We spent a lot of time exploring neighborhoods that we thought we’d end up living in if we lived in Denver. So, you will see that in this round-up style review that our reviews are concentrated into a few neighborhoods. Not to worry! We really loved Denver. In fact, as of this writing, it is at the top of our list! So, if we come back there will be more reviews to come!
Barcelona: We loved the River North neighborhood, aka, RiNo. It is fun and funky, youthful and yet has some sophisticated offerings, like Barcelona! They specialize in wines from Spain and South America and, clearly, have a thoughtful collection with more than 40 wines available by the glass!
We popped in for a glass of wine for Cas and sangria for me. We sat at the bar as usual. We like sitting at the bar to open ourselves up for conversation with other patrons. While that didn’t happen at Barcelona, we could imagine that it could happen. The vibe is club-like, loud music, lots of people, even when we were there on the early side. If you want to have deep conversations over a glass of wine, this isn’t your place. If you want dinner before going to another club or to listen to music–you are in luck.
The Cooper Lounge: Cas and I joked that after Gallup we felt almost pressure to explore every last type of place in Denver that doesn’t exist in Gallup. The Cooper Lounge does not even have a distant relative that exists in Gallup. Cooper is located on an inside balcony within the great hall of the Union train station. You can admire the beauty of the station on one side and the Denver skyline out of the soaring windows on the other. It is classy. It is swanky. It would be a lovely way to welcome someone off of the train or bid them adieu. They are going for a chic 1920’s style cocktail lounge. And they did it. The menu reads like it could have been taken right from The Great Gadsby with drinks such as Hole In The Wall, Doctors’ Orders, and Love Boat. It felt like a special occasion bar and was priced accordingly. We had one drink and then popped downstairs to the more casual Mercantile bar. Which leads us to….
Mercantile: The drink menu at Mercantile reflects the season with their ever-changing hand-crafted cocktails. Which I love. I asked the bartender for a recommendation based on my preference for Sauvignon blanc and a bit of a crisp bite to my drinks. He suggested their cocktail called “Kind of a big dill”. I was slightly skeptical by the description of dill infused Sauvignon blanc, but I always trust my bartenders. It has the dill infused sauvignon blanc, elderflower, marble vodka, lemon, and bubbles. And what a delightful surprise it was! The dill added to the fresh flavor that they were going for and wasn’t at all overpowering as I feared. We would certainly go back; the setting was lovely with high ceilings and gigantic windows looking out onto the plaza in front of the train station. We just had so many places to try during our limited amount of time in town that we didn’t go back!
Bigsby’s Folly: We made a stop at Bigsby’s Folly after having dinner at Zeplin Landing. It was right next door and we wanted just one more stop before going home. They are a craft winery that set up shop a few years ago. We liked the setting and we liked the unpretentious vibe. We sat at the bar, as we do, but noticed how many lounge-type spaces there were for casual conversation and how many spaces there were for private events. The wine was…just ok. In a big beer town, you may want an occasional venture into a wine bar. The atmosphere is lovely, which almost makes up for the quality of the wine.