By now, Denver diners -- meat-eaters and veg-heads alike -- accept as a matter of course that WaterCourse Foods serves the town's best vegetarian meals (sadly, it's still only open for breakfast and lunch). Not content to stick with the dry, lifeless ingredients that have become such a hallmark of vegetarian cooking, chef/owner Dan Landes is always expanding his repertoire of innovative creations. And so now, in addition to meatless Reuben sandwiches, baconless breakfasts (you won't even miss the pig) and the best veggie burger going, WaterCourse also serves tempeh scallopini with mushrooms, a spicy Thai peanut stir-fry, a variety of super salads and a macro plate with packs in the flavor. Although there's always a slew of bikes parked outside this casual space to remind you that a truly healthy lifestyle extends beyond the meal, WaterCourse never fails to lead us into tempeh-tion.

Readers' choice: WaterCourse Foods

By now, Denver diners -- meat-eaters and veg-heads alike -- accept as a matter of course that WaterCourse Foods serves the town's best vegetarian meals (sadly, it's still only open for breakfast and lunch). Not content to stick with the dry, lifeless ingredients that have become such a hallmark of vegetarian cooking, chef/owner Dan Landes is always expanding his repertoire of innovative creations. And so now, in addition to meatless Reuben sandwiches, baconless breakfasts (you won't even miss the pig) and the best veggie burger going, WaterCourse also serves tempeh scallopini with mushrooms, a spicy Thai peanut stir-fry, a variety of super salads and a macro plate with packs in the flavor. Although there's always a slew of bikes parked outside this casual space to remind you that a truly healthy lifestyle extends beyond the meal, WaterCourse never fails to lead us into tempeh-tion.

Readers' choice: WaterCourse Foods

Best vegetarian dish in a non-vegetarian restaurant

Tante Louise

The ultra-polished, romantic and enchanting Tante Louise offers up a spectacular array of French-inspired dishes that are as artfully presented as they are drop-dead delicious. There's so much to choose from that most diners never make it to the end of the menu's roster, much less order the Degustation des Legumes -- which, not quite literally, translates to Option for People Foolishly Willing to Miss Out on the Stunning Animal-Based Dishes We Offer. Of course, owner and consummate host Corky Douglass is far too polite to put it that way, but he's also savvy enough to recognize that this town has plenty of vegetarians searching for fine-dining alternatives. And so every night, Tante Louise chef Duy Pham devises a different three-course meal centered on such tempting entrees as black-barley terrine with wild mushrooms and almonds on a corn purée; the other two courses are a choice of salad (warm goat cheese, maybe, or bleu on frisée) and dessert. That's more than enough to keep the vegetarian at the table happy while his carnivorous companion sucks down a big plate of innocent-sounding, hazelnut-crusted sweetbreads -- otherwise known as thymus glands.

Best vegetarian dish in a non-vegetarian restaurant

Tante Louise

The ultra-polished, romantic and enchanting Tante Louise offers up a spectacular array of French-inspired dishes that are as artfully presented as they are drop-dead delicious. There's so much to choose from that most diners never make it to the end of the menu's roster, much less order the Degustation des Legumes -- which, not quite literally, translates to Option for People Foolishly Willing to Miss Out on the Stunning Animal-Based Dishes We Offer. Of course, owner and consummate host Corky Douglass is far too polite to put it that way, but he's also savvy enough to recognize that this town has plenty of vegetarians searching for fine-dining alternatives. And so every night, Tante Louise chef Duy Pham devises a different three-course meal centered on such tempting entrees as black-barley terrine with wild mushrooms and almonds on a corn purée; the other two courses are a choice of salad (warm goat cheese, maybe, or bleu on frisée) and dessert. That's more than enough to keep the vegetarian at the table happy while his carnivorous companion sucks down a big plate of innocent-sounding, hazelnut-crusted sweetbreads -- otherwise known as thymus glands.

