Denver excels in romantic eateries - why not try out a few and light YOUR fires? Reservations are highly recommended for all of these, particularly for special seating.
1420 Larimer St.
Elegant, beautiful and oh-so-romantique, Bistro Vendome's locale in a tucked away courtyard in Larimer Square is a delight. When the weather permits, nothing is as splendid as the flower and plant-filled patio, but when it's cold, venture into the warm intimacy inside and sit by the French patio doors. This little oasis in busy downtown is THE place to savor some Foie Gras, followed by Duck Confit and finished off with orange-scented chocolate fondue - what could be more sensuous than sharing THAT?
19192 Highway 8, Morrison
No one should visit the Denver area without dining at The Fort. This incomparable restaurant is a lovingly-created replica of historic Bent's Fort in southeastern Colorado. With its adobe walls, mesquite-wood open fireplaces and exquisite Western art and memorabilia, the place is situated west of the city in Morrison. After dinner, stroll outside in the courtyard and view the twinkling lights of Denver in the distance, while the foothills beckon behind you. The view and ambiance would suffice for any romantic evening, but then there's the food to ice the cake. There's no other independent place in the nation that serves this much fine buffalo, along with several other types of wild game and frontier days cuisine - gussied up for modern day tastes. Special occasion? Step back in time and make this YOUR time, at the Fort.
McCormick & Schmicks
1659 Wazee St.
You won't find a place more romantic than the five Irish-style 'snugs' at McCormick & Schmicks. The downtown location is a fine establishment as well, but this venue is sublime for lovers. These velvet-curtained booths are just divine - and the perfect place to savor a 'chocolate bag' with your sweetie. Literally a dark chocolate sack piped full of whipped cream, berries and more chocolate, this is worth the short drive to the Tech Center. The menu changes daily at this very popular spot.
225 E. 7th Ave.
With just sixteen tables, Mizuna always feels special and private. This innovative, French-inpired bistro specializes in small-plate, locally grown and seasonal, changing-monthly cuisine. Mostly couples dine here, and for special occasions, ask for Table 15 - it's in a private room used for wine storage! If your loved one doesn't moan over the Spinach-Wrapped Oysters, he or she will definitely swoom over the Lobster Macaroni and Cheese. Finish up with a Warm Chocolate Cake - hey, it's YOUR night.
Palace Arms in the Brown Palace Hotel
321 17th St.
Since 1950, Denver's majestic Brown Palace Hotel has been hosting guests in search of elegance, romance and gourmet cuisine to its regal Palace Arms Restaurant. Enjoying numerous accolades from Zagat, Forbes and Gourmet, Palace Arms is renowned for its award-winning cuisine as its sumptuous setting. The restaurant recently selected a new chef, sommelier and manager to continue its quest to stay 'en courant' while still maintaining its tradition of excellence.
Vesta Dipping Grill
1822 Blake St.
This distinctive concept of dipping and sharing entrees makes Vesta Dipping Grill one of the first restaurants in town to sell out for Valentines Day. Mostly two-tops and cozy booths fill this chic downtown spot. The lighting is just enough to see what you're dipping into some of the 36 sauces offered. Ready to split a dessert? Take turns dipping it into hot fudge, crème anglaise or strawberry Cointreau, and compare notes - and maybe more...
Cool River Cafe
8000 E. Belleview Ave., Greenwood Village
Entering Cool River Café's huge vaulted dome with its surrealist bluish skylight, you'll find it hard to believe the lounge next door is full of teaming singles. You're here with your honey, and it couldn't be more intimately ooh-la-lah. Couples love to be seated in front of or on the sides of the towering stone fireplace on the lower level. The vineyard-inspired décor leads you into the exceptional wine offerings, which you can pair with such delights as Filet Oscar. Then, with a cognac or port, serve each other some Chocolate Mousse Cake Drizzled with Raspberry Sauce and Fresh Fruit. Best of all, step into the lounge afterward and dance to the live band. A perfect ending to a perfect evening..For extra special times, ask to be seated in the incredibly cozy Cognac Lounge - if you're lucky, no one else will be there and you'll feel like you're in your own private ski lodge.
3041 E. 3rd Ave.
Filled with sunlight and right in the heart of tony Cherry Creek North, Cucina Colore has been delighting its patrons for 13 years. Serving mostly couples, this sophisticated, bistro-like restaurant serves authentic Italian cuisine with a twist. Sitting on the flower-bedecked patio on a warm spring evening is as close as you'll get to Europe without an airline ticket. Feel like sharing with your date? Try some Pan-seared Black Mussels, followed by a luscious veal or fish plate. Don't forget to top it off with the rightfully renowned Peach Bread Pudding with Caramel Sauce - ahhh...
1138 Flagstaff Rd., Boulder
Nothing says Boulder like the renowned Flagstaff House, which has been a destination restaurant for special occasions for decades. Tucked into the foothills overlooking Boulder, the Flagstaff House offers an extraordinary menu in an equally extraordinary setting. Try for one of the window seats for a romantic mountain view, and then feast upon such elegant plates as a Beef Wellington, perhaps? Even coffee is special here, served up with a tray filled with ten add-ons, including tiny chocolate bits and whipped cream.