Where:

Rioja

/ Restaurant
$$$$
Open now 10:00 - 14:30, 17:00 - 22:00
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1431 Larimer St, 80202
Denver, Colorado, USA
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The walk with a view of Larimer Square is what you can expect after dining at this restaurant. Mediterranean cuisine will be served at Rioja. Prime skirt steaks are the recipe for success of this place. This spot is usually visited to try delicious sangria. The high ratings of this restaurant wouldn't be possible without the friendly staff. It is remarkable that the service is regarded as excellent. Guests appreciate the chance to enjoy the beautiful decor. Many visitors are faithful to Rioja because of the nice atmosphere. According to Frommer's, this place is rated 3 stars so it's a very recommended place to visit.

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Great food, some of the best we've had in Denver. Service was good, nothing extraordinary. There seemed to be a few seats right at the open kitchen, which we tried to get but the owners apparently came in and swooped them. Next time we'll be sure to specify that we want those seats...
There's something special happening here at Rioja.  This is the place I was looking forward to the most during my trip to Denver and the meal I will remember after I return home.  It took me a few days, but I finally made it here after already having a complete dinner elsewhere. Since it was late and I was dining alone, I opted to sit at the bar.  The guy behind the bar was Chad and he was excellent.  He was so welcoming and accommodating.  I felt completely at ease and well taken care of with Chad behind the bar.  He gave great suggestions for menu items to try. Once I ordered, someone came over with a beautiful bread basket and I made a couple selections.  The goat cheese biscuit was tasty and the onion one had great flavor.  The butter had nice flavor and was served at room temp to be perfectly spreadable.  A lot can be learned from a restaurant from its bread service and Rioja showed me they were not messing around the moment the bread and butter arrived.  There's nothing worse than to be given cold butter for bread, so the nice room temp butter was appreciated. I started with the oyster chowder.  It came with a generous portion of cold-smoked oysters.  The other components complemented the chowder well.  This dish is a bit of a challenging one, but I happen to enjoy texture and temperature contrasts within a dish, so I enjoyed it.  The one thing I found slightly weird was the celery.  The soup was served with large chunks of seemingly raw celery.  It threw off the elegance of the dish.  I would probably cook the celery a bit and cut them down to a smaller size.  Chewing crunchy celery in soup was a bit odd.  The best part was the oysters.  The smoke flavor came through and gave great flavor to the chowder itself. Next came the foie gras mousse.  It was beautifully presented with some toasted rye, almonds, and strawberry served three ways.  The foie gras mousse itself was silky smooth and had great flavor.  The fresh, dehydrated, and jammed strawberries really made the dish a standout.  It all went so well with the almonds and the ribbon of white chocolate.  I have had many foie mousse dishes throughout the years and Rioja's was the best I've had.  This is a dish I would return to Denver to have again. Finally, I had a half portion of the artichoke tortelloni.  The second this dish arrived, the aroma of the white truffle brodo hit my nose and I knew it'd be a winner.  The pasta was well-made and the artichoke mousse filling was fantastic.  Taking some of that white truffle broth with each bite of the pasta made for a very complex and satisfying dish. For dessert, I had the lemon yuzu tart.  The tart itself was perfection.  The top was torched, the filling was smooth with excellent sweet/tart yuzu flavor without being too sweet, and the crust was well-made.  Under the tart was some pine nut brittle ice cream.  It was a great complement to the tart itself. I got to meet the sous chef and he's motivated and talented.  He went through the rigors of working at Eleven Madison Park (the current best restaurant in the world) and formed his culinary foundation there.  I'm sure he will one day have a place of his own.  In the meantime, he had a special on the menu that he gracefully let me try.  It was an oyster with caviar and cucumber, with a small amount of gochujang and fish sauce.  It was complex and a wonderful few bites. I cannot wait to return to Denver so I can dine at Rioja again.  Next time, I'll come hungry so I can try their tasting menu.
This restaurant is perfection. Rioja provides fine dining quality food in a semi-casual environment. Located right in the heart of Larimer Square, this place is a gem.To begin, we shared the Italian burrata which was just an explosion of flavors in your mouth. The sweetness of the gooseberry paired very well with the silky burrata. For my entree, I had the artichoke tortellini. Let me tell you, best 5 pieces of tortellini I've ever had! The goat cheese filling was excellent and paired well with the broth and fried mushroom topping. To finish my meal, I had the peanut butter tort, the cake was good and the candies peanuts added a nice crunch, but not a memorable dessert. Definitely recommend the pastas and burrata. The portions were on the smaller side, but that's expected with this type of restaurant. Worth the money! My only complaint is that service was very slow. Took forever to get the attention of our waitress, but the food experience was worth the wait.
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Address
1431 Larimer St, Denver, Colorado, USA, 80202 Get directions
Opening hours
MondayMon 17:00-22:00
TuesdayTue 17:00-22:00
WednesdayWed 11:30-14:30, 17:00-22:00
ThursdayThu 11:30-14:30, 17:00-22:00
FridayFri 11:30-14:30, 17:00-23:00
SaturdaySat 10:00-14:30, 17:00-23:00
SundaySun 10:00-14:30, 17:00-22:00
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