Denver's Best Restaurant Service

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July 18, 2016
by Zagat Staff

Zagat’s top-rated restaurants in Denver where hospitality shines.

Fruition Restaurant
New American · Country Club · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.7

This Country Club "diamond" boasts a menu that reads "like a foodie romance novel" and brings to life a "seductive" approach to "garden-to-table" New American cuisine, by turns "rustic" and "ethereal" , "nuanced" and "startling" (and matched by a "well-thought-out" , "value" -oriented wine list); meanwhile, the "deft" manner of the "astute" staff makes even the "crowded" , "close quarters" seem "charming" – though getting into them at all can be "difficult" : "book far ahead."
French · Capitol Hill · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.7

"Culinary genius" Frank Bonanno's "polished" New American cuisine, "designed to let the beautiful tastes and colors" of the "outstanding ingredients" "shine" through, makes fans of this Capitol Hill "masterpiece" "dizzy with glee" ; sure, its "prices aren't for the parsimonious" and the seating is "cheek by jowl" in its "intimate" confines, but with an "impeccable" floor team and a "stunning" wine list, it'll still "sweep a first date off [their] feet."
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).
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."
Italian · Capitol Hill · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.5

Another of Frank Bonanno's "successes" , this "fine-dining" "destination" on Capitol Hill turns out "imaginative" Italian "plates of beauty" paired with equally "fab" wines by an "excellent" staff in a "quaint and inviting" space; of course, it also delivers "expensive" checks, but they're "worth every penny" when "romantic" evenings are in order.
Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House
Steakhouse · $$$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

"Perfectly cooked" chops with all the "amazingly prepared" trimmings are a given at this "typical but very attractive high-end steakhouse" in Greenwood Village, as is an "extensive" wine list and an "impeccable" staff to assist you with it; that it's "pricy" also goes without saying, but considering the "fancy" dining room is "always buzzing with activity" , it seems no one who comes "to be seen" minds.
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" ).
Italian · Central Business District · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.2 · Service 4.5

"Consistently" "scrumptious" Northern Italian fare – including "superb" freshly baked breads and "imaginative" gluten-free options – is the draw at this "casually elegant" Downtown "jewel" in the "trendy Hotel Monaco" ; an "incredible" staff "flat-out rocks" , "treating all ages and appetites appropriately" , and "not-to-be-missed" happy-hour "bargains" only add to the "pleasure."
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."
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.
American · 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.
American · Central Business District · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

"To feel pampered" by "exceptional service" , the "expense-account crowd" gathers at this daytime American fixture in Downtown's legendary Brown Palace Hotel for "power breakfasts" and "business lunches" amid "elegant" surroundings; though "the menu isn't imaginative, the food is excellent" – perhaps especially on Sundays, when the champagne brunch buffet makes for a "very special treat.”
New American · Park Hill · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.4

"Hidden away in Park Hill" , this neighborhood "magnet" "deserves top billing" for its "creatively delectable" , upscale New American dishes courtesy of a "personable" couple and their "extra-special staff" ; filled with charming "old tables" , the "cute" , "funky" space spells "comfort" to "family and friends" – though if you want to be "labeled a complete genius, take a date here on a summer night" for an alfresco rendezvous.
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.”