In today's age of social media and breathless blog coverage, new restaurants tend to get all the hype, whatever city you're in. But what's far more impressive than opening a hot new restaurant? Maintaining standards of excellence for nearly two decades. That's why Mizuna is one of our go-tos for private dinners in the Denver area.
Mizuna first opened in April of 2001, and ever since, Frank Bonanno, who now owns and operates ten restaurants, has maintained a singular focus -- fresh ingredients and showcasing them as beautifully as possible. Embracing a farm-to-table ethos long before the term became widespread, Mizuna always highlights what's seasonal, with a solid foundation of French technique.
Denver publication Westword has repeatedly named Mizuna one of the best restaurants in the city, one of Denver's "100 Restaurants We Can't Live Without," calling it "a small, charming spot that encapsulates all that the chef has come to stand for... upscale tradition without an over-reliance on the past, enough experimentation to keep diners entertained without becoming perplexed."
What does that mean on the plate? It might be wild Spanish octopus with smoked heirloom tomato and celery-horseradish espuma; or a nettle risotto with pine nut butter, grilled maitake mushrooms and ricotta salata. Even staples like a kale salad could feature blistered gooseberries and aged queso Iberico; elaborate mains include Seared Diver Scallops with white-wine braised veal cheek and fiddlehead ferns; and a Trio of Colorado Lamb -- the rib juniper-smoked, the loin seared -- with chévre-semolina "polenta" and creamed endive.
The inventive fare and, particularly, seasoned and professional staff makes Mizuna an ideal place for a private dinner -- whether a corporate function, a celebratory birthday party, or an intimate rehearsal dinner. Smaller groups can make use of The Wine Library and its fifteen seats, while larger groups of up to 55 can be accommodated in the main dining room. And if you're looking for something to make the event even more memorable? Mizuna can arrange for personalized cookbooks or just collections of miniature cookies as parting gifts.