Emmerson

4.4
209 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Good for a Date
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Creative Cuisine
In building Emmerson, we set out to create a dining destination that could be a central gathering place for the Boulder community. Along the way, we’ve found our tribe. Emmerson is a collective of passionate food and beverage professionals whose great pleasure it is to bring people together and deliver happiness, with every interaction, every pour, and every plate. As the project took shape, it became evident that this restaurant is an amalgamation of the things we love and the way we like to dine, drink, and socialize. Emmerson is a Café, a Cocktail Bar, and a Neo-Bistro, serving dinner seven days a week and brunch on weekends.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Café
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Sat, Sun 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Tue–Thu 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
Fri, Sat 5:00 pm–11:00 pm
Sun, Mon 5:00 pm-9:00 pm
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Phone number
(303) 953-9852
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
16th
Additional
Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Weekend Brunch, Wine

Specials

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Sun 5:00PM - 5:30PM
Mon - Fri 12:00PM - 1:00PM 5:00PM - 5:30PM
Sat 5:00PM - 5:30PM

What 209 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.2
service
4.4
ambience
3.8
value
Noise · Moderate
89% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
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1
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Denver
34 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Underwhelmed by the food, especially its value. I ordered the Heirloom Tomato Panzanella and was utterly disappointed -- exactly four croutons, a chopped up half-ripe tomato, some stale fennel shavings, and a splash of buttermilk. The buttermilk may have been foam at some point, but by the time it was served it was just plain buttermilk. We had to ask repeatedly for our fries, which arrived after the rest of the food.

They have a really nice bar, but again, the cocktails are a poor value. We had two "signature" drinks that were so weak, we weren't sure there was a full pour of liquor in either one. Might have tried something else, if we had ever been asked if we wanted additional drinks. Talked to our server who removed the charge for the Panzanella, but didn't ask if I would care for something else.

The space is beautiful and we really, really wanted to like Emmerson, but doubt that we'll be back, so cannot recommend it.

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AL
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 2ambience 4

Great live blues when we came in, the server however was slow to come help us and didn't have an explanation of the menu prepared. I liked my vegan food a lot and he liked the oysters.

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P
1 review
Dined on September 7, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

We’d been to Emmerson a year before and had good memories but this time the food was pretty lacklustre and the live music so loud we had to shout at each other. We decided to leave after our starter.

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CH
Raleigh
1 review
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 3

The Bussel Sprouts were good. Nothing else was. A mediocre experience at best.

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GK
Denver
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

There for the Happy Hour, excellent value. Oysters (west coast) were great and tasty and quite inexpensive for the quality; other happy hour small plates equally good, excellent portions and not at all expensive. Ambience very pleasant, there is outdoor seating also. Strongly recommended!

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VF
1 review
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 5ambience 3

Vegetable dishes were fair, cacio w pepe pasta was awful. Pasta was clearly cooked in unsalted water, tasteless

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K
Denver
28 reviews
Dined on August 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great experience!

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RO
San Francisco
79 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our best meal in Boulder and we ate at some great spots including Frasca. The new Chef Sergio is incredible. Literally some of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten and that includes Italy. Hand crafted in house with a big focus on local farms. The cocktail program is exceptional as well. Incredibly nice staff. Can't wait to return.

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L
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 2

Second time there and a bit disappointed. The first time we went was about a month after opening and it was fabulous. This time, not as much. The food was still quite good—the oysters we started with were fresh and perfect, my husband’s halibut was perfectly cooked and my scallops were fantastic—who pairs scallops with sweet potatoes and mushrooms? Definitely a yes.

The disappointment was in the service and ambiance. I got the sense that they were short-handed on servers. We had a supremely eager water-glass-filler but otherwise had to wait a bit too long for some attention; including getting the check. And the restaurant was only half-full.

As to the ambiance, we (and other tables near the window) were distracted/disturbed by drama on the adjacent patio, which was apparently closed as there were no place settings, glasses or candles on the tables.

Despite the patio being closed, an obviously self-absorbed and entitled young couple seated themselves AND THEIR HUSKY. The dog climbed up on an outdoor sofa and proceeded to chew the cushion and rip some trim off of it, while the couple ignored it. The table adjacent to us tapped on the window (to no avail) and the water-server finally rushed out to remove the cushions from the chair. I’m guessing their wait person eventually asked them to take the dog outside of the fenced patio, which they did. If the wait staff or manager or host had been paying any attention, it could have been nipped in the bud immediately.

I guess the takeaway is that if you look rich enough, they’ll (eventually) serve you on the patio even when it’s closed. And unless they clean that cushion, you might end up with some dog fur on your skirt.

