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- Surfaces sanitized between seatings
- Common areas deep cleaned daily
- Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
- Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
- Contactless payment available
- Limited number of seated diners
- Distancing maintained in common areas
- Extra space between tables
- Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
- Waitstaff wear masks
- Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Cardamom-Brined Pork Belly
pork belly, cardamom, curried garbanzo bean pure
arugula, dates, gorgonzola, almond vinaigrette
This was a delicious meal - great selection and top class service!
Thanks for all of the stars momof4!
I wanted to love Rioja, I really did. After all, I have been a fan of Jennifer Jasinski's cooking ever since she opened Panzano at Hotel Monaco. We are also big fans of BV accross the street. I had just never managed to make it to Rioja until now.
After waiting 20 minutes for our drinks, our server took our order. We both ordered appetizers and entrees. About 25 minutes later our entrees arrived- which would have ben fine except for the fact we never received our appetizers. Our server came over and asked if we needed anything else, to which I replied that we hadn't yet received our appetizers. Our server then asked, "Did you order appetizers?" After we assured her we did, she found them written on the back of her pad and told us they would be out shortly. Our entrees were then whisked away, and about 5 minutes later our appetizers appeared.
My partner's Heirloom Bean Succotash Salad was fresh, vibrant and delicious. I ordered the Crispy Pan-Fried Sweetbreads and while the preparation was beautiful, sadly the sweetbreads themselves were not. Of the 2 sweetbreads on the plate one was overcooked, while the other was sorely undercooked with raw flour on the underside. This rendered it stringy and chewy.
The entrees we ordered were the Artichoke Tortelloni and the Colorado Lamb T-bones. Again, my partner's entree was outstanding but my lamb was sadly lacking. First of all, the dish advertised 10oz of lamb. I have worked around restaurants and restaurant kitchens for 22 years and the 2 small loins on my plate were no more than 2 & 1/2 to 3 ounces a piece - at most. This would have been ok but for the fact they were also extremely bland and tough. And this was not an inexpensive dish.
Overall, I was more than a bit disappointed in our experience. While Rioja nailed half of the food we ordered, they missed the boat on the other half. Add to that the slow start on the drinks and the forgotten appetizers, and you are left with a less-than-satisfying experience.
Our reservation was messed up. We asked if they could seat the three of us at a two top, and were told that was not allowed. We accepted a reservation two hours later, where they sat us at a two top.
The waitress was extremely unfriendly. My sister was visiting and I love Rioja, wanted to show her.
After this, I doubt I’ll return.
Always one of my TOP restaurants in Denver. The food was phenomenal as always. They really don't miss a beat.
Thanks for the kind words KathrynD!
This restaurant is consistently GREAT! The chef always provides fantastic meals that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. DELICIOUS
Thanks for the great review dollardude!
Food was delicious and bread basket was divine. Ambience was perfect
Thanks for the wonderful review LouL!
Amazing food and service! A delightful experience. Love that servers are knowledgeable and helpful
Thanks for all of the stars cffmn!
We went for a birthday celebration and everything was great. Service was excellent. COVID-19 protocol was observed but not intrusive. We ate inside but lots of tables outside as well.
The food was prepared perfectly and served at a nice pace. Scallops were probably the biggest hit but gnocchi ape river was also delicious. The breads served with the meal were particularly well made. Appetizers through desert everything was top notch.
•Thank you so much MichaelS for taking the time to publish your feedback. We are pleased to read that you had great time! Hope to see you again soon.
Fantastic dining experience. Great food, outstanding service! Highly recommend.
Thanks for all of the stars ChrisF!
We ate outside. The service was attentive without hovering. The food was fantastic: the Rioja Picnic was a wonderful new appetizer, and the artichoke tortellini is a perennial favorite.
Thanks for the wonderful review MilesB!
It was A delectable and outstanding culinary experience. Simply the best way to end the night
Thanks for the great review RolandoR!
Amazing food service and drinks . Best restaurant I. Denver
Thank you so much JavierL for the kind words. We hope to see you again soon!
One of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. Well priced for the value and every dish was delicious. Even if you are stuffed you have to get the cloud cake at the end.
We dined here for the first time for our anniversary. The service was excellent and the food was amazing. We were so delighted with everything we ordered and appreciated that the chef was flexible and offered tasty substitutions to accommodate my gluten intolerance. We also were very pleased to see that the outdoor dining area was expanded and Covid precautions were being taken seriously. We will definitely return.
