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  5. River North (Denver)

The Populist - Permanently Closed

4.6
4.6
259 Reviews
$31 to $50
Contemporary American
In Denver, the dining options are ever increasing and The Populist is making a splash with unique seating options and an exquisite menu. A meal should be shared, which is why The Populist dining area includes community tables and the menu is mainly sharable small plates to enjoy together with friends and family over great conversation.



Open daily for dinner with happy hour specials Tuesday-Friday, The Populist provides high quality service with a unique menu. Highlights include House Made Pastas, Smoked Jackfruit, Colorado Grass-Fed Burger, and Tandoori Chicken. A chef's tasting menu with seven courses is available each evening.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American, Californian, Contemporary French / American

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (720) 432-3163

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Executive chef

    Jonathan Power

  • Neighborhood

    River North (Denver)

  • Cross street

    32nd

  • Parking details

    Free street parking available.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine

What 259 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.6
4.6 based on recent ratings
  • 4.5Food
  • 4.6Service
  • 4.7Ambience
  • 4.2Value

NoiseModerate

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  1. A

    Austin

    Denver

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2019

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Top 5 restaurant in Denver, hands down!!!! Amazing food and vibe!
  2. US

    USChad

    Denver

    14 reviews

    2.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2019

    overall2food3service2ambience4
    The Populist has long been one of our favorite restaurants in the city, and we were excited to come and say goodbye. The entire experience was very disappointing, and to be honest, I wish we hadn't come because this final experience will forever taint my opinion of this awesome restaurant. Our server was cold and unfriendly throughout the meal. She recommended a bottle of wine that was sold out. Our food was okay, but it wasn't the amazing dishes that I remember in the past. Our Hamachi crudo was cut just a touch too thick, and that, of course, affected the way the fish tasted. It was a bit chewy and there wasn't enough acid for the thickness of the fish cut. The pot de creme desert was amazing. Good luck moving forward! To Continued Success...
  3. JH

    JustinH

    Indiana

    9 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2019

    overall3food2service5ambience4
    I've been to the Populist a few times and this was by far the most disappointing experience. Both meals were overcooked and unpleasant (well done burger that should have been medium rare and crunchy fried rice that was hard to chew). Not that it matters given they are closing down, but still, not an impressive final showing.
  4. W

    Whit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 26, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place was great! Phenomenal food and wine! The server was also wonderful!
  5. GS

    GailS

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 18, 2019

    overall2food1service3ambience3
    I was very disappointed in my recent outing to The Populist. It was a restaurant I'd been wanting to try ever since I heard about it. However, the food was a big miss. The description of the fried rice sounded as if it would be delicious, but was only so-so. The lamb was chewy and lacked flavor, although the ramps and beans served with it were tasty. The server offered us something to replace the lamb, so we asked for the pasta with crab. It was equally disappointing and after a few bites we abandoned it. I won't be back despite the fact that the server tried her best to ensure we left as satisfied patrons. There are too many other restaurants calling my name.
  6. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Had an lovely anniversary here. The staff is great and the food is amazing.
  7. DB

    DavidB

    Denver

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 14, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Absolutely great experience at The populist! We celebrated our anniversary last night and the staff is a class act through and through. They greeted us to some bubbly to help us celebrate. We chose the chef’s menu and wine pairing, and were delighted with it all. I highly recommend the wine pairing, as the sommelier has done a great job of taking you from light to full body and balances very well with each dish. Last night our favorite items on the menu were the Brodo(broth) to start, the pasta was fantastic, and we finished of with Duck confit! This is a chef’s menu that is well thought out, that delivers both in creativity and leaving your belly satisfied. It can be disappointing at times to go a chef’s menu route and leave feeling hungry. The Populist does it well!
  8. l

    lwdtown

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 13, 2019

    overall5food4service5ambience5
    Great food and ambience. Had to move inside due to rain, but the inside was great too. The inside definitely gets a little loud, but to be expected.
  9. NB

    NatalieB

    Denver

    72 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    72 reviews

    Dined on July 7, 2019

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    This was my 4th time to the Populist and I have always considered it one of the best restaurants in town. However, my husband and I both agreed we were a little disappointed. The gem salad and the broccolini-like appetizer were both really good. However, the buratta and prosciutto were both lacking flavor (compared to others we have had) and the fritter special was just not very good. Overall, we had a nice meal, but it just was not as impressive as it has been on our previous visits.
  10. D

    Daveed

    Louisville

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 6, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had the tasting menu, and it was incredible! Can't wait to go back. Recommending this place to everyone I can.
  11. MP

    MarissaP

    New England

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything was perfect. Can’t wait to go back!
  12. AT

