Denver >Food & Dining > Rioja
1431 Larimer St, Denver, CO | Directions 8020239.747802 -104.999461
Mon. - Thu., Sun. 5pm - 10pm;Fri. - Sat. 5pm - 11pm
Neighborhoods: Northwest Denver, Union Station, LoDo
Rioja – We have historically had great meals here, but today the food was awful. The kitchen kept burning eggs and the whole restaurant smelled horrible. Everything we had was stale. My daughter couldn't even eat her doughnuts because they were so hard. I hope they get together.
Best Dining Experience Ever!! – My friend and I were visiting Denver this past weekend and the concierge at our hotel recommened this wonderful restaurant. Chef Jennifer Jasinski is fabulous. We are from Houston and we thought we had good food in Houston, but nothing compares to the experience we had at Rioja. We had lunch there on Friday and we were back for Brunch on Sunday. Our waitress Shannon Austin was wonderful and really took care of us. Will we be back?? You bet!! We will fly to Denver just to eat at Rioja!!! Also, check out their other place Bistro Vendome...we ate there on Saturday for brunch. Both places created the best dining experience we have ever had.
Disappointing experience – We've always liked Rioja. Great food. Good service. Etc. My wife and I went for a special occasion. To make a long story short: Our server had an attitude and was incompetent. One of many issues: We had made clear we wanted to order a bottle of wine with our main course, after having a glass beforehand. As soon as we were done with our first course they brought our main course. We'd never gotten a chance to order our wine. We had to ask another server to bring it ASAP. I could go on with the problems ... but I will mention our first course and fig tart were excellent. However, we won't be going back any time soon.
a great menu, a few drawbacks – Dining at Rioja was wonderful, with just a few drawbacks.
• Inventive breads: orange fennel and lavender sourdough bread.
• Tuna tartar appetizer: though tiny, it was fresh with well-balanced flavors.
• Scallops: perfectly cooked.
• Pork belly & prawns: was a mixed success. The pork belly, salad, and gastrique were excellent. However, the prawns were fishy and the peanut sauce was much like eating peanut butter puree with pork.
• Dessert: was a let-down. The sliver of angel food cake was completely soaked by the accompanying 'consomme' (aka juice), which ruins the lovely texture of angel food. It was also overwhelmed by the sorbet. Orange brandy 'cannoli' was fine but boring.
○ Lack of seasonal/summer ingredients. July & August are prime time for pastry chefs, with choices such as berries, peaches, cherries. The dessert menu was void of these lovely summer choices, with one strawberry dish as the only seasonal option.
• Crowded seating: a few of the tables (including ours) are simply too crowded. Denver's fine dining restaurants seem to have a problem with crowding the tables (undoubtedly with extra revenue in mind). It can be frustrating to constantly filter out the conversation of others.
great food, cool atmosphere – Having been dining here since they opened. Great food and staff - fun place to go before a concert or show.
Food outstanding, fun lively ambience, courteous helpful staff, drinks water-downed. – We throughly enjoy Riojas and have been dining there for years. Their food is outstanding and very innovative and the menu offers so many wonderful options. We've never been disappointed with food, ambience, or their courteous helpful staff. Our one complaint is that the last couple months or so, they are watering down their mixed drinks. No excuse for that! If alcohol prices are increasing, charge an extra 50 cents!
Very good food and excellent service – My wife and I went to Rioja for dinner and had great time. The food was very well cooked. The service was attentive and at the same time was very friendly. It was weekend but the restaurant was full. The portion of the food was just right that you can finish the appetizer and the main course and still have room for dessert. I ordered their lemon gnocchi for appetizer which was really good. It was full of flavor. My wife ordered duck but it was a little undercook. At first she didn't want to say anything but our server noticed right away and offered to bring it back into the kitchen. For dessert, We ordered their version of smore. The chocolate wasn't too sweet, just the way I would love to have it. We would rate the food 4 stars and service 5 stars. One little nitpick was we felt the tables were a little too close but overall it was great and we will definitely come back.
Best food and service I've ever had!!!! – I went on a Tuesday night to celebrate an anniversary with my girlfriend, and had book my table through OpenTable . com which was great as well. I had a request for no prices on her menu, and mentioned an anniversary, but that was it. They called the day before to confirm the reservations plus that there were no prices on the menu. We got there and the service was amazing, the food can't even be described it was so incredible, and the atmosphere was fantastic. There was absolutely nothing about this dining experience that I would not want to experience again! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Perfect – My wife and I don't have a ton of money, and we get to go to high-caliber restaurants like this about once per year at most. Still, we've made it to a lot of the top rated spots in the Denver area, and all I can say about Rioja is that it is, to date, the single best dining experience we have ever had. The food was fantastic, the service was literally flawless, and the atmosphere was wonderfully intimate.
Fantastic food and professional service! – Please pay no mind to the vindictive reviews from dining ?newbies? who have not been to Rioja more than once and who probably think the average McChain restaurant is innovative. As someone who has been going to Rioja since their opening, I can assure you that this is one of the best restaurants in town and they just keep getting better. Not only is the food sublime, but the staffers are consistently friendly, efficient, and work together well as a team. For one diner?s claim that the removal of artichokes from the artichoke tortelloni dish was a ?slight augmentation,? please know that this request is as ridiculous as ordering a Whopper and asking for them to remove the beef. Those of us who have eaten this luscious culinary marvel for years know that it is pasta stuffed with artichokes and served in an artichoke broth with braised artichokes and artichoke chips. As for the claim that there is only one veggie option on the menu, this is patently false. Further, believe it or not, restaurants are not required to cater to everyone's narrow preferences based on their food phobias and ideological beliefs. It is impossible to craft a menu to please every person in the world. If people would just open their minds a little and trust the chef, they would find that talented kitchens can turn seemingly-ordinary ingredients that your Aunt Melba may have ruined into a symphony of textures and flavors. I've ordered items here that I did not necessarily expect to enjoy based on my own preconceived notions yet ended up dazzled. For those of you who seem to constantly post about receiving ?rude? service around town, realize that the common denominator in this equation is YOU. If you are truly respectful, polite, and communicate well with your servers instead of being selfish and demanding, you may find that your dining experiences improve immeasurably.
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