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Denver Restaurant Week is back! From February 24 to March 5, the 13th annual celebration of the local restaurant scene is offering deals at 256 (and counting) restaurant choices. This year, DRW organizer Visit Denver introduced a price-tiering option, with three-course meals at participating restaurants falling into three price ranges (per person): $25, $35, and $45. Not only does this give restaurant-goers more options for dinner, it also offers restaurateurs a bit more flexibility in creating their menus. Whether you’re looking for a casual bargain or a black-tie splurge, this year’s DRW lineup offers something for every taste and budget.
Not sure where to start? Since this annual celebration of the Mile High City’s ever-growing dining scene is all about trying new places, we highlighted five eateries, each new to Denver Restaurant Week, whose menus caught our attention. Just be sure to call early for a reservation, as many restaurants book up well in advance.
Stanley Beer Hall
Located in the burgeoning Stanley Marketplace, you’ll find more than wings and nachos at this spacious and family-friendly brewpub. Pair your meal with one of the brews off the extensive list—we recommend Denver-based Schwarzbier’s Good River Gunny, a dark, German-style lager.
Menu Highlights: crispy Brussels sprouts with apples and bacon; rice gnocchi with shredded onions, grilled broccolini, and crispy onion; mussels steamed in hard cider and served with french fries. The Stanley Marketplace, 2501 Dallas St., Suite 100, Aurora, 720-749-5098
Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you need to stay home during Restaurant Week. Vital Root’s menu—which is free of meat, gluten, and refined sugar—is sure to appeal to both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Bonus: Edible Beats (which encompasses Vital Root, Linger, Root Down, and Ophelia’s) is donating 10 percent of its restaurant week profits to benefit Islamic Relief USA, whose “Pay Attention to Syria” campaign aids Syrian refugees with food, clothing, and shelter.
Menu Highlights: cauliflower ceviche with black bean pico; pad thai with green papaya and pickled vegetables; chocolate linzer torte with almond crust, chocolate ganache, and whipped coconut cream 3915 Tennyson St., 303-474-4131
Siblings and business partners Paul and Aileen Reilly bring simple, fresh Southern Italian dishes and warm hospitality to Uptown with Coperta. You might just think you’ve been transported to Rome as you twirl pasta onto your fork and sip a glass of barbera in the brick-lined space.
Menu Highlights: crispy calamari; spaghetti cacio e pepe; four-ounce beef tagliata with crispy potatoes; extra-virgin olive oil gelato 400 E. 20th Ave., 720-749-4666
Want to know more about Coperta? Read our restaurant review here.
Blue Agave Grill
This Fort Collins restaurant opened its second location in on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver last November. You’ll find a modern southwestern menu that features everything from burgers and pastas to traditional tacos and enchiladas. Order a margarita made with house-infused tequila.
Menu Highlights: charbroiled chili-lime skirt steak with jalapeño cornbread and avocado-lime salsa; cast iron-seared blackened yellowfin tuna with pineapple salsa; toasted coconut blondie served à la mode with caramel-rum sauce and candied pecans 1201 Sixth St., Suite 104, 720-550-8389
This trendy steak house just opened its doors in LoDo last month. The upscale spot serves high-end fare in an upbeat, low-lit dining room. There’s no dress code, but you’ll feel most comfortable in your Friday night best.
Menu Highlights: seared Hokkaido scallops; Colorado lamb ribs with parsnip purée, roasted baby beets, and lamb jus; Boulder natural chicken marinated in ahi amarillo and hatch green chiles and served with golden Carolina rice and smoked squash; salted caramel budino. 1550 Market St., 720-597-8010
Bonus: Did you know many of Denver’s best chefs and restaurateurs are locally trained? Johnson & Wales University created this interactive map to find out which DRW eateries are run by or employ alums (ahem, Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall and Nadine Donovan of Vesta, Steuben’s, and Ace Eat Serve).