Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
Chef Jennifer Jasinski's creatively inspired Mediterranean food is influenced by local seasonal products. Rioja is simple, pure food that emphasizes bright flavors & textures. The wines are a collection of fun interesting varietals that compliment the cuisine.
Denver, CO 80202
Mediterranean, Fusion / Eclectic
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 2:30pm
Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm,
Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
$30 and under
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Valet available on Larimer Square Tuesday - Saturday. A parking garage is located directly behind the restaurant on Market Street. Street parking is available throughout Larimer Square.
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
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The culinary prowess of James Beard award winner Jennifer Jasinski is highlighted at every meal served by the talented Rioja staff. A Mediterranean menu with local, seasonal influences is served in semi-private or restaurant-wide events from 20 to 150 handled with Rioja’s award-winning expertise.
Rioja Ratings and Reviews
Loved Rioja! Excellent food and service. We had foi gras and funnel cake (sounds weird, I know, but delicious!), artichoke truffle tortellini, and beef cheeks spaetzle. Never had really good foi gras until we had Rioja’s. Like butter! And the funnel cake added some crunch and broke up the richness of the foi gras perfectly. The spaetzle had a little crispness and was nice with the tender cheeks. My girlfriend loved the artichoke truffle tortellini. Great flavors and very satisfying. The service was excellent too. On point without being overbearing or forced. All in all, great dining and made the start of our special night amazing.
We ate here for brunch on Sunday. The food was really good. It was not very busy in the restaurant as we were there later in the brunch time. The staff was not very attentive as they appeared to want to leave for the day as they were cleaning up around us. Our reservation was at 2:15 and we were done by 3:30. It they don't want to serve beyond the brunch hours, they should have reservation times be cut off earlier.
Decided to have a nice dinner on a business/leisure trip.
Cocktails and Dom by the glass to start- excellent.
We went with the 7 course tasting menu and wine pairings. The tasting menu basically offered everything we were eyeing on the regular menu.
Food was excellent. Standout was the pasta course.
Coursing was a little slow to start, but recovered.
Waiter was a bit standoffish at first, but also recovered. There were instances where he don't even tell us what wine he was pouring, but again, that improved as the meal progressed.
We had high expectations from reading the reviews online. However, the food turned out to be average at best, except for the tortelloni which was exceptional. We tried several dishes but they were inconsistent in taste and execution. The other dishes from the carpaccio, octopus to the salmon tried to hard. The ingredients were either under cooked, not fresh, or prepared beforehand and brought to the table cold and lackluster.
Every course was incredible. I ordered a "pomegranate fields forever" to drink and ended up having 2 because they were delicious. We started with the "fresh bacon" appetizer which was the most tender juicy pork belly I've ever tasted. They had several different breads to choose from, including a lavender sourdough that I couldn't get enough of. For dinner, I ordered the lamb over pomegranate risotto (I went a little pomegranate crazy). Through i'm not a huge fan of risotto, theirs was incredibly tasty and cooked perfectly. The Brussels sprouts were perfection. My friend ordered the red fish special and loved it. For dessert, we had the chocolate peanut butter torte with dulce de leche ice cream, which was presented in such a unique manner.
Every year for the past twelve when heading to Vail we book our travel around ALWAYS having brunch or dinner at Rioja.
Incredible goat cheese biscuits and extraordinary egg dishes - Parmesan sauce instead of hollandaise. Brilliant twist. Exemplary service.
We wanted to celebrate a birthday, anniversary, and new job at a special restaurant and selected Rioja. Overall, it was a nice dinner, the food was tasty and service was very good. We shared the "picnic" as a starter and while it was an interesting assortment, it was very little food for the price. Teasing the ultrathin slices of meats into separate bites for three people was challenging. The 1/2 inch cube of gorgonzola was impossible to divide. For mains, we had venison, scallops, and tortelloni, all of which were very good. I was disappointed to see that the tables around us all were served an amuse bouche, and we were not. An inconsistency in otherwise very good service. I was also more than a little surprised to see there was a (very well behaved) dog at one of the tables. Just not something I have ever seen in an upscale restaurant.