Thank you so much for taking the time to publish your feedback. We are pleased to read that you had great time! Hope to see you again soon!
OMG...the artichoke ravioli is A-MAZING!! I'd eat that everyday if I could. My dad and I ate outside under their lovely covered patio area. The weather was perfect and our waitress was so friendly...along with our food-runner. I love Rioja...always a great, delicious, stellar time...always on-point! Thank you!!
Thanks for such a great review JtotheK! The artichoke tortelloni is one of our favorites as well. We hope to see you again soon!
I met up with my long distance girlfriend here in Denver and wanted a nice classy restaurant to take her out to for dinner. This restaurant was beyond my expectations. The customer service was amazing and felt very welcoming. I ordered a cherry Negroni and it was the best Negroni I’ve ever had. For food we ordered the scallops which were cooked perfectly and the hoisin braised short ribs which had a huge portion size and was so tender and tasty. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting the area. It is worth the money!
Thanks for such a wonderful detailed review. We hope to see you again soon.
Quick trip to Denver to celebrate our anniversary it is my favorite restaurant and love the new menu we have not tried. Thank you!
Thanks for the wonderful review NanetteW!
We mistakenly reserved for the wrong night but they still found a table for us. Greatly appreciated!
Thanks for the great review MarkE. So happy we could make the right day work for you!
Bad service, long wait for drinks. The person who brought the bread was nicer and more service oriented than our waiter. When you pay $100/person for dinner you expect a different level of service.
The food was amazing! We absolutely loved the succotash salad which was amazing!
Loved the outdoor seating arrangement; we felt completely safe. All of the food was excellent, especially the entrees (tortellini en brodo and braised hoisin short rib). Highly recommend!
Thanks for the wonderful review Charlie!
The food was amazing!!
Seasonal menu, unexpected food ingredient pairings, and table linen service ... perfect place to go on a date night!
Thanks for the wonderful review and we are so happy you enjoyed your dining experience with us. We hope to see you again soon.
Delicious food, a little awkward ordering experience because of COVID changes but otherwise still a great menu.
Ate inside, but felt totally comfortable. Tables had lots of space, all the staff was masked and conscientious. Food was wonderful! I had the scallops, my date had the vegetarian platter. Both were tasty, and the vegi platter was very creative and diverse in its flavor profiles and presentation. The wine selection was great, we enjoyed a wonderful Russian River Pinot. Really a great time and experience.
Wonderful night in Downtown Denver! Love Rioja and look forward to returning. Thank you for making our special night wonderful.
Thanks for the wonderful review!
Shashito peppers appetizer and truffle tortellini were incredible! Would go back for those two alone.
Amazing delicious food and affordable pricing.
Thanks for the kind words CherylS! We hope to see you again soon.
waiters were knowledgeable and very professional. The menu creative and the meal was excellent. we asked to move from outside to the dining room due to the wind outside and we were accommodated. highly recommend Rioja!
Thank you so much PaulP for taking the time to publish your feedback. We are pleased to read that you had great time! Hope to see you again soon.
Richie took good care of us Ohioans. Food was delicious.
Honestly, the food quality here is mediocre, at best. The only highlights of the several dishes we bought were the house made bread with sea salt butter and the pork belly. The scallops, halibut, short rib dish, and the desserts were all not very good. Not sure how Yelpers have managed to rave about this place, but it’s a pass all day long.
This meal was INCREDIBLE! Will definitely be returning next time I am in Denver!
Thanks for the wonderful review MaconM!
Drinks were creative and delicious. The Rioja Picnic appetizer was yummy. Food was not as incredible as the reviews stated and the portions were small for the price. The beignets only came with five tiny donuts, like really small. Overall a nice place, but probably won’t go back for dinner.
Beautiful experience on the newly expanded patio. Food and service was amazing. Shared starters and each of us had an entree.
Best Restaurant in Denver!!!!
Thanks for the kind words!
Amazing atmosphere and attentive servers made for a great experience. The hand made pasta is a must order.
Thanks for the wonderful review! We hope to see you again soon.
We had an excellent meal for our anniversary
Excellent food preparations and attentive rather than intrusive service. Always a wonderful experience
Thanks for the wonderful review cffmn! We hope to see you again soon.
Tortelloni is not to be missed.
The happy hour is only outside .. they failed to tell us that
Great date night spot. Every course was delicious.
Rioja offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (303) 820-2282.
Rioja is rated 4.7 stars by 8419 OpenTable diners.
You can book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size.