Whether you're single and swinging, in a serious relationship or have been married for fifty years, everyone needs a date night. From great first-date restaurants to places you can enjoy without talking to unique spots that offer more than just food and drinks, these recommendations are sure to impress. First up: Sunday Vinyl.
1803 16th Street Mall
Open for dinner from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (brunch), and 4:30 to 8 p.m. (dinner).
For more info: Visit sundayvinyl.com
Type of date:
Day or night, Sunday Vinyl is a great date spot.
What makes Sunday Vinyl behind Union Station a great spot for a date? We fell in love somewhere among the music, wine and truffle-laced croque monsieur — though it might not be best for first dates. Instead, it's the kind of place to share a meal with a person who won't be offended when you don't finish that thought as your eyes glaze over in pure enjoyment of a French rosé paired with Love in Stereo
spinning on the turntable.
Talking is completely acceptable, however, and the volume levels allow for intimate murmurings at your table for two. In fact, it's quiet enough that you might overhear some of the drama at the next table over, which, as seasoned daters know, can add to your own catty conversation and enliven the evening.
And just as the music won't interfere while you whisper sweet nothings, neither will the staff. Expect plenty of attention to your water cup, dwindling glass of wine and finished plate, but not an intrusive force constantly asking what you might want. Sunday Vinyl is run by Frasca Hospitality (Frasca Food & Wine
, Pizzeria Locale
next door), and the staff knows what you need and when you need it, leaving you and your date to simply enjoy the calm, low-lit space, expertly prepared food, superb wine and each other.
The people-watching is fun here, especially if you can snag a banquette where both parties can watch the bustle of people around Union Station. There's plenty to see within the long, narrow restaurant, as well, from casually dressed ladies enjoying wine to slick businessmen working hard to impress someone to those who put in the extra effort to make sure that their date notices they're wearing an actual bra and are no longer in yoga pants and a ratty T-shirt covered in kid snot. Feel free to dress up or down at Sunday Vinyl; there's no dress code, and, as at most Colorado restaurants, anything goes.
Isn't it romantic:
Jamon with local cantaloupe is one example of the seasonal cuisine you can sample at Sunday Vinyl.
When food, drink and music work so harmoniously together, it stands to reason that your relationship, new or old, will follow suit when immersed in all that loveliness. And Sunday Vinyl is smooth indeed, from the carefully crafted plates of seasonal fare such as lobster toast and smoked steelhead trout with walnuts and mint whipped up by chef de cuisine Charlie Brooks to the book-like wine list that spans the globe. While the latter may prove a little daunting, you need only reach out to the clever sommelier to pick the best wines to go with your order. Their expertise will make you look smart, even if you can't tell a Chardonnay from a Sauvignon Blanc.
Sharing is absolutely encouraged, with plenty of small plates for divvying up the deviled eggs with pickled mustard seed and caviar, heirloom tomato salad with goat cheese or sweet corn risotto laced with smoked mushrooms. After all, no matter how much you like (or love) your date, nothing should stop you from noshing on half of that opulent croque monsieur.
If you're able to schedule a date during the week, check out Sunday Vinyl's Flight Night on Wednesdays. Each evening is themed around a band; for example, David Bowie night (September 15) will highlight wines outside the normal spectrum, and Outkast night (September 22) will focus on so fresh, so clean Burgundy selections. The flights include five wines for $45, and reservations are recommended. To double up on the deal, arrive before 6 p.m. to catch happy hour food specials.