Not that we need to remind you, but there happens to a date-driven holiday around the corner. To celebrate the day of romance, we've compiled a collection of neighborhood restaurants that have the most seductive tables in town — plus some come-hither food.
Washington Park: Cafe Marmotte
With its floor-to-ceiling windows, country-French accents, warm woods and ambient lighting, it's no surprise that canoodling Francophiles can't get enough of this delightful Washington Park romancer. Technique-driven, seasonal French cooking intersects with a lovely, albeit luxuriantly priced, wine list that bows to small producers.
Valentine's Day: Regular menu, plus an amuse-bouche and a glass of Kir Royale.
290 S. Downing St.; 303-999-0395
Off-the-beaten path ethnic haunts are always a good bet for a date-night rendezvous, and this sweet spot in Aurora unleashes the city's best Ethiopian food in a soft-lit sanctuary of racy red walls and tables topped with thatched roofs. There's definitely something poetic about touching hands while you both reach for the superb kitfo.
Valentine's Day: Regular menu.
306 S. Ironton St.; 720-532-0266
Park Hill: Tables
At this cozy and charmingly quirky Park Hill neighborhood favorite, couples converse over sweetbreads, quail and seared scallops. Lovely, low-lit quarters are fitted with farmhouse tables, mismatched chairs, reclaimed barn doors and countrified accents. A robust selection of off-the-radar wines, including a section dedicated to "Tiny Bubbles," adds to the allure.
Valentine's Day: Four-course menu, inclusive of a starter, small plate, entree and dessert, for $75 per person, exclusive of tax and gratuity.
2267 Kearney St.; 303-388-0299
Cherry Creek North: Barolo Grill
Ryan Fletter's oh-so-romantic sanctum is a cherished spot for celebrations and delightful plates of Northern Italian cuisine punctuated with luxurious ingredients (foie gras and black truffles). And if you happen to be marking Valentine's Day with your flame, the two-top that parallels the fireplace is the table to book.
Valentine's Day: Five-course prix fixe menu.
3030 E. Sixth Ave.; 303-393-1040
Country Club: Fruition
Alex Seidel's date haven is a dime-size space that exudes undeniable warmth — especially on chilly evenings when the dining room swells with romancing couples. More impressive still is the faultless service and season-intensive suppers that take full advantage of the bounty Seidel — a fierce ambassador of locality — harvests from his nearby farm.
Valentine's Day: Five-course menu for $85 per person, plus two wine-pairing options ($40 or $60); only late-night reservations remain.
1313 E. Sixth Ave.; 303-831-1962
Ballpark: Ophelia's Electric Soapbox
For the lady and the tramp, there's but one choice for a sizzling date complete with racy decor, and that's this Ballpark gastro-brothel that's arguably one of Denver's most bewitching restaurant and bars thanks to its brash, bold and deliberately provocative interior rife with suggestively sexy undertones. Go for the unabashed sensuality and stay for the food, cocktails and live music.
Valentine's Day: Three-course menu for $55 per person, inclusive of a burlesque show. Note that there's a 72-hour cancelation policy.
1215 20th St.; 303-393-8023
Platt Park: Crown Social
Exuding passionate energy and beautifully accessorized with elegant antiques, dazzling chandeliers and intimate sofas for up-close-and-personal tête-à-têtes, this softly illuminated bi-level restaurant/bar/lounge takes the romance factor up a notch with live piano music that ranges from Ella to Frank. It's the ultimate backdrop for sharing an antipasto plate, along with eye-candy cocktails shaken and stirred exclusively with Colorado-distilled spirits.
Valentine's Day: Live music, three seatings (5:30 PM, 7:30 PM or 9:30 PM) offering two-person prix fixe menus with beverage pairings ($180) or without ($130) and the option to receive a 10% discount off your check if you pay in advance.
1446 S. Broadway; 720-353-4701
LoDo: The Cooper Lounge
High above the maddening crowds that congregate in the Great Hall of Union Station, Denver's beautifully restored train depot, sits the Cooper Lounge, a mezzanine hideaway that oozes with the romance and sophistication that defined the luxury passenger trains of the 1920s. It's a classy retreat whose atmosphere is matched only by chef Lon Symensma's (ChoLon and Cho77) "club car" menu featuring decadent dishes like the pork terrine, steak tartare and chocolate truffles.
Valentine's Day: Regular menu.
1701 Wynkoop St.; 720-460-3738
RiNo: Nocturne Jazz & Supper Club
The redesigned warehouse, originally built in 1927, stuns with an American art deco vibe, marble floors, cream-hued curved banquettes, exposed redbrick and a show-stopping spiral staircase that leads to sleek and sexy mezzanine overlooking the large stage below that plays host to live musicians.
Valentine's Day: Four-course tasting menu for $75 per person, along with live music. Caveat: there are limited reservations still available for the 9 PM seating, but the 6 PM time slot is sold out.
1330 27th St.; 303-295-3333
Capitol Hill: Black Eye Coffee
A coffeehouse by day, the vibe changes considerably around 5 PM, when the lights go low, the cafe morphs into a swanky cocktail lounge and the bar shelves flip around to expose a smashing collection of spirits. The come-and-stay-a-while space showcases an art deco look, window tables and booths conducive to a date-night rendezvous, an excellent food menu from former Lower48 Kitchen exec chef Alex Figura and a terrific scroll of craft cocktails.
Valentine's Day: Regular menu with some specials.
800 Sherman St.; 303-955-1205
Cherry Creek: Kobe An
Bento boxes, tableside shabu-shabu, pristine sushi and steaming caldrons of noodles: those dishes and more are the siren song of this beautifully appointed Japanese restaurant that's the perfect place for a dreamy date, especially if you're lucky enough to book one of the über-romantic tatami rooms that exude elegance and mystique.
Valentine's Day: Regular menu.
231 Milwaukee St.; 303-989-5907
Larimer Square: Bistro Vendome
Against a captivating backdrop of dark woods, antique mirrored glass and windows that overlook the idyllic courtyard, Jennifer Jasinski and Beth Gruitch's entrancing French bistro, both intimate and lively, is pure joie de vivre, especially when it's an extra-special date night where impressing your paramour is paramount. It's the kind of place where you'll fight like wrestlers over the last bite of steak tartare and then smooch like newlyweds during the make-up session that involves chocolate-raspberry macarons and a bottle of champagne.
Valentine's Day: Bistro Vendome is featuring its regular dinner menu, as well as a four-course Valentine's menu for $55 per person with optional wine pairings.
1420 Larimer St.; 303-825-3232
Uptown: Beast + Bottle
With its gentle lighting, charming farmhouse interior, seasonal culinary artistry and wonderful wine and cocktail list, this Uptown beauty from brother-and-sister team Paul and Aileen Riley unleashes the sexy beast in all of us.
Valentine's Day: Regular menu, in addition to several Valentine's Day specials, including a 60-day, dry-aged bone-in rib-eye for two.
719 E. 17th Ave.; 303-623-3223