Thanks to everyone who suggested restaurants. I went to three:
- Rootdown Denver. The clear favorite. Loud, trendy, waitstaff heavily tattooed. Small plates for under $10 each. I had beet gnocchi, carrot and thai red curry soup, some other stuff. All great. I was lucky to find a seat at the bar otherwise I would have waited a long time. So definitely you need reservations. The best part of my dinner was that I finally found a bar that serves a mythical cocktail: The Aviation. I have been looking for this for a decade. It was fantastic. Thanks for the pointer Dan!
- Osteria Marco. Fine but typical Italian. I had pizza. I’ve had worse. They served by the glass a blend of Dolcetto, Barbera, and Nebbiolo from Langhe. That was something new for me, and I liked it.
- Tastes Wine Bar. A little depressing because I was the only person there. But the food was somewhat adventurous and good. The wine was fine, but not the kind of varied selection I would have expected from a place that calls itself a wine bar. The menu listed a sauvignon blanc from the Loire and when I ordered it to start with, I was told that they were out and tonight they were substituting a Sauv Blanc from Colorado!! I did taste it. Once.
Its a shame I didnt make it to the Fluid coffee bar that Jacob Grier suggested. I was going to stop there on Sunday before going to the airport but Denver got hit with a snow storm and so I got on standby and headed to the airport early to make sure I got out of there before the flights were cancelled.