What: Sunday Vinyl
Where: 1803 16th Street Mall
When: 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
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 and Tavernetta 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.
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.