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EA
Los Angeles
4 reviews
Dined on August 19, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Good food, great ambiance and they even played Pink Floyd.

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LJ
1 review
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 5

Emmerson felt like a new, hip and fresh restaurant. And that's exactly what it is. They have some kinks to work out (took a little bit to get noticed by the server, out of an option on an already limited menu post-ordering) but being in the restaurant industry as a chef makes me alot more forgiving. That stuff takes time. The food itself was great and mostly as advertised, high quality ingredients. Part of the lower stars are based on communication issues about my girlfriend's birthday being the reason for the event (we even got cute menus with a "Happy Birthday" at the bottom), but I don't think our server knew. Weirder still, we were brought two glasses of sparkling rose, which we didn't order as we hadn't seen anyone yet, and I thought it was complementary on account of it being a birthday, by which at the end of the experience I find I was charged for. So. Organizational issues aside, I'm very excited to see what happens with this restaurant and I think next time will be even better.

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J
Philadelphia
17 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 3ambience 4

We were disappointed that they removed the fabulous bar menu, a veritable comic book catalogue of the most innovative cocktails id ever hoped to taste. The cocktail I did get was pretty good but not memorable. Foie gras was delicious, a scallop dish was very good but way too tiny for the price tag. The Pavlova dessert was delicious and original. Not sure I’d go back, though, because the value is poor.

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U
Denver
28 reviews
Dined on August 12, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 3

Fine but not amazing. The menu is limited and was polarizing for our group.

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OT
Denver
9 reviews
Dined on August 10, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was great. It was very hard to get our servers attention though and we were rarely checked on. We were in a corner and the server kept checking the table next to us but then wouldn't continue on our our station. I wanted to have a glass of wine with my meal but the person that brought the food was in and gone without asking if we needed anything and my wife had asked for parmesan that was never brought, so we both sat with our entrees in front of us getting cold for almost 10 minutes while we struggled to get staff attention. They had a musician, who was quite good, but it was too loud given the hard, modern decor and surfaces. The food was incredible and the staff were friendly, just not really on their game.

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BJ
1 review
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Menu is interesting - food is tasty. Enjoyed the restaurant. Will eat there again.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on August 3, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 3ambience 4

One of the dishes was undercooked and didn’t get it right

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OT
Denver
24 reviews
Dined on August 2, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 3

Extremely disappointed. Wanted to give it a try based on several reviews that stated it was a fun and creative menu. The service was a nightmare, they delivered our food but did not give us plates and we sat for at least ten minutes while our pasta got cold! We couldn’t even find a server to flag down for help!! As a business dinner, it was uncomfortable and disappointing. Food was ok, but pasta dishes were not as good as we hoped.

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DA
Denver
3 reviews
Dined on July 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A great addition to Pearl Street! We had stopped in for drinks before, but this was our first dinner -- and it didn't disappoint! We'll be back!

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y
Denver
41 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I had requested a quiet table and got a call from the restaurant beforehand warning that there was going to be a large party at around the same time as our reservation. Fortunately, the weather was perfect, so we sat outside, which worked beautifully. They even turned down the music for us since the outdoor speaker was directed right at our table. We ordered the chicken liver mousse appetizer, which was yummy, and the arugula salad with watermelon, also quite good. Two ordered pesto pasta, spicy but delicious, and one another pasta dish which he devoured. I ordered the sea bass with asparagus and potato rounds, which I really loved. We shared a bottle of savignon blanc with our meals but passed on dessert. The service was exemplary and the setting in the warm summer air was delightful. All in all, a wonderful experience!

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KC
1 review
Dined on July 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very trendy spot in Boulder, makes it feel like you're actually in a 'City'. Creative menu, which was the right size, not trying to do too much. Definitely hip, cool decor, great indoor and outdoor spaces. Very design-oriented. Service was a bit overbearing, but that's better than inattentive. The chicken liver mousse was amazing and presented way more innovatively than I've ever seen before. As was the shiro miso flan with pear. Yum! Though we sat outside, it looks like there were lots of neat nooks for a diverse array of seating options indoors- big long table, small round tables, etc. Great date spot and somewhere you could actually get away with dressing up a little in Boulder.

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LY
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 4ambience 3

Walked in and was hit with the smell of fish, which caused concern. Some people in our party did order oysters and fish entrees, and they all were happy with the food. Service and food were very good.

We sat and talked for a while after dinner and check. There were plenty of empty tables and other patrons still in the restaurant. What a surprise when we were told to leave.

