Rioja, Denver, CO The team of Chef Jennifer Jasinski and partner Beth Gruitch are wowing downtown Denver and pulling out all the culinary stops with Rioja. Jennifer makes each dish a work of art with complex pairings that impress and delight. Her experience with opening restaurants for Wolfgang Puck inspired her to design the open kitchen, which is a hotbed of activity and pulls you into the excitement of the prep. Whereas Bistro Vendôme (see OUT+ABOUT), their sister restaurant, offers comforting french fare, the dishes in Rioja are a unique taste experience. For instance, the tartare here was made with tuna accompanied by marinated apple and fennel salad and crispy apple chips. All the homemade pastas are to die for! Try the candied lemon gnocchi with butter poached crab or her signature dish—a duo of artichoke tortelloni which is stuffed with goat cheese and artichoke mousse, sits in an artichoke broth, and even has artichoke chips! Cocktails also offer distinctive flavor combinations. For those who prefer slightly tart drinks, there’s the Pomeginger (see photo), made with vodka, pomegranate juice, ginger, and twist of lemon. I could go on and on, but I insist you try it for yourself. Bring your appetite and your loved ones here for a special celebration, or just make one up!