Best Restaurants for Private Dining in Denver

Your guide to the city's top party places
August 13, 2017
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by Zagat Staff

Some people are natural-born hosts, throwing dinner parties and holiday get-togethers with ease. Others, not so much (or not at all). That’s where these seasoned pros come in to make your guests feel more at home than you ever could. (Note: Though we limited this list to fully private spaces, both Mercantile and Departure have notable semiprivate rooms. Also, the just-opened Urban Farmer is home to a beauty, complete with original stained glasswork, that should be ready to book any day now, and the former Sugarmill space is being transformed into Los Lounge for private Los Chingones functions.)

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.
FIRE
New American · Golden Triangle · $$$

On the fourth floor of the glitzy ART Hotel, this high-design restaurant and bar, flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows that peer over the cityscape, turns out New American cuisine with Colorado influences alongside smartly curated cocktails, an eclectic beer program and an extensive roster of bottled wines on full display in a glass-encased cellar.
Bar Dough
Italian · LoHi · $$

This LoHi Italian haunt from chef-owner Max MacKissock (ex The Squeaky Bean) boasts creative pizzas fired in a showpiece, hand-tiled imported oven, plus handcrafted pastas, small plates and entrees. Lined with a tufted burgundy banquette, the long and narrow space features an open kitchen and a marble-topped bar turning out clever cocktails, housemade sodas and an all-Italian wine list, all of which can also be sipped on the roomy patio.
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).
Punch Bowl Social Denver
Bar · Baker · $$

Social is the name of the game at these dining, drinking and gaming emporiums that are family friendly by day and party central after dark; they boast multiple bars, a bowling alley, arcade games, Ping-Pong, shuffleboard and private karaoke rooms to keep the crowds busy (plus a patio with bocce courts in Stapleton), while diner-style gastropubs with a Southern-inspired American menu designed by Hugh Acheson keeps them well fed.
French 75
French · Central Business District · $$

Frank Bonanno (Mizuna, Osteria Marco, Green Russell and others) brings a taste of France to the Central Business District with this bistro, which specializes in staples like sole meunière, roast leg of lamb and profiteroles, as well as variations on the namesake cocktail. Imported tiles, vintage fixtures and a display of Chartreuse bottle caps decorate the main dining room, centered around an island kitchen and bar, while a mezzanine houses the wine collection.
Ace Eat Serve
Asian · Uptown · $$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.0

"Asian food meets Ping-Pong (what could be better?)" at this “funky" , “upbeat” and "reasonably priced" “former garage” -turned-Uptown “favorite for business lunches” and “late-night shenanigans” fueled by “delicious juices” and “terrific cocktails” alike; out on the “huge patio” , even those who find “ups and downs” in quality “forget their troubles” , soaking up the “fun energy" while they gobble down “addictive tiger wings."
Matsuhisa Denver
Sushi · Cherry Creek · $$$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.4

"The holy grail" of sushi is found at these "outstanding" Nobu siblings whose "world-class" "haute Japanese" "feasts for the senses" are as "jaw-dropping" as the "astronomical prices" ; the "hip" , stylish surrounds feature lounges that host "raucous" bar scenes for the "young and beautiful" whose "every need" is met by the "savvy" staff.
Quality Italian
Steakhouse · Cherry Creek

Based in Cherry Creek's Halcyon hotel, this outpost of a New York hot spot updates the old-school steakhouse with Italian flair, serving up robust creations like porterhouse agnolotti and chicken Parm with craft cocktails and wine aplenty. Urban glamor meets vintage old-world elements in the design of the space, which includes a lounge, private room and patio.
Coohills
French · LoDo · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.1

Blending New American cooking with "a bit of French country flavor that's approachable" yet "just different enough to be exciting" , this "modern" , "upscale" LoDo haunt has garnered fans who "go here before all Pepsi Center events" as well as for "pre-theater dinners" , citing "great service" as a bonus; it's a little "hard to find" , but a popular creekside patio rewards the effort.
Root Down
American · LoHi · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

From the "adventurous" , "farm-fresh" New American plates that "won't cost an arm and a leg" to service that "bends over backwards" against the "cool-funky" backdrop of a "converted filling station" , "everything is done extremely well" at Justin Cucci's "high-energy" hall of postmillennial "hippiedom" in LoHi – so it's no wonder you'll need "good luck getting in" ; P.S. there's a newer offshoot in Denver International Airport's Terminal C.
LEÑA
Latin American · Speer · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.2

From tacos on "fantastic" housemade tortillas to "quality" wood-fired meats, the "creative" Latin American food at this funky multilevel "must-visit" , "a favorite since it opened" in Baker, is "off the chain" – not to mention "good for sharing" with a group, aided by "knowledgeable" service; showcasing the bar's "amazing selection of tequilas and mezcals" , the "great happy hour" is a wallet-friendly way to go.
Euclid Hall
Bar · Central Business District · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.1

The "delicious" housemade sausages, poutines and other "adventurous" plates at this "eclectic" LoDo "take on the gastropub" (a sib to Rioja, Bistro Vendôme and Stoic & Genuine) may be "gut-busting" , but at least they "won't break the bank" – which means "you can hang out for hours" pairing them with craft brews you've "never heard of before" ; "industrial" , "modern" and open late, it can feel like "hipster central" , but "don't be afraid to ask questions" anyway – the servers "always have an answer."
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.
Lola Coastal Mexican
Mexican · LoHi · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.2

The "high-energy" dining room of this "hipsterrific" , "tequila-shootin' romp" in LoHi is "always packed" with "beautiful people" having a "fun-as-hell" time over "wonderful" , "highbrow" Mexican plates, from "custom-crafted" tableside guacamole to "great raw-bar" items; "expect to pay a bit more, but" "happy hour is a deal" , so an "after-work rendezvous" on the "rockin' patio" with a round of "imaginative drinks" is always an option – as is brunch, as "hopping" as ever.
Acorn
Bar · River North Art District · $$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

“Get ready to share – and be wowed” by – “astounding” New American small plates with “huge flavors” “that light up your mouth” at this RiNo sibling of Boulder’s acclaimed OAK at fourteenth; though the somewhat “noisy” setting in “popular” “warehouse” -turned-marketplace The Source is “hipster heaven” , you’ll “never feel slighted” by either the “dynamic, attentive servers” or the “master mixologists” at the bar.
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" ).
ELWAY'S
Steakhouse · Central Business District · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

"Melt-in-your-mouth steaks" "score big" at the "clubby" Cherry Creek flagship of the namesake football legend's chophouse mini-chain, but the real "highlight" may be its "meat-market" bar scene, comprising "big-spending" "cougars" , "sugar daddies" and "local celebrities" who can afford the "Super Bowl prices" (though there's "value" to be found on the "extensive wine list" ); similar perks, including "smooth" service, await at the "glitzy, ritzy" Downtown branch, the "bustling" Vail offshoot and the outpost in DIA's Concourse B, a "wonderful" option for jet-setters.
Palace Arms
Central Business District · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.6

"A top choice for impressing out-of-towners" or for "celebrating" over a "romantic anniversary dinner" , this "elegant" "grande dame" in Downtown's "legendary" Brown Palace Hotel "remains relevant" for its "outstanding" , often "daring" New American cuisine, complemented by a "superb" wine list; "ouch, the price is high" warn wallet-watchers, but those wistful for "fine dining as it used to be" – complete with "gracious service" against a "posh" , "old-world" backdrop – say it's "well worth the cost" ; P.S. jackets and reservations suggested.