Three Denver restaurants doing it right during the pandemic
Editor’s note: This is part of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we will offer our opinions on the best that Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden gems). Head to theknow.denverpost.com to find all of our Staff Favorites.
Before the pandemic, eating at restaurants was something I did regularly and also for a living. Then, over the last 11 months, I hit reset. When not in my own kitchen, I preferred staying within the neighborhood or venturing farther out only when really missing certain foods, settings and people. When I look back over the last near year of dining experiences, these three restaurants stand out for comforting me in ways I didn’t know I needed.
For a day or night out with friends …
Annette at Stanley Marketplace in Aurora has been a constant. Private greenhouses line the patio and one roomy yurt takes the dining experience to another level entirely. I’ve gone for patio dining over the summer, “outdoor” greenhouse brunch on a snow day and dinner inside a yurt to ring in the holidays and feel some sense of normalcy. Start brunch with seasonal kolaches ($4) — or any other daily pastries, for that matter — and then order a version of hash, toast or breakfast sandwich ($7-$14). For dinner, shareable snacks like house popcorn ($3.25), followed by seasonal salads ($11-$14) and roasted fish for the table (MP) are my picks. But the menu (and service) is so focused, you really can’t go wrong, ever.
2501 Dallas St., 720-710-9975, annettescratchtotable.com
For dinner at home any night …
A regular small-group yoga session has brought me to Himchuli in Highland over and over again. I order online ahead of class and then afterwards pick up Rogan Josh ($14-$16) or Sherpa stew ($12-$17) or Korma ($15-$17), with papadum and raita on the side. These Indian and Nepalese dishes have become staples of my takeout routine.
3489 W. 32nd Ave., 303-728-9957, himchulidenver.com
When there’s something to celebrate …
Barolo Grill on the edge of Cherry Creek has private outdoor “bungalows” that transported me over the course of a special-occasion meal. The rooms felt like fishing huts, outfitted with sliding windows — for when a server wants to take your order — and built-in heaters, plus rugs and art. The restaurant is only offering a four-course menu ($85), but options and portions are generous within. Winter salads mix chicories with duck confit and kumquats, or warm Brussels sprouts with pickled cranberries and Montasio cheese. Pastas are housemade and perfect; the castelmagno cheesecake is a must for dessert. Trust your staff full of sommeliers on the wine.
3030 E. 6th Ave., 303-393-1040, barologrilldenver.com
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