Best Dinner Destination for Impressing a Date

Deluxe

Dating is awkward enough -- you might as well do it in a place that gives you the edge. If you're a fella, what will impress the girl/guy of your dreams? Candles and soft music? Roofies and a prison tattoo? And if you're of the female persuasion, will your date be confused by any place setting more complicated than a paper napkin and a spork? Deluxe answers all those questions. The vibe is cool and sultry without screaming end-of-date sex. The lights are dim, the seating intimate -- but not so cozy that you'll be on each other's laps (unless you choose to be). And the retro-California menu provides enough variety -- from salsa-spiked oysters to filet of beef -- that anyone can find something suited to his or her tastes. Sure, there's a risk that your date might end up liking the restaurant more than your date likes you (and there's also a chance that among all the beautiful people gathered here, your date might find a better prospect while you're hiding in the restroom), but if the relationship is meant to be, there's no better place to get it started than over a plate of fusion dumplings and a couple of glasses of wine at Deluxe.


Best Dinner Destination for a Second Date

Brix

Second dates are tricky. You're comfortable enough in each other's company to make it through an entire meal without lapsing into sulky silence or trying to exit out the bathroom window, but neither of you knows yet how far this thing could go. If you're interested in going all the way, and you figure the other party is at least interested enough to give you a second chance, then Brix is the ideal setting for date number two. It's loud and crowded on a good night (making a stealthy escape still a possibility), the service is personable and the food is decidedly lowbrow but excellent. Besides, if the date is a total washout, there are plenty of other prospects crowding the long bar, and nothing makes for a better icebreaker among a certain class of rebound girls (or guys) than a fresh wound from a broken heart and a face full of gin and tonic.

Best Dinner Destination for a Second Date

Brix

Second dates are tricky. You're comfortable enough in each other's company to make it through an entire meal without lapsing into sulky silence or trying to exit out the bathroom window, but neither of you knows yet how far this thing could go. If you're interested in going all the way, and you figure the other party is at least interested enough to give you a second chance, then Brix is the ideal setting for date number two. It's loud and crowded on a good night (making a stealthy escape still a possibility), the service is personable and the food is decidedly lowbrow but excellent. Besides, if the date is a total washout, there are plenty of other prospects crowding the long bar, and nothing makes for a better icebreaker among a certain class of rebound girls (or guys) than a fresh wound from a broken heart and a face full of gin and tonic.

Vesta
Mark Antonation
Yeah, we all know what the third date means, you naughty little monkey. By now you've discovered that you like each other enough to spend a meal together without one of you trying to bury a cocktail fork in the other's back, but you've run out of small talk, cute stories and one-liners, so if you don't get your intended into the sack soon, the two of you are going to have nothing left to talk about. Vesta Dipping Grill is the perfect spot for all the social maneuvering involved in those critical hours leading up to the big moment. First, there's no sexier dining room in town than the main floor here, with its dim lights, ranks of candles, cozy seating and profusion of iron, fire and leather. Second, Vesta offers plenty of conversational distractions -- from making fun of the dateless hipsters slouching at the bar to discussing the innovative offerings of chef Matt Selby. And finally, since short of sharing bodily fluids there's no more intimate activity than sharing food, Vesta's grilled meats and dipping sauces are custom-made for getting cozy. So put on your lucky party drawers and make a reservation at Vesta. Because if you can't get laid after a night here, your next call should be for a Russian mail-order bride.

Yeah, we all know what the third date means, you naughty little monkey. By now you've discovered that you like each other enough to spend a meal together without one of you trying to bury a cocktail fork in the other's back, but you've run out of small talk, cute stories and one-liners, so if you don't get your intended into the sack soon, the two of you are going to have nothing left to talk about. Vesta Dipping Grill is the perfect spot for all the social maneuvering involved in those critical hours leading up to the big moment. First, there's no sexier dining room in town than the main floor here, with its dim lights, ranks of candles, cozy seating and profusion of iron, fire and leather. Second, Vesta offers plenty of conversational distractions -- from making fun of the dateless hipsters slouching at the bar to discussing the innovative offerings of chef Matt Selby. And finally, since short of sharing bodily fluids there's no more intimate activity than sharing food, Vesta's grilled meats and dipping sauces are custom-made for getting cozy. So put on your lucky party drawers and make a reservation at Vesta. Because if you can't get laid after a night here, your next call should be for a Russian mail-order bride.


