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VITA is great for happy hour, still lacking at dinner

Braised Pork.
Braised Pork.
VITA's cheese & charcuterie plate
Photo by: Melanie Pahl                  Great cheese and charcuterie at VITA

This is a restaurant that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with since it opened. First, there was love; the food, the wine list, the outdoor patio looking at downtown, the artistic interior and the swanky bar. Then VITA lost their chef, took away the late night happy hour and things haven’t been as rosy since.

Going here for happy hour, though, is a treat. Starting at 3:00pm and running until 6:30pm, get a seat up on the heated rooftop patio where you can take in the Denver skyline. Or grab a chair downstairs at the main bar that has sliding garage doors that open to the street. Featuring 2 for 1 glasses of wine (a deal since most of them are around $10-$12), $3 Italian Peroni and $4 well cocktails makes stopping here a great deal.

There are also some great items on their appetizer menu. The fresh Tuna Tartar with Cucumber “Noodles” covered in a Sesame Vinaigrette, the Kobe Beef with Smoked Gouda Sliders and the succulent Seven Hour Cherry-Braised Pork all have the signature of a great chef. However, my experience has been a little lack luster with regards to the rest of the menu. The presentation is beautiful to look at, but not a lot of flavor to back up your senses. Dinner on a recent Friday night had most of the dining room filled, but I long for the old days when all the plates were daring and creative.

There is live music on Friday and Saturday nights and the main dining room is still an intimate place to have a night out. We continue to drop by hoping that the new chef will find his rhythm and give us a reason to stay for dinner, not just happy hour.

VITA: 1575 Boulder Street, Denver, CO. 303-477-4600
Lunch: Daily 11am- 4pm
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday 4pm- 10pm, Friday-Saturday 4pm- 11pm

Other reviews: Billy's Inn, Gelman's, DuoZ Cuisine, ice cream/gelato shops, Proto's, Root Down, House, LoHi Steakbar, Highland Oyster Bar, Venue, Colt & Gray