1. A restaurant I haven't attended or did in a very limited manner
2. More than 3 courses or very inspiring courses
3. High Yelp rating
I began opening tabs and then emailing restaurants for reservations. I probably sounded desperate: "Hi. I'm a Denver local currently based in Madrid, Spain. I tried getting a reservation through Open Table, but couldn't because it's disabled during those dates. Please don't make me call you because international rates are expensive (before I discovered GooglePhone in my Gmail account). I'm desperately missing my Denver restaurants and am free between 5-9pm. Please let me in with a friend. Thank you."
Rioja adventure. She leapt at the chance to dine at Rioja's Chef's Table. It's funny, but they apologetically said they only had the Chef's Table available. Yes, please, twist my arm.
Intermission: the last two pictures show Jessie delighting in Rioja's fabulous bread. They range from herbal, fruit, and italian spice with cheese varieties. Decadence. Apply the butter and salt as liberally as you like.
DRW menu, noting that their entire menu is offered with some surcharges in some areas and 2-3 shared plates because of their size. As an added bonus, they offered two specials included for DRW with no additional surcharge. My friend and I started with the shared "picnic basket" with a trio of artisan meats, warm pine nut crusted goat cheese, Italian Mountain gorgonzola, olives inside the cabbage centerfold, truffle fennel salad, orange confit, and almonds. This was finger food at its best.