Ladies and gents, Denver Restaurant Week is upon us.

February 26-March 11

For the two week celebration of Denver’s culinary scene, 295 of the 303’s dining hot spots will be offering a price fixed dinner for two that will only set you back $52.80 (or $26.40 if you’re flying solo).

The chow down, sponsored by Visit Denver, begins February 26th and lasts until March 11th.

Being the foodie that I am, DRW is by far one of my favorite local events (all of which involve food, obviously). It’s a fabulous time to sample restaurants that may otherwise be out of your price range, but it’s also a great opportunity to fill up on your favorites. I wish I could give a run-down of all 295 restaurants, but that is not exactly feasible. What I can do, however, is provide some tips on how to pick from that extensive list.

Eliminate chains. This is DENVER Restaurant Week. If you can find that restaurant in a different place, then you can go there another time. Keep it local!

How hungry are you? While I did mention that this is a good time to sample the pricy places, keep in mind that your dollar will stretch further somewhere that is more middle-of-the-road. If you’ve just gotta try that swanky new steak joint, keep in mind that you might be getting a bit of a smaller portion or have fewer choices.

Visit the local celebs. Frank Bonanno, winner of not one but TWO Food Network Challenges, has four restaurants that made the DRW cut: Luca D’Italia, Osteria Marco, Mizuna, and Bones. Luca and Marco, named after Bonanno’s sons, offer Italian cuisine. Bones diversifies Bonanno’s repertoire with Asian fusion; and Miznua, one of Denver’s five star restaurants, gets top marks for its fine dining experience. Visit Matt Selby at the Vesta Dipping Grill for a unique fondue experience, or you can pop in and see him at Steuben’s, which was just featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Chef Selby has also made appearances on the Food Network’s Unwrapped and Rachael Ray’s Tasty Travels. According to the Queen of 30 Minute Meals, Matt Selby “is going to be a rock star.”

Go early, go often. The downside during this two week stint is that the restaurants will be at capacity. Get in there early, get in there later in the evening, or make a reservation. DRW comes but once a year, but you’ve got fourteen days, people. Put on the stretchy pants and make the most of it!

Visit denverrestaurantweek.com for all participating restaurants and their price fixed menus.

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