Denver's Best Restaurant Decor

Rooms that impress
July 18, 2016
·
by Zagat Staff

Presenting restaurants with the highest-rated decor in Denver.

Beatrice & Woodsley
American · Speer · $$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.1

There's "nothing like" the "whimsical" , "clever" setting of this "aspen tree-lined getaway" decorated to make you feel as though you're "dining in your own personal fairy tale" (it's worth a visit "just to see the bathroom" ); compared with the "stunning" atmosphere, the "progressive" menu of New American small plates strikes critics as "too expensive for what you get" – though the "innovative" drinks delivered by "experienced" servers fuel a "satisfying" happy hour.
Izakaya Den
Japanese · Platt Park · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.7 · Service 4.4

The Kizaki brothers "know what they're doing" – and they've "done it again" with this "spectacular" Sushi Den offshoot in Platt Park offering the same "incredibly fresh seafood" for which the "mother ship" next door is famous, alongside an "uncommonly" "adventurous" selection of Asian-fusion small plates, all "served with aplomb” – and sake – by an "efficient" , "accommodating" staff; meanwhile, the "simply stunning" two-story setting, featuring a "heavenly" upstairs lounge with a retractable roof, is even "better" than that of its sibling, "without the waits.”
The Fort
Steakhouse · $$$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.3

"If you want to pretend you're back in the Wild West" , this "replica of Bent's Old Fort" in Morrison is a "fun, educational experience" centered on a regional American menu featuring steak and a "wide variety of game dishes" brought by servers "dressed as pioneers" against a "beautiful panorama of Denver" ; locals sniff that it's "too touristy" and "overpriced" , but if you're "on the hook to give out-of-towners" a taste of "history" , it's "worth it."
Williams & Graham
Bar · LoHi
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

“If you long for the days of secret handshakes and whispered passwords” , enter through the “hidden door” of Sean Kenyon's "modern-day speakeasy" in LoHi (set behind a "bookstore façade" ) to find "killer" “handcrafted cocktails” from some of “Denver’s top bartenders” paired with "quality" , moderately priced New American eats; despite "accommodating" service, "wait times can be coma-inducing, so plan accordingly" if you're looking to "impress a date."
Domo Japanese Country Food Restaurant
Japanese · Lincoln Park · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.1

"Rustic farmhouse decor" – think "tree-trunk tables" and "tree-stump seats" – sets the stage for "delicious" , "authentic Japanese country cuisine" that's definitely "not typical sushi" at this "Denver classic" in Lincoln Park; though the surroundings outshine the service, prices are "fair" and the whole package delivers a "cultural escape from the ordinary" , especially if you visit the on-site museum and "sit in the garden on a nice evening."
Shanahan's
Steakhouse · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.5

"Nothing less than awesome" , this "update" on a "'Mad Men'–style" steakhouse "gets it right" with a "menu that challenges your self-control" , as the kitchen's "outstanding" "attention to presentation" warrants "ordering more and more" – and the "wonderful" , "detail" -oriented staff is happy to help; while the "large bar" is "packed" with "high-profile people" , a seat on the patio "makes for a very relaxing evening" – so long as you "bring a wad of money" (or make sure "someone else is paying" ).
Mercantile Dining and Provision
New American · LoDo · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Alex Seidel (Fruition Restaurant) and his team have "another winner” in LoDo’s Union Station: by day, the “hip” , “high-energy” space functions as a European-style market offering “superb” sandwiches and “top-notch” coffees; by evening, the open kitchen prepares an “inspired” assortment of “complex, artfully executed” New American dishes, delivered (along with "delicious" wines and cocktails) by “agreeable servers who want you to feel welcome” – ensuring you "can't wait" to return.
ChoLon
Asian · LoDo · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.4

LoDo is "lucky to have" chef Lon Symensma, whose "talent is on display" in every "exquisite" Southeast Asian morsel (including "brilliant" French onion soup dumplings) that this "sleek" spot sends out of its open kitchen; fetched by "knowledgeable, efficient" servers and accompanied by "standout" cocktails, the "artistic" , "adventurous" small plates are "made to share" – and you may as well, since the "throbbing" noise level promotes getting close, while the prices, being "a little steep" , favor bill-splitting.
Bistro Vendôme
French · Central Business District · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

Bienvenue – "you are now in Paris" swear fans of chef/co-owner Jennifer Jasinski's "delightful" "slice of the Left Bank" in a Larimer Square courtyard, as appealing for upscale, "intimate dinners" – think steak frites "you can't beat" – as for the "satisfying" Sunday brunch; if it offers "few surprises" for foodies these days, part of its "staying power" may be found in the "fetching" "jardin fragrant with blooming foliage" , "the place to be" as you sample the "stunning wine list."
Rioja
Mediterranean · Central Business District · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

The "passion" of chef/co-owner Jennifer Jasinski shows in every "meticulously thought-out" Mediterranean-inspired dish her "courteous" staff "presents like artwork" alongside an "extraordinary wine list" at this "cosmopolitan" "Larimer Square gem" ; though the "chic" space is always "justifiably jam-packed" , recent renovations have smoothed the "flow" of an experience that's not only "worth" the price, it just "gets better and better."
Sushi Den
Sushi · Platt Park · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"If you can't go to Tokyo" , this "homey" Platt Park "institution" "will do" – after all, "Denver's premier" sushi bar still "lives up to the reputation it's been building" since 1984, "thrilling your tongue" with "exquisite" raw fish, "perfectly battered tempura" and other Japanese specialties provided by a "courteous" staff; there's "always a line to get in" , but the "crowds" (and slightly expensive tabs) are worth it for a "true" dining experience.
Linger
Eclectic · LoHi
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.2

There's nothing "macabre" about this "old mortuary" turned "hip" , "happening" eatery in LoHi, where "you'll definitely want to linger" either downstairs in the "hopping" dining room, upstairs in the "sultry" lounge with a Lite-Brite bar or on the "fantastic rooftop" boasting "phenomenal city views" – all while taking "a world tour" of "outrageously delish" Eclectic small plates; other pluses include the "fabulous handcrafted cocktails" , "personable" service and a happy hour that's "lively" enough "to wake the dead."
Guard and Grace
Steakhouse · Central Business District · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

"Troy Guard has outdone himself" say fans of his "creative" Downtown take on the classic chophouse where the "steak is perfect and the martinis are too" , and the whole "incredibly tasty" New American menu comes with "knowledgeable, enthusiastic" service as well; flanked by a glassed-in wine tower and a swanky patio, the "big, comfortable" space only furthers the "pleasure of dining here" (of course, it's "even better if someone else is picking up the check" ).
Barolo Grill
Italian · Cherry Creek · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.6

"Yes, I'll have that – and oh, I'll have that" respond fans of the "dreamy” Northern Italian menu at this Cherry Creek “standard-bearer" that's "innovative" too, tended by servers for whom “diner satisfaction is paramount” in an "elegant" yet "cozy" setting suited to "romance" ; the “extensive” , “exceptionally interesting wine list” only enhances the “special-occasion” aura (though granted, so will the “not inexpensive” bill).