you were at the home of  “the original craft brew in a can!”

Also new to the downtown is the Blue Agave Grill on the 16th Street Mall, which is a second location for the southwestern restaurant that hails from Fort Collins.  Travel up Larimer north just a bit to Il Posto‘s new location in the River North Arts District (RiNo) to find phenomenal food and some of the best bartenders this side of the Mississippi!

Bartenders extraordinaire at Il Posto in RiNo

Fried Chicken is Always a Favorite

If it’s really good fried chicken you are looking for try Tupelo Honey, another new restaurant behind Union Station offering southern food that revives the traditional fare of the Carolina Mountains.  You can offset the calories with a healthy kale salad with watermelon radish, quinoa and yogurt dressing.

You can also find notable fried chicken on the $25 Restaurant Week menu at LoHi’s new LOW Country Kitchen.  Some critics say it is the best fried chicken in Denver!  Try it out and let me know what you think.  LOW is also featuring fried green tomatoes, deviled eggs and shrimp and grits.  No matter what you decide for dinner be sure to top it off with the pecan pie!

More New Denver Restaurants Outside the Bustle of Downtown

Denver’s new restaurant jubilee stretches way beyond the downtown area.  Here are a few: Element Kitchen + Cocktail in the Golden Triangle; Jack’s Uptown Grill on 17th Avenue in Uptown; Hedge Row American Bistro in Cherry Creek; JW Marriott’s new Social Fare also in Cherry Creek; Que Bueno Suerate! on Pearl Street in Washington Park; Red Sauce in Park Hill; Concourse in Stapleton; and Brado Italian Scratch Kitchen to the west.  

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the fantastic new restaurants participating in Denver’s 2018 Restaurant Week, but hopefully it gives you some good food for thought!  For the full list of restaurants see Denver’s Restaurant Week Guide available at all participating restaurants. Click here for more information and menus.  Bon appetit Denver!

 

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