I have to say we were disappointed a little. Based on reviews, reputation and Zagat ratings, we had high expectations for this evening and ordered the seven-tasting menu, paired with the restaurant's wine offerings. Of the seven courses, three were truly outstanding: the tortellini, the lamb loin main course and the dessert of utterly delicious beignets; three courses were "meh," and one course, the oyster chowder was, in a word, awful. Moreover, the tasting menu consisted merely of smaller versions of dishes that were already on the main menu, which I understand from a food production perspective, but usually one sees that the chef likes to showoff a little, and offer at least a couple of the tasting courses as dishes not on the regular menu (possibly as a trial to future main menu fare). The restaurant was packed and our waiter was distracted and a little distant at first, but warmed up eventually. The total evening experience just was not the five star experience we expected and I doubt we'll be back.
We went to Rioja for brunch on saturday, we had a great table, service was excellent, we have breakfast, the eggs benedectine were so good, we have the hibiscus and tequila drinks, something like a margarita, the appetizers were so yummy Goat cheese doughnuts, overall we enjoy our time in there.
First time at Rioja - definitely going to be a go-to regular from now on. We split the artichoke tortelloni as an app and then had the roasted Petaluma chicken and the king salmon. Finished with the goat cheese and fig beignets. EVERYTHING was fantastic. We’ll go back and try to order something else but it’ll be hard not to just repeat!!!
This was just the right place for a leisurely lunch with Mom & Sis following a post-Thanksgiving/ Black Friday visit to the Denver Art Museum. Dishes were artistry in themselves and desserts delectable. We’re changing up our Black Friday tradition to include Rioja from here out!
Overall my experience was very pleasant. The service was top notch and we enjoyed ourselves.
I ordered 3 appetizers and 3 entrees (shared).
The chicken entree was very very good, the ravioli/tortellini was good but I wasn’t very impressed with the other 4 items we ordered. (Pork belly, salad, salmon, and I can’t even remember the other appetizer)
Rioja was nice to accommodate our dinner time change. The food was superb. It took quite a while to get our water, and to have our dinner ordered. The gentleman serving the assortment of bread stopped by but couldn't serve us since the food order hadn't been placed yet! Our server had a little bit of an attitude which didn't help. All in all, great food, location and atmosphere, but the serving staff (at least some of them) may need a little refresher course regarding service.
I love this restaurant and the food was amazing as ever. Unfortunately, the night was ruined by the waitress. She was in a hurry to turn the table and when my wife ordered her second drink, the waitress walked by and threw the drink in the table. The drink was not what my wife ordered but we had to wait to flag down the waitress. The waitress did replace the drink but again dropped the drink on the table and quickly walked away before making sure the drink was correct. The drink was wrong again and we hadn't to flag down the waitress again. This time the waitress argued with my wife about it was the same drink that she ordered the first time. My wife politely told her that she orders this drink every time she goes out and that the first drink was perfect but the next two were wrong. Again the waitress rudely told her she was wrong. Even if my wife was (but she wasn't) the waitress should not have argued and embarrassed my wife this way. It was a wonderful dinner ruined by a waitress who shouldn't have her job.
Kicking off the holiday season. This is my first complaint ever about a restaurant. I experienced trouble with changing the number of people in my party from 3 to 5. Long story. Rioja offered us a table in the bar area. It was really tight but we made it work. The waiter dropped forks into my tortellini and the broth spilled all over the table and 2 of us. He picked the forks out but didn’t offer to replace the dish. At this price point, I expect more. Your bad Rioja.
The good: artichoke tortelloni was delicious. Rioja picnic was very good as well. Pork belly bacon was tasty, but a little more seared would have made it perfect. Good ambiance and lighting.
The not so good: entrees were so-so. I ordered the king salmon, and the fingerling potatoes were so undercooked they were inedible. For the price, that is a dish that should have been amazing. Service was decent but not memorable.
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