The Denver-Boulder area is blessed with some exquisite restaurants, but enjoying them on a regular basis can be a challenge. That's why I order the multicourse tasting menu whenever I go to one of the high-end hot spots, such as Restaurant Kevin Taylor  or Frasca Food and Wine . It's a great way to sample the chef's creativity and cuisine.
Last weekend, I visited the intimate L'Atelier  in Boulder, where chef Radek Cerny pays homage to foods of France. Cerny's nine-course tasting menu included delicate tuna tartare; lemony lobster ravioli; thin rounds of (nicely) oily Fra' Mani  salami carpaccio; plump, fresh mussels in a red, dredge-worthy rustica sauce; crunchy Bibb lettuce dotted with rounds of fresh mozzarella; sweet lamb chops; an innovative crust-less cheesecake; and—to finish—a plate of cheese.
The three-hour meal wasn't accompanied by wine pairings, but an extensive wine list allowed us to create our own. Best of all, the meal was a steal at just $69 a person.
1739 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-442-7233