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“Fantastic” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rioja

Rioja
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Ranked #6 of 2,977 Restaurants in Denver
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $41 - $80
Cuisines: Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Romantic, Special occasions, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Brunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: Downtown
Chicago,IL
Level Contributor
110 reviews
82 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Fantastic”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

I was in Denver in March and had to stop into Rioja for dinner it is one of my favorite places in the country. I have only one word to say to everyone "Bacon" get the bacon it is the most delicious appetizer that you will ever eat. I always eat at the bar and convince people to try it if they don't like it I will but it, they usually get another. Bartenders are great so is the food.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Phamus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,469 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
76 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Delicious food, enticing presentation, friendly staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

Three of us dined at Rioja. While we could not get an early reservation in the main dining area (last minute reservation), we were able to dine in the bar/lounge area. It was perfect! We had a seat in the front window and it was actually quieter than the dining room. Tony, our server, was friendly, entertaining and knowledgeable about the menu. The food was excellent and the presentation was awesome! Thanks, Rioja, for a great dining experience.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank Terry C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Parker, Colorado
Level Contributor
71 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“One of the best places in Denver”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

I have been trying to give out less five star reviews recently as an Excellent rating should truly indicate an excellent experience. Rioja deserves it. Last night I visited Rioja with some friends without reservations and were seated surprisingly fast. Once we were seated we ordered the Bacon appetizer which was to die for. For an entree I ordered the Duck which the waiter recommended. It was great. I will definitely be coming back again with friend and family.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Casey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Havelock, North Carolina
Level Contributor
268 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Perhaps the best meal of my life!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2013

I went with a friend that had eaten here before. We were both visiting Denver. On a Friday night, the restaurant was crowded, but we were able to sit at the bar for drinks and appetizers.

We started off with water and drinks (I had a blackberry whiskey sour). The appetizers we chose were Fresh bacon (cardamon spiced Kurobuta pork belly, madras curry scented garbanzo bean puree), and Dungeness crab (celery gelee, creme fraiche tossed Dungeness crab, shaved fresh Hawaiian heart of palm, cucumber, lime confiture, sel gris).

We asked for and were seated for dinner at the bar area overlooking the kitchen. It was great fun to watch and chat with the sous chef. From here we chose to partake in the tasting menu. Several different servers brought us a variety of dishes that included mango salmon lomi lomi (Hawaiian salt cured Skuna bay salmon, macadamia-ginger pesto, scallion, cucumber, mango coulis, basil pudding), artichoke tortellini (goat cheese and artichoke mousse stuffed pasta, artichoke broth, truffle essence, queso de mano cheese, chervil), a few other special bites, and it was all topped off with a beignet (sweet goat cheese and black mission fig filled pastries, ruby port wine reduction) that was to die for!! A variety of fresh breads were offered multiple times during the evening. I fell in love with the sourdough bread slices and the mini biscuits.

The service was impeccable! The plating was beautiful!

Chef Jennifer Jasinki was working the night we were there. My friend got her cookbook and had chef sign it while we were dining! Chef had won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Southwest 2013 only 4 days earlier!!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank SharonB2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
77 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and food.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 12, 2013

We ate both here, and at Fruition in the same weekend (two top rated (TripAdvisor) restaurants....and honestly pretty close tie. I'd say (personally) I loved Rioja for the atmosphere, food, location. I loved Fruition for the food, the atmosphere, and the location (in that order).

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
Thank MplsLakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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