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What: Bike to Vinue Food and Wine Bar

Where: 2817 East of 3rd Ave. in Cherry Creek.

Don’t Miss: Their interactive self serve wine bar that features over 68 different wines in three different serving sizes.

With summer in full swing, Denver offers many outdoorsy date options. Biking, hiking and kayaking all become potential ways in which you can spice up your dating life . However, coming from experience, it can also be a great way to embarrass yourself.   On numerous occasions, our biking trips have ended with me screaming “Wait!!!” because my boyfriend forgot to see if I was still behind him. Not exactly a romantic way to spend the day together. But I decided to take the risk and convinced him to go biking before our weekly Denver dinner date. He wasn’t too enthusiastic and I could understand why. He would almost always choose a bike as his mode of transportation. Me? I’d call a cab to my neighbor’s house if that were socially acceptable. So having to deal with my cyclophobia did not sound like a good time to him.

Nevertheless we still decided to give it a go. Luckily all went well. The Cherry Creek Bike Path offers a lot of fun dating prospects with access to shopping, dining and numerous public parks throughout the city. We rented B Cycle bikes across from Vinue at 3rd and Milwaukee. While we went in a loop, one could easily spend the day cruising around the city with their date and drop their bikes off at another B cycle station in downtown Denver or another part of the city.

Vinue Food and Wine Bar was our finish line and about four blocks from the bike path. Vinue prides themselves on being an “interactive wine bar” which was a fun, different concept from the usual date spot. Each table can order a wine card that is preloaded with an amount of your choice. There are different stations around the bar with over 68 wines to choose from. Guests put the card into the station and can choose between a 1.5 oz., 3 oz. and 6 oz. pour. This was a great way to try many types of wine without having to commit.

We started our meal with the Tapas Plate to complement the wine that we were tasting. The tapas plate featured five baked crostinis topped with (stay with me, here): baked blue lump crab, seared beef tenderloin with a glace aioli, roasted wild mushrooms, Spanish chorizo picante frittata, prosciutto di Parma and aged manchego cheese. These small plates were packed with big flavor. This would be a filling appetizer to split.Screen Shot 2013-06-23 at 3.45.09 PM

We decided that our next course would be the Mac and Cheese and ½ BLT. I know what you’re thinking. Seriously, you ordered Mac and Cheese at a wine bar? The answer is yes. And I’d do it again. Applewood smoked bacon, wild arugula and vine ripened tomatoes topped on a multigrain bread with season aioli melted in my mouth as I scarfed it down at an alarming rate. The BLT was complemented by the gooey peppered five cheese macaroni. Even if this was a first date, I think I’d rather go through the embarrassment of going into a food coma in front of someone I barely knew than pass up this entrée.

For dessert, we ordered the New York Style Cheesecake, topped with a chilled raspberry coulis and Vinue’s signature dessert, the Funnel Cake Sticks. These amazing little pieces of heaven were served with a Valrhona dark chocolate sauce, giving them just enough sweetness. If you go to Vinue and don’t order the Funnel Cake Sticks, you’ve completed missed out. Trust me on this one.

Vinue Wine and Food Bar was a perfect choice if you want to venture away from downtown. Vinue offers a great dinner date scene: a laid back atmosphere away from a crowded, loud bar but still offers great drink selections. Paired with our bike ride along Cherry Creek, it made for a great date. Especially once I got over my initial fear of riding amongst the “real” bike riders. I’m not going to lie, there were a couple of “on your left!” close calls. At one point I yelled out “Jeez, speed racers!” to which my boyfriend calmly reminded me that I was in fact going very slow.

Hey, no one said this was going to be easy.

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