Denver Restaurant Week (DRW) starts cooking, tomorrow, February 26 and runs through March 11, 2011, with 301 restaurants offering multi-course meals for the “mile high” price of $52.80 for two, $26.40 for one (tax and tip not included). It is the largest restaurant week in the nation.

Caption: Denver Mayor Guillermo (Bill) Vidal (center with large glass of wine) dressed in chef’s “whites” joined 50 of the participating chefs to toast Denver Restaurant Week, running February 26 to March 11, 2011. Photo credit: Steve Crecelius </em>

Background on Denver Restaurant Week

National studies show Denver has the “fittest” residents of any major city in the country, but those statistics may be on hold during Denver Restaurant Week (DRW) when a record 301 of the city’s best eateries offer a celebration of fine dining.

This year, Denver’s largest culinary festival will once again run two weeks, from February 26-March 11, 2011. During DRW, all 301 participating restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for the “mile high” price of $52.80 for two (Denver is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile high) or $26.40 for one, tax and gratuity not included.

The total of 301 restaurants participating is a record number for the event, up 7 percent from the 282 that participated in 2010, and registers as the largest number of participating restaurants in any restaurant week in the nation. The unprecedented quantity of restaurants is matched by their quality. All six of Denver’s 2011 AAA Four Diamond award winners (Panzano, Colt & Gray, Mizuna, Rioja, Restaurant Kevin Taylor and Palace Arms) are participating in DRW and offering $52.80 for two deals this year. In a testament to Denver’s burgeoning reputation as a dining destination, only Atlanta and Las Vegas added more restaurants to the elite Four Diamond list this year. Download the full list of 2011 winners from AAA’s website.

The seventh annual DRW is organized by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Last year, more than 335,000 people dined-out during restaurant week, and this year, with even more restaurants participating, we are confident that we will set a new record for meals served,” stated 2011 VISIT DENVER Chairman, Ed Bucholtz, general manager of the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center.

Denver Restaurant Week started in 2005 and has been growing by leaps and bounds. Some 335,580 meals were served during DRW 2010, up 13 percent over the 298,200 meals served in 2009. Website traffic at the DRW site increased 17 percent in 2010 with 376,372 unique visits and 5,374,406 million page views – almost 10 page views for every resident in the City & County of Denver.

For a complete list of all 301 participating restaurants and menus, visit:

Denver Restaurant Week is presented by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. Sponsors include: Alamos Winery, Mirassou Winery, Louis M. Martini, William Hill Estate Wines, The Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, Four O’Clock News at 9News, Westword, RTD, Metromix, the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Colorado Restaurant Association.