Whether you're planning a festive night out with friends, an intimate experience for two or a VIP outing for you and your entourage, there's a perfect table waiting for you among Denver's hip, hot and posh restaurants. Plan ahead, reserve the table with a view or the one with the special service, then wow your dinner guests with your knowledge of the city's dining scene. Here are ten of the best tables at dining rooms in Denver and Boulder.
1817 Central Street
If you want to be in the heart of the action, chef Linda Hamspten Fox has the perfect seat for you in her LoHi eatery — right in the middle of the kitchen. Every Wednesday night, an island prep station alongside the stoves, pasta counters and plating stations is converted into a dining table where four guests are led through a tasting menu of Mediterranean- and Mexican-influenced plates. If you're interested in partaking, stop in for dinner any night of the week and fill out a card to get your name on a waiting list; each week, a group is selected by a lottery system. Perfect for: gastronauts who missed their calling as professional chefs.
Concourse Restaurant Moderne
10195 East 29th Drive
Every table in chef/restaurateur Lon Symensma's Stapleton dining room, under an undulating wooden ceiling, feels special, and service is always stellar. But if you're a regular and the staff knows you by name, or if you're just looking to take dinner one step above, table number one at Concourse feels just a little more magical. It's right up against a floor-to-ceiling window, so you can enjoy westward views of the city and mountains, and the spacious circular booth provides extra room to relax and enjoy the culinary gems of chef Luke Bergman. Perfect for: those who want to be VIPs for a night.
400 East 20th Avenue
Chef's counters can be a little intimidating, the salumi bar a little confusing. But everyone loves cheese, so a seat at Coperta's mozzarella bar is just the thing for a cozy night of comfort food done Italian style — with an extra dose of hospitality. Choose from buffalo-milk mozz from Campana or domestic, hand-stretched cheese made from Wisconsin dairy (or just get them both), and supplement with suppli al telefono (cheesy rice balls), senise peppers and spaghetti carbonara. Perfect for: an indulgent night with boisterous friends.
1023 Walnut Street, Boulder
Float above pedestrians and traffic with a serene corner table at Corrida, where the breathtaking view of the Flatirons is matched only by the stunning steaks. The two-top is just right for an anniversary dinner, though you may feel a little on display. But don't worry: The other diners aren't staring at you — they're just enjoying the panorama outside. Perfect for: romantic couples with a hint of exhibitionism.
2930 Umatilla Street
Restaurateur Justin Cucci always builds eye-catching eateries, and the swank, sparkly interior of El Five is no exception. But if you want some of the best dining seats in the whole city, wait for pleasant weather and sit out on the fifth-floor balcony, where you'll be able to look out across downtown Denver and count the construction cranes. If vertigo or bad weather keep you inside, the booths along the windows still offer excellent vistas — and you'll be that much closer to the bar. Perfect for: thrill seekers.
Flagstaff House Restaurant
1138 Flagstaff Road, Boulder
Nestled in park land high above Boulder, Flagstaff House has been a fine-dining destination for generations. Under new executive chef Chris Royster, the menu is soaring to new heights, too. Enjoy his stunning creations with vintage wine from the cellar and views over Boulder County from this corner four-top, made even better if someone else grabs the check. Perfect for: springing the news on your parents that you're dropping out of college to discover enlightenment on a trek through the Himalayas.
2601 Larimer Street
There's not a bad seat in the house, whether in the circular booths in the downstairs lounge, at the bar, looking into the kitchen from the chef's counter or up on the mezzanine — especially when your main view is of a plate of pasta from chef/owner Andrea Frizzi's kitchen. But book ahead to reserve the corner table on the second floor so you can watch the action on Larimer Street below, the twinkling lights of the city or summer storms blowing in over downtown. Perfect for: urban dwellers with a love of the city.
3258 Larimer Street
Southern cooking is the star of the show at Julep, so why not grab a table with a view of the kitchen? Instead of sitting at a standard chef's counter, though, take the stairs up to the second level and find the cozy nook with a window overlooking chef/owner Kyle Foster and his team. Are those saltines going onto a plate of escargot? What brand of grits are they using? Look at those tiny cast-iron pans! Perfect for: romance with a Southern accent.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1889 16th Street
Much of the kitchen at Bobby Stucky and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson's downtown Italian eatery is out in the open, in the bend between the bar and dining room. Pastas are plated, salumi is sliced and servers whisk meals and bottles of wine to awaiting diners, all within feet of "Bobby's Eddy," a small seating section with a low-slung booth, padded stools and a couple of round tables. You'll feel like an impresario orchestrating the action of your own establishment as you sip aperitivos and nosh on antipasti. Perfect for: the wannabe restaurateur.
1650 Wewatta Street
There's a tap handle rising from the center of your table, and all you have to is reach over and refill to keep the party going. The special seating at Tupelo Honey doesn't have much of a view (unless you enjoy watching construction and traffic on Wewatta Street), but it does have room for eight guests in the cushy booth. Call ahead and reserve a mini-keg of your favorite beer or a batched cocktail for the table. You'll suddenly be the most popular one in your group. Perfect for: revisiting your college days.