    AndrewT

    Denver

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 30, 2019

    overall3food4service4ambience4
    The Tasting Menu was worth it, perhaps even a deal, when it was $40/person. Simply not worth it anymore now that it is $60/person. Lots of other ways to spend that kind of money in Denver and not nearly as indulgent and special as it should be for that price. Sorry Populist but we are looking elsewhere for our next special occasion.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2019

    overall3food2service3ambience5
    I ate here a while back and was excited to go for my fiancé’s birthday and we were underwhelmed. When we arrived the host was working on seating another couple who wanted to move from inside to outside and she failed to acknowledge us, which in such an intimate space wouldn’t have been difficult to greet us. The food was not exciting and the description of each dish didn’t match what was served. We told our server we had not been there and instead of walking us through the menu she told us to let us know what questions we have. I ordered a glass of wine and when the server delivered it she informed me it was the last glass of that wine and it was apparent by the half glass she served me. The starters were disappointing. The dessert was tasty and unique and probably the best part of the experience. I’d like to try again on the patio because the atmosphere looks so magical with the vines and strung lights, but I don’t know if the food is worth it.
  14. DZ

    DesireeZ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 29, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Everything from beginning to end was a wonderful experience. Food was impeccable and the atmosphere was memorable. I never write reviews and I highly reccomend it.
  15. SL

    ScottL

    Denver

    33 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    33 reviews

    Dined on June 29, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We had a wonderful anniversary meal. Service was marvelous, wine selection excellent, food wonderful (roast chicken was truly amazing). A wonderful meal.
  16. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 22, 2019

    overall4food3service5ambience4
    Service was great but our sourdough was burnt as well as my husband's burger. The buratta was amazing and my short ribs were really good. The server surprised us with champagne to start the meal since we were there to celebrate our birthdays.
  17. NM

    NMonymous

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 19, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Thank you for a wonderful night celebrating our employees. Every dish (and I think we may have ordered the entire menu) was beautiful, balanced in flavor, and great portions even when shared among the five of us. We left fat and happy. I'm still dreaming of the roasted chicken. Great values on the wine list and service was friendly and authentic. What more can you ask for from a dining experience!
  18. m

    miller7

    Washington DC

    15 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on June 16, 2019

    overall1food2service1ambience2
    If you are looking for excellent service, a kitchen staff that cares about allergies and food intolerance, or just an overall good experience, do not come here. I cannot say enough about how rude the wait staff was and how indifferent the kitchen staff was to answering basic questions on what ingredients were in the food. Just as one example, a member of our party had multiple food allergies and trying to find out what was in the food was equivalent to asking for a small miracle. I will never come back to this restaurant.
  19. w

    warrena

    Denver

    28 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    28 reviews

    Dined on June 15, 2019

    overall3food3service3ambience3
    Food is good, but not what it used to be. That coupled with what appears to be purposeful “disinterest” of the wait and server staff means that we won’t be coming back soon.
  20. DG

    DanielaG

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 13, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The burrata was to die for! Great service and amazing cocktails. The wine list was impressive!
  21. T

    Tori

    Denver

    4 reviews

    vip
    1.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on June 13, 2019

    overall1food1service2ambience1
    This was possibly the worst meal I have had in Denver. I could have looked past the weird and uncomfortable stools, bad lighting, and a long wait for our food but not past how bad everything tasted. While we were seated right away, we had to ask for water, and for plates to go with our appetizer. We got the burrata to start, which was good and the only decent thing we had all night. However, it did come with extremely burnt toast that we had to send back. We ordered the roast chicken, salmon, and the lamb chops. The roast chicken tasted like soap (and something I could have made a thousand times better myself), the Caesar salad had so much anchovies in it it was impossible to eat. The fish was not salted at all. We were never asked how we wanted the lamb chops cooked, and they came out raw, also with no seasoning. A very disappointing meal. The patio did look lovely maybe for a drink, but with so many lovely restaurants in Denver eating here was a waste.
  22. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on June 2, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was great.
  23. SC

    StaciC

    Phoenix

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 1, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waiter was awesome. We loved his suggestions. The food and the cocktails were amazing! He was first class. His name is escaping me but he was wearing a fabulous wild shirt. Thank you for a fun date with very special friends and a birthday.
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    5 reviews

    2.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 26, 2019

    overall2food2service2ambience4
    Service not so good. Food average. Cost was reasonable, but the tastes and flavors pretty unspectacular. I was disappointed after having loved it in the past!
  25. DE

    DEEM

    Denver

    105 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    105 reviews

    Dined on May 25, 2019

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    Tasty foodies. Lively atmosphere. Slightly pricy for every day outing but overall, a nice experience.
  26. AW

