Celebrating an anniversary? Taking your crush on a first date? Want to rekindle the spark? Funky eateries, cozy hideaways, outdoor adventures, the perfect night in—we’ve planned for every occasion. We’ll leave the hard part (finding that special someone) up to you.
The Group Date
A social, interactive outing conducive to several couples—think lighthearted, adventurous pursuits.
You’ve probably seen it around town since it launched last May—and likely, wished you were on it. Pedal Hopper Denver is the covered, pedal-powered, 16-passenger mobile “bar” that rolls from watering hole to watering hole in a three-stop pub-crawl (yes, there is a sober Pedal Hopper company “driver” to steer). We suggest the South Broadway or Uptown routes.
Caveat: Per open container laws, there’s no booze allowed on the actual “vehicle”; the company is working with the city to obtain permission. But that doesn’t diminish the spirit—especially with the stereo, disco ball, and bar lights. Grab some friends and their significant others and rent the entire contraption for a couple of hours.
Keep the party going at the retro-cool Punch Bowl Social—a diner/bowling alley/bar (opening next month) that turns these concepts on their heads. The upscale, from-scratch menu is from chef Sergio Romero of Le Grand Bistro & Oyster Bar and Argyll fame, and the eight lanes of bowling are just what the crew needs to keep the tempo up. Psst: Grab your date and steal away to the Ping-Pong tables and vintage ’80s video arcade on the third level for a little one-on-one action.
TIP: What you can bring aboard the Pedal Hopper are all the rehydrating beverages and snacks that you want. Stock up, especially during hot weather.
A great night in, because getting dolled up to hit the town seems like a hassle.
Leave the planning to Blackbelly Catering and Bravo’s Top Chef season five winner Hosea Rosenberg. Rosenberg and mixologist James Lee will bring their talents directly to your kitchen for a personal culinary and cocktail lesson, plus a divine home-cooked meal to follow. Be as hands-on as you want; in fact, Rosenberg suggests that you accompany him to your neighborhood farmers’ market or Whole Foods (allow one to two hours for shopping) for ingredients. He’ll show you how to select the freshest produce and cuts of fish or meat, and how to craft a dinner from what looks best at the market instead of a preconceived menu. (You can even tour the Blackbelly pig farm in Longmont.)
Plan on four or five hours, and get involved. Have Rosenberg teach you how to fillet a fish properly, or how to retain juices when grilling. While dinner is simmering, get a cocktail rundown from Lee and try your hand at the art of mixology—you’ll have a killer drink to serve next time you host. When the grub is ready—perhaps Rocky Mountain trout finished with almond-lemon sauce and roasted cauliflower—the Blackbelly fellows will clink glasses with you and partake in the feast, but they’ll leave you with plenty of time (recipes in hand) to linger by yourselves over your meal.
TIP: As you cook, ask for easy ways to make the menu seasonal. After all, an August patio party should look a little different than your February feast.
DREAM DATE: "Fly fish on the Arkansas River in the morning, soak your muscles at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs in the afternoon, and savor a private dinner. A relaxing day on the river with just the two of us and no other obligations is divine." —Cindy Johnson, co-owner SOL