Man does not live by pizza alone, although he could give it a good try at Pasquini's. In fact, the fat, cheese-blanketed pies are so good that most Pasquini's diners don't make it to dessert. And that's a shame, because Pasquini's serves the best chocolate cake in town -- an enormous wedge that's simultaneously dense and fluffy, fervently chocolate and stunningly rich. A chocolate-pumped whipped cream holds the layers together, with a decadent chocolate buttercream frosting topping things off. Any way you slice it -- and whatever you slice up -- Pasquini's comes out a winner.

Man does not live by pizza alone, although he could give it a good try at Pasquini's. In fact, the fat, cheese-blanketed pies are so good that most Pasquini's diners don't make it to dessert. And that's a shame, because Pasquini's serves the best chocolate cake in town -- an enormous wedge that's simultaneously dense and fluffy, fervently chocolate and stunningly rich. A chocolate-pumped whipped cream holds the layers together, with a decadent chocolate buttercream frosting topping things off. Any way you slice it -- and whatever you slice up -- Pasquini's comes out a winner.

Tired of stuffing your kids with the same old hot dogs, chicken planks, pizza bites and mac and cheese? Not as tired as they are of being stuffed with the stuff. Treat them like big people and take them to Roy's, where the kids' meals are just as special as the adults', and all ages are treated to some of the best service in town. For ten bucks, your child gets a four-course repast (drink included), starting with elegantly arranged cheese-filled quesadillas, followed by a plate of artfully carved apples, celery and carrot strings with ranch dressing for dipping, and then his choice of penne in a marinara or butter sauce, or Roy's chicken wings coated with a sticky-sweet, Asian-inspired (but non-spicy) barbecue sauce. For dessert, tykes get a mini sundae, with the scoop of ice cream stuck to the plate by a big wad of ganache. And if your kids don't know what ganache is, well, all the more reason to get them to Roy's.

Tired of stuffing your kids with the same old hot dogs, chicken planks, pizza bites and mac and cheese? Not as tired as they are of being stuffed with the stuff. Treat them like big people and take them to Roy's, where the kids' meals are just as special as the adults', and all ages are treated to some of the best service in town. For ten bucks, your child gets a four-course repast (drink included), starting with elegantly arranged cheese-filled quesadillas, followed by a plate of artfully carved apples, celery and carrot strings with ranch dressing for dipping, and then his choice of penne in a marinara or butter sauce, or Roy's chicken wings coated with a sticky-sweet, Asian-inspired (but non-spicy) barbecue sauce. For dessert, tykes get a mini sundae, with the scoop of ice cream stuck to the plate by a big wad of ganache. And if your kids don't know what ganache is, well, all the more reason to get them to Roy's.

Govnr's Park Restaurant & Tavern
When a divorced parent decides to dine out with the kids, it's important to do so in an atmosphere as comfortable for the little ones as it is for Mom or Dad. At Govnr's Park, a longtime central Denver hangout, the scene is relaxed and casual (unless, that is, you met your future ex- over a big margarita here a decade or so ago), often studded with single-parent families taking advantage of the comfortable setting and good kids' menu. While your children chow down on pasta, a burrito, grilled cheese, a quesadilla or sliders (each $3.25), you get to gnaw away those divorce-budget blues on a well-priced basket of wings, drowned with a beer or two. And if you're looking for love, Brady Brunch-style, here's the story: Slide that table over next to the single-parent family next to you, and let the kids fight for the fries while you talk 401K plans.
When a divorced parent decides to dine out with the kids, it's important to do so in an atmosphere as comfortable for the little ones as it is for Mom or Dad. At Govnr's Park, a longtime central Denver hangout, the scene is relaxed and casual (unless, that is, you met your future ex- over a big margarita here a decade or so ago), often studded with single-parent families taking advantage of the comfortable setting and good kids' menu. While your children chow down on pasta, a burrito, grilled cheese, a quesadilla or sliders (each $3.25), you get to gnaw away those divorce-budget blues on a well-priced basket of wings, drowned with a beer or two. And if you're looking for love, Brady Brunch-style, here's the story: Slide that table over next to the single-parent family next to you, and let the kids fight for the fries while you talk 401K plans.

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