Denver >Food & Dining > Highlands Garden Cafe
3927 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO | Directions 8021239.762364 -105.038797
Mon. - Sat. 5pm - 9pm;Sun. 4pm - 8pm
Neighborhoods: West Highland, Northwest Denver
Fantastic food, service and atmosphere! – We tried this place this weekend, during Denver's 5280 dining week. We were truly impressed from the minute we walked in the door! We were greeted, our coats were hung, we were taken upstairs to a beautiful room with a few tables, all elegantly decorated. The warm atmosphere was relaxing, fireplaces and all. The food was the best we've had in a long time. The beef, chicken and lasagna dishes we ordered were mouth-watering! GREAT flavor, perfect temp, sides were delicious too. We also had soup, salad and dessert, all presented elegantly with amazing flavor! We truly enjoyed our dinner here, and hopefully will be back again soon!!
so so – Highlands garden came highly recommended to us so we gave it a try for our anniversary. We looked at the menu on line before going and it looked OK. When we arrived the menu was condensed and the choices were quite average. The service was very good and the waiter was well informed on both food and wines and the restaurant is charming. We ordered appetizers, entrees and dessert. One entree ordered was very good, the other came out with the meat dry, the potatos and veggies cold and the sauce cold and flavorless. The waiter replaced it with another plate and it was much better although uninspired and a dish any average home cook could have prepared. Both appetizers and desserts were quite good. I am not sure I would give this restaurant another try.
Super dissapointed – We have eaten at this restaurant before and had a fine experience. With that said, we decided to have our anniversary and my finace's belated birthday dinner here. The best way to sum up our experience this time would be to call it a really bad joke. We got seated at not such a disirable table and expressed that it was our anniversary and asked if they had anything more private. The guy we sat us told us it was many people's anniversary. Nice! Our wine was bad, food SO was so lower dece and the service was so stuffy. Get over yourselves! We couldn't get out of there fast enough. You can only take so many disappointments and then you have to throw in the towel. I have never written a review before but I felt compelled to do so after this experience. We could here the server talking about us in the kitchen. Real nice! Thanks for the memories...hey...at least Barack won!
Terrific Outdoor Dining Atmosphere – I have enjoyed the Highlands Garden Cafe many times over the years. The outdoor atmosphere on a warm, Summer evening is terrific - a welcome departure from other restaurants in the Highlands neighborhood. Unfortunately, the quality of the food has noticeably declined in recent months. There needs to be more of a selection on the nightly menu. Service isn't what it used to be either, as most of the wait staff seems prone to frequent turnover. Prices are reasonable, however, and it's still an enjoyable place to bring friends. Inside dining is dark and depressing, so you're best bet is to visit the Cafe on a warm evening. I've only tried the brunch once and the food and service were extremely disappointing.
Beware the disappointment – What do people think "lush gardens" are? When we arrived for our anniversary dinner expecting blooming flowers and private seclusion, we were wholeheartedly disappointed. The patio and porch seating described on the restaurant site and through these reviews was very sparse and open and had virtually no flowers. Simple overgrown bushes does not an environment make. Even some white Xmas lights would pretty things up. For this special event we were directed to a table next to the door, easily the most visible and least romantic possible location. The "porches" was essentially one small wooden slab in the bushes. Uncomfortable and unbalanced plastic chairs seem to encourage an early departure.
On to the food:
When the pate and brie plate was served, it was extremely ordinary. The brie was still solid cold as if it was served directly from the cooler at Safeway with the pate fairly bland.
For dinner, my wife truly enjoyed the duck with its sweet glaze and succulent skin. I ordered the fettucinni and tenderloin tips with sun dried tomatoes and arugala with gorgonzola, a mix of all of my favorites. While I really enjoy gorgonzola, the other ingredients were truly undistinguishable. The cheese was so prevalent that it completely drowned the other elements of the dish. It was inedible. The waiter offered another option but at this point I'd lost the desire to continue. I was somewhat put off when questioned if I'd like to take the meal with me to possible enjoy later, as if my palate was going to change and simply realize the true splendor of the dish, after microwaving???
With the high prices, I expected a much more elegant experience in all areas. It seems as though this neighborhood establishment is best left to the neighbors who may be happy to enjoy the huge portions which overcompensate for the limited value. While the under 25 and over 55 crowd may be satisfied, stick with dowtown if you prefer a greater sense of sophistication.
mixed bag – To be fair, I've had some great meals here. Certainly, some one the most romantic places in town when you can sit outside on a lovely summer evening. But, I've sometimes felt that if you don't kind of express your desires when dining inside you'll get shuffled to some table in Siberia in the back room - not so nice. I've also experienced serious sticker shock. Portions are generous, sometimes maybe too generous, but they should be with entrees easily creeping over the $30 mark. The wine list is lovely but also very, very pricey. Pat does have a way with fish and you better like it because the menu is heavily weighted towards fish and seafood. If you have a meat and potatoes spouse or date - this is probably not the place to go. I'm not much of a dessert eater but her bread pudding with caramel sauce is TDF. All things considered, I think there are better places at these prices. Do I still go? Sure, especially if someone else is paying. The gardens are truly beautiful and it can be a lovely evening if you're not having a heart attack about the prices.
My Favorite – I was taken here for my birthday and fell in love with this place. The atmosphere is wonderful, the service is spectaular and the food is amazing. The hardest thing is choosing an entree from the great menu...everything is awesome! The wine selection is great and the staff is very knowledgeable. I can't wait to go back!
Romantic place! – One of the best atmostpheres in the city. The menu is well planned and wine list is out of this world.
Avoid Generally. – Foodies avoid this place. Appetizer was decent. Salads, entrees and dessert were poor. It tasted like food you get at a wedding for 250 persons.
Great customer service, romantic,food is outstanding,excellant wine list – I took my wife there for our wedding (4th) anniiversary. We are senior citizens, although we do think young, so years together are very very special. I don't believe I could have chosen a better restaurant for this special day for us. They have a wonderful varied menu and every item looked great. The staff remembered our special day. We will be going back. We used to go to the Tanti Louise, however they no longer exist. Thanks to city search that I found this remarkable restaurant.
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