Best Dinner Destination for Impressing Potential In-Laws

Mel's Restaurant and Bar

You don't want to look like you're trying too hard, but you don't want to look like you're not trying hard enough. You want a place that's swank, but not too swank, someplace that's classic rather than trendy. Most important, you want a restaurant where you can whip out that brand-new Visa with the $300 limit and not have to worry about it being brought back to the table denied. For all these reasons and many more, you want to take your potential in-laws to Mel's. Dinner here proves that you know quality when you see it, that you know when it's right to show off and when it's not. The service is excellent -- personable but never intrusive -- and the ambience is 100 percent old-school cool. And even if it turns out that your beloved's parents can't stand you, the ever-changing menu cooked nightly by chef Tyler Wiard and crew guarantees that you'll all be well fed for that uncomfortable ride home.

Best Dinner Destination for Impressing Potential In-Laws

Mel's Restaurant and Bar

You don't want to look like you're trying too hard, but you don't want to look like you're not trying hard enough. You want a place that's swank, but not too swank, someplace that's classic rather than trendy. Most important, you want a restaurant where you can whip out that brand-new Visa with the $300 limit and not have to worry about it being brought back to the table denied. For all these reasons and many more, you want to take your potential in-laws to Mel's. Dinner here proves that you know quality when you see it, that you know when it's right to show off and when it's not. The service is excellent -- personable but never intrusive -- and the ambience is 100 percent old-school cool. And even if it turns out that your beloved's parents can't stand you, the ever-changing menu cooked nightly by chef Tyler Wiard and crew guarantees that you'll all be well fed for that uncomfortable ride home.


Don't wait until your boss picks up the tab to try Adega. It's expensive, but not prohibitively so, and Bryan Moscatello's smart New American menu has something for just about every income -- from small plates and TV dinners at the bar to fantastic tasting menus and a seasonal full menu on the floor. Still, if you happen to be dining on someone else's card, you can do some real fiscal damage if you try. How about a $500 bottle of grape juice from the wine bible? Better yet, a $1,000 bottle (and Adega stocks a few). And that's just for starters. Were you to order one of everything on the full menu here -- in the process, tasting eighteen dishes that run the gamut from tile fish to antelope steak -- the final tab would come in around $350, not counting a cheese course, desserts or wine. Or a tip.

Don't wait until your boss picks up the tab to try Adega. It's expensive, but not prohibitively so, and Bryan Moscatello's smart New American menu has something for just about every income -- from small plates and TV dinners at the bar to fantastic tasting menus and a seasonal full menu on the floor. Still, if you happen to be dining on someone else's card, you can do some real fiscal damage if you try. How about a $500 bottle of grape juice from the wine bible? Better yet, a $1,000 bottle (and Adega stocks a few). And that's just for starters. Were you to order one of everything on the full menu here -- in the process, tasting eighteen dishes that run the gamut from tile fish to antelope steak -- the final tab would come in around $350, not counting a cheese course, desserts or wine. Or a tip.


Potager
Lindsey Bartlett
The best thing about chef Terri Rippeto's little restaurant, a longtime favorite of many of Denver's better chefs, is that it never, ever disappoints. From the entirely seasonal, garden-driven menu -- summers full of fruits, winters rich with root vegetables -- to the comforting plain-plaster dining room and garden patio in the back, Potager can do no wrong. No matter how many times you've eaten here, every visit makes you feel like you're about to discover something brand-new.

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