There’s no question that a memorable meal out is about the experience, not just what's on your plate. If you’re someone for whom the setting matters as much as the grub, these creatively conceived culinary hot spots will have you soaking up the atmosphere and savoring the food.
The vibe: Salt has some of the coolest décor in town — fascinating murals, sculptures perched above the bar, lighting that doubles as glass art... and the food is no less stimulating. Locally sourced vegetables and meats are prepared creatively and to perfection.
The dish: Start with the charcuterie board, then lighten your palate with the superb vegetable tasting — you’ve never tasted vegetables like this! Finish with the salted chocolate caramel tart.
The vibe: Have a seat at the huge picture windows for grandiose views of Boulder from atop Flagstaff Mountain. Peruse the wine list (a Wine Spectator Grand Award winner for over three decades) on a house iPad, and then sit back and enjoy an unparalleled, old-school gourmet experience. Flagstaff House also holds a AAA four-diamond rating and a decorated chef.
The dish: The Flagstaff House menu is ever-changing and always fabulous, but if you spot Colorado lamb on the menu, you know what to do.
The vibe: Yes, you really are being carried away to grandma’s Creole kitchen in New Orleans when you step inside the front porch of the charming old house that is Lucile’s.
The dish: The Eggs Benedict is always a reliable choice, but anything with a giant biscuit (served with strawberry rhubarb jam) is fair game.
The vibe: A fortune-telling yak awaits the drop of your coin in the lobby of Sherpa's Restaurant, where you’ll also find tributes to famous sherpas who’ve climbed Mt. Everest and a menagerie of Nepalese artifacts. The expansive patio is one of the best in town.
The dish: Try the Sherpa stew, a hearty, soothing bowl of dumplings, fortifying broth and vegetables.
The vibe: A menu that transports you to Spain, a sparkling view that transports you to the top of the Flatirons and impeccable service that transports you to the finest European restaurants. It all comes together at Corrida for an incredible experience atop one of downtown Boulder's tallest buildings.
The dish: Start with the olive oil bread with tomato butter, move on to the patatas bravas and graduate to the American Waygu strip loin.