What might be the warmest month on record creates perfect days for patio dining. Here’s looking at you 80 degrees! Denver and Boulder have seen an abundance of new restaurants sprout up and below are four takes on a delicious afternoon or evening on the patio.
Izakaya Den won “The 25 Best Restaurants” from 5280 Magazine in 2011, 2010 and 2009. http://www.5280.com/magazine/2011/10/25-best-restaurants?page=0,3 It’s no surprise when you take time to explore the menu beyond its incredible sushi. The lunch menu offers “The Grill” with exotic choices like Salmon and Yellowtail Collar and along with salted or teriyaki Salmon Filet. If you haven’t indulged in yellowtail collar, it’s a must. Flakey, meaty and perfectly prepared, it could be one of the most underestimated cuts of a fish. All menu items are served with miso soup and rice making it a bargain at $12. The restaurant has a large selection of gluten free choices, which include lobster salads, scallops, mussels and carpaccio.
Happy hour on the terrace is a great way to start the weekend. A low calorie and delicious choice is Izakaya’s Shochu Breeze. The perfect spring cocktail is Shochu muddled with mint and strawberries, shaken with St. Germain and topped with sparkling wine. Jalapeno Sashimi and Fresh Japanese Wasabi Sashimi are featured on the happy hour menu and pair perfectly. http://www.izakayaden.net
Lunch at Linger’s rooftop offers sunshine and views of downtown Denver. The menu is divided into four parts taking favorites from the dinner menu and adding lunch-centric soups and sandwiches including an original Grilled Cheese and Soup and Carrot and Lentil Koffe. Small plates and salads are all under $15 and standouts such as Mee Krob with crispy noodles, lemongrass and coconut milk comes in under $10.
Linger’s happy hour is hosted in the second floor bar from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., with bites and booze from $4 to $6. Open windows and city views make it a great alternative to the rooftop.
Linger is also offering a “Hitching Post Wine Dinner” on Wednesday, April 4, beginning at 8:30 p.m. Linger will partner with winemaker Gary Hartley to pair Hitching Post wines with a four-course tasting menu for $75 per person. http://www.lingerdenver.com
Pizzeria Locale was recently voted best pizza by Westword. http://www.westword.com/bestof/2012/award/best-pizza-2118291/ The outdoor space is incredibly inviting to spend the afternoon on a sunny day. Especially when everything from service to cocktails to pizza is done perfectly by Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey. Saddle up to the outdoor bar and enjoy happy hour from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. which offers an assortment of pizzas for $5 and favorites like the Aperol Spritz for $4. http://www.pizzerialocale.com
Row 14 Bistro and Wine Bar is located in the SPIRE building on 14th and Champa. The new restaurant’s menu reflects its support for local organic farmers and vendors and has a perfect patio for tucking in over Grilled Panzanella Salad, Pork Belly Porchetta and Alamosa Striped Bass.
Named best wine list and best late-night happy hour by Westword, http://www.westword.com/bestof/2012/award/best-wine-list-2118183/ it’s no surprise that the list is thoughtful while still being fun. The list offers interesting wineries from around the world with a proper Colorado list. Over 40 selections by the glass are available for happy hour Monday through Friday from 2 to 6 pm, Saturday 2 to 5 pm and Sunday 3 to 6 pm. The patio is a great spot to grab a nightcap as late night happy hour starts at 10 p.m. The restaurant officially celebrated its first anniversary last week. Read more here: http://denver.eater.com/archives/2012/03/22/welcome-to-one-year-in.php