Best 5280 Denver Restaurant Week Menu. Rioja offers their entire menu for 5280, but for the more expensive dishes they only charge 2-6 dollars more. It was nice not to be so restricted on a different 5280 menu but still get a great discount.
I enjoyed that they offered sparking water, and the complimentary bread was very tasty. For an appetizer, sharing the 'picnic' of meats, cheese, fruit, and almonds is a fun way to start the night. I ordered the artichoke, goat cheese tortellini and it literally melts in your mouth. It has such a distinct flavor to it, but the main reason I ordered it was because our waitress said it was her favorite dish, and it is on the cover of the chef's cookbook. --- So why not?! Great choice on my part, I really enjoyed it.
I would recommend this place to anyone at any time of the year, but with all of the 5280 restaurants to pick from, and for the years I have been participating in this great deal- Rioja would be my favorite choice for Denver Restaurant Week.
This place is absolutely fantastic! But beware, as other yelpers have mentioned, there's a wait-even at the bar!
The wine/drink list is extensive, I had a Rioja (cliche, I know) that was good. A little on the expensive side, but I expected that.
For a starter, I had the Rioja house salad....wow! Arugula, bleu cheese, dates, and walnuts. Perfected balanced with a light dressing that tied it all together. I would come back just for this!
For the entree, I had the artichoke torteloni. This was also fantastic. The torteloni sit in a broth based sauce that is not too heavy, but very tasty. The torteloni themselves were wonderful and stuffed with an artichoke puree that tasted like velvet! And to top it off, there were crunchy rings on top....tasted like onions, but whatever they were, they were damn good.
Lastly, I had this peanut butter, chocolate, caramel dessert the bar tender recommended. Not overwhelming, but just enough to satisfy a sweet tooth. If you are a peanut butter chocolate fan, get it. 'Nuff said.
If you are in Denver and looking for a nice place, come to Rioja. Also located in Larimer square, which is beautiful at night (and great shopping)!