Would have been 5 star if the fish smell was not there and we weren't kicked out.

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IE
Denver
14 reviews
Dined on July 19, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 5

The food here is excellent but the service is not up to the same level. Service is always just OK and when you're spending what they are charging you want excellent service. We keep coming back for the food but if they get a new chef, they could be in trouble...

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C
Denver
2 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great service and food. Maybe the decor was a bit too trendy for us, but we loved everything we ordered...we’ll prepared and presented and perfect portions. We’ll go back.

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f
Denver
28 reviews
Dined on July 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this new place. Have eaten here twice and both times all dishes were wonderful

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p
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on July 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Creative, delicious cuisine. Loved the chicken liver mousse, but everything was scrumptious. The ambiance was bright and cheerful. Seems like the prices have decreased which made our meal even more enjoyable.

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MQ
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on July 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a very special diner here with out of town family and we liked it so much we are coming back with other out of town guests just four days later. We sat outside and they kindly turned down the music for us for us a it was a non-busy time and we hear better in quiet venues. The food was excellent and nicely presented and our wonderful waiter very knowledgeable about the food and craft cocktails, and very warm, attentive and friendly. Not only that, our sister left her credit card there and one of the staff found us at a nearby Gelato place where we had told our waiter we were going for desert. Thanks Emerson - we hope you thrive - you deserve to!

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b
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

this was our first visit to Emmerson's and we will definitely come back. loved the ambience, the wine and beer list, the patio, people watching - a great dinner experience!

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s
1 review
Dined on June 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food and service were fabulous. It would have been good to have more vegetarian options for entrees but we ordered several vegetable sides and everything we did have was excellent

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

It was our first time to dine at Emmerson. We really liked the ambiance. The food was good & moderately priced for a sandwich & salad. The tea was expensive @ $4, we should have ordered a beer. The Happy Hour is from 3-6 Monday - Sunday with small plates & reasonably priced alcoholic beverages. The dinner menu looks great. We’ll definitely reserve a table again.

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RK
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 2

Food was creative, interesting, flavorful but portions were way small, especially the rigatoni pasta dish. Service was perfunctory and riddled with mistakes. Wrong salad, wrong wine, the server warmed up a little as the meal went on, and he was not what I expect from a fine dining experience. Noise level is silly loud, even when the place is half full. Nothing but hard surfaces in every direction. Conversation possible at a half-shout. I don't think I would come here again unless I could be assured that I could sit outside.

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MC
Denver
8 reviews
Dined on June 26, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Great evening. The chef creates delicious dishes that are creative. They changed up the liver mousse a bit from the last time we were there and I didn't think it was quite as amazing as last time, but still yummy. The duck and lamb bolognese is amazing. Everything was good. Pricey, but worth it and we will be back.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 1food 2service 3ambience 2

Small portions for the price and not many vegan options.

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 1ambience 4

Our server treated us awful, he was condescending and rude.

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LT
Denver
4 reviews
Dined on June 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 3

Four of us had dinner on a rainy Monday evening and overall we were more than satisfied. The entrees were a beef, a fish, and two different pastas. The entrees were outstanding. Also we shared a zucchini dish which was also outstanding.

Two had drinks. One was a simple vodka with a twist. The available vodkas was pretty limited. The mixed drink was one of the house specialties and was, according to the drinker, excellent. The server was not as knowledgeable about the bar offerings and had to keep going back to get answers.

We would have like to have oysters but the only selection didn't seem worth the price. However from where we were sitting there was a brisk business in oysters.

Two had dessert and here the server knew the options cold. Both the pavlova and the sake ice were great and very interesting.

Emmerson isn't Frasca in anyway but it is very, very good and considerably less expensive. We highly recommend it.

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MM
Denver
7 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful lunch! I’m celiac (gluten free) and the menu was easy to accommodate for my needs. The burger is Amazing!!

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LH
Denver
89 reviews
Dined on June 18, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

So much fun, drink menu is hilarious and the drinks are delicious, sauces were to die for, presentation and ambiance is so interesting and the apps are terrific! Would love to return and try some more of the menu!

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CS
Denver
18 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 2

Just ok. Pasta was good but lamb chops were very disappointing.

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d
Denver
16 reviews
Dined on June 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and thanks to John for taking great care of us and Nicole for saying hello! We will be back.

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OT
Denver
25 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

A wonderfully innovative menu!!! Great food we flavor combinations you have rarely tasted together. Excellent service but weak wine list. Two times here both hits.

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OT
Denver
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food, excellent service!! Will definitely be back

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