Q: I recently started doing business in Boulder, and I'd like to have a list of places to take clients for both lunch and dinner. Since I'm female and they're male, I'd like upscale spots that would impress them but that aren't romantic. I've never spent any time up there, so I have no clue what's good. Do you have any ideas?
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A: Well, if you don't want to take them to a certain cheesy chain restaurant that has moved onto the Pearl Street Mall, killing business for some of the mom-and-pops in town, there aren't a whole lot of choices. But my top pick for lunch or dinner would be Q's at the Hotel Boulderado (2115 13th Street, 303-442-4881). It recently won a Mobil four-star award, and with good reason: The kitchen puts out stunningly flavorful fare at a reasonable price, in a very comfortable and classy setting that's only romantic if you want it to be. Dandelion (1011 Walnut Street; 303-443-6700) -- ostensibly a Kevin Taylor joint, even though he probably hasn't stepped foot in the place for a year -- is another good lunch or dinner option.
It's dinner only at the elegant 15 Degrees (1965 15th Street 303-442-4222), which does a variety of cuisines well; also dinner-only is the Full Moon Grill (2525 Arapahoe; 303-938-8800). Both have great pasta and tasteful, inviting atmospheres in which you can make some money.