Even on the balmiest of summer afternoons, I often forgo patio seating for a table inside. Why? Al fresco dining in the city is usually less enjoyable than it’s cracked up to be. Between the cacophony of car horns, the hazy film of smog, and the oppressive heat, I’m all too happy to dine in the comfort of an air-conditioned interior.

Not so at the nearly one-year-old Brazen, where you’d be downright crazy to sit inside on one of these deliciously mild late-summer evenings. Tucked into a discreet corner off of 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street, Brazen’s generous patio provides exactly the refuge a city-dweller craves. Tables are placed far enough apart for a genuine sense of privacy, while the crimson umbrellas and winding strings of lights above give the space a welcoming warmth. Best of all, the patio isn’t bordered by a crowded sidewalk or bustling avenue. It’s backed by a lush swatch of green grass marked with stately Victorian lampposts, old-growth trees, and an especially charming piece of Denver history: the Elitch Gardens Carousel Pavilion. This renovated structure formerly housed the park’s carousel of the 1920s—in fact, this entire area was once home to the original Elitch Gardens grounds, hence, the recently-restored Elitch Theatre nearby.

But you didn’t come for a history lesson—you came for dinner. And Brazen’s menu, though far less risqué than the name might suggest, offers plenty of fine options. Start with a few fresh-shucked oysters from either coast (I’m partial to the small-but-flavorful East Coast bivalves), or perhaps the seasonal toast, which features a minty pea purée, crispy prosciutto, and blueberries. Then, dig into the tomato-braised meatballs, which rest atop a creamy, pudding-like polenta. Finish with an order of the DIY s’mores for the table and a moonlit stroll through the historic pavilion. It’s the perfect send off to summer.

Bonus: Brazen’s patio is dog friendly.

4450 W. 38th Ave, Suite 130, 720-638-1242

Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.