    AlexW

    Denver

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 17, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I had the chefs tasting menu. It was 5 courses compared to the advertised 7. The desert is paired with sake instead of another wine. Was not a fan of the sake
  27. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Portland

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 17, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This was our second time here, and it was every bit as excellent as the first. You could throw a dart at this menu and feel totally confident that you'd get an outstanding meal - everything on the menu is exquisitely designed to be an unexpected and amazing combination of flavors. Don't miss the celeriac dish (I've now tried two versions, both incredible). Kudos!
  28. b

    beegee

    Denver

    9 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on May 17, 2019

    overall3food3service3ambience5
    A lot of precious without a lot of substance. We had our waiter bring us his favorite items with no restrictions on quantity or type. He brought 3 light starters and 3 entrees to feel 5 people. The starters were interesting but not at all ground breaking or satiating. The entrees were tasty but each one had an element that pushed it into the category of “a little off.”
  29. CB

    CBunn1584

    Denver

    7 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 17, 2019

    overall4food4service4ambience5
    Expensive for how little food you get. Food and service are solid though, just wish the portions were more right-sized for price. I’ve left there twice still hungry after paying $125-150 for two people.
  30. t

    ticmoney

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 15, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I love this place, great service, great food and good scene
  31. W

    Wilson2

    Charlotte

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 9, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went here the other night for a date night. We’ve been driving by here for years and since it’s one of the few restaurants with a tasting menu in Denver we decided to give it a try. We had good service and really enjoyed the food. I’m not a big fan of duck but the Duck Confit was really good. We also had the wine pairings. This is one area which could use a little improvement. The wine selections were good but a I like more explication as to why this wine was selected and how it pairs well with the food. Not just this is the type of wine. Ultimately one of the good things is the price. For a tasting menu and wine pairing we thought this was a pretty good price point for what we got.
  32. EH

    EonHealth

    Denver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our office booked the semi-private room for our company dinner. The staff was friendly, knowledgeable and attentive. They made the entire process easy, from booking to our late arrival and everything in between. They were able to provide the perfect table for conversation between a group of 12. We would highly recommend their services for your next company dinner!!
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2019

    overall5food5service2ambience5
    This was one of the best restaurant visits this year so far. Keep it up!
  34. JJ

    JessicaJ

    Denver

    2 reviews

    2.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2019

    overall2food4service1ambience3
    We arrived 5 minutes early for our reservation and were asked to take a seat at the bar. We waited at the bar for 25 minutes for a table and were only sat when they decided to open up an additional area of the dining room that had been empty the entire time we were waiting. Throughout our dinner we were the only patrons sat in this area. Because they were not planning to sit people in this area we waited an additional 5 minutes for anyone to come to the table to greet us and take our orders. If we had finished our drinks by this time we would have walked out. We ordered an appetizer which was brought promptly to our table however we were not brought any dishes to eat off of and due to the lack of service my husband had to walk up and grab plates for our table so that we could eat. Food was good, but pricey and the service was horrendous. I would not recommend this restaurant to anyone as the wait staff and management obviously do not care.
  35. A

    Adam

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 24, 2019

    overall3food3service4ambience5
    Populist didn't live up to the hype. Overall, we didn't have a bad experience, it just wasn't one worth repeating. We split 2 starters (potato and orange) and 2 mains (chicken and campanelle) between 2 people and both left hungry. My favorite dish was the pasta which sadly was also the smallest portion. The other dishes weren't memorable.
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 23, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent tasting menu. Wonderful service. Highly recommended.
  37. t

    theburnes

    Cincinnati

    10 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2019

    overall4food5service5ambience3
    Food - AMAZING! Waiter - Incredible! Noise level - so loud. Hard to hear the man across from me at my table. Still loved it.
  38. MB

    MelB

    Seattle

    13 reviews

    5.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on April 18, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I always have a great time at the Populist; I ended up at the bar and made some friends over the tasting menu. Fantastic bartenders, too!
  39. MB

    MorganB

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 14, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great place for a date night! Seasonal menu with a lot of locally sourced ingredients. And a great selection of wines at very reasonable prices ($36!) Pretty small dining room so it gets a little noisy, but its totally worth it. I'd recommend making a reservation since seating seems kind of limited for the dinner rush.
  40. JZ

    JennaZ

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 13, 2019

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We did the tasting menu paired with the wine and loved everything about it. Everything was so good we ordered more entrees!

FAQs

The Populist - Permanently Closed is rated 4.6 stars by 259 OpenTable diners.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Cross street

    32nd

  • Neighborhood

    River North (Denver)

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Sat 5:00 pm–10:00 pm

  • Cuisines

    Contemporary American, Californian, Contemporary French / American

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Dress code

    Smart Casual

  • Parking details

    Free street parking available.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Jonathan Power

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Wine

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