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Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

Groningen...
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629 posts
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Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

Dear TA experts,

Every year on the 12th of September hubby and I celebrate the beginning of our relationship during a trip to Alaska back in 1995. As we are usually on vacation at this time of the year, we normally celebrate this anniversary with a romantic dinner for two at some local restaurant. This year we happen to be in Estes Park on the 12th of September and I hope you can help us find a suitable restaurant for this occasion. We are looking for a place with good food served in a nice ambiance. Nothing too fancy though, as our budget is limited and our clothing for the trip will be mostly casual and functional. We are not too picky concerning the food and like to try different and new things. Any suggestions for suitable places are welcome! Thank you!

florida
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1. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

Estes doesn't have anything too fancy, or anything which might have certain dress code restrictions.

I'm not sure if The View is open after Labor Day (might be open thru Oct 1st??), but we've enjoyed it. Also, Orlando's Steak house is pretty good. Dunraven has a nice rustic charm too, IMO. We're not fans of a couple of the other usual suspects like Twin Owls, and The Chalet at Mary's Lake Lodge has merged their menu with their main restaurant (forget name), so it has lost some of that "special" atmosphere.

Congrats and enjoy.

Nederland, Colorado
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2. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

If you don't mind a short drive (15 miles) I can't think of any place more romantic than the Fawnbook Inn. We've been celebrating our anniversary there for more than 20 years. http://www.fawnbrookinn.com/

rky
Estes Park, Colorado
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for Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park
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3. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

I second the Fawnbrook Inn although it is a little pricier than some other choices. It is worth it though!

Also, consider the Inn of Glen Haven (also on the pricier side as far as this area goes), The View Restaurant at the Historic Crags Lodge and Twin Owls Steakhouse. Yes, I am one of those folks that really enjoy Twin Owls.

Whereas Mary's Lake Lodge was once a prime choice, I would move it down a few pegs. It is still good but not in the top few. The new GM there has made a lot of changes including hiring a new chef. From the conversations I have had with the GM, I am far from convinced he has any clue what he’s doing . . . time will tell on that, I guess.

I am not a big fan of Dunraven. Some folks rave about it but I just don’t get it. Sure, it is ok and I go there about once a year or so, but I have been to many Italian restaurants that run circles around Dunraven. Although I have not been to Orlando’s personally since it reopened, I have received some pretty bad feedback from people. It has been consistently bad to the point that I do not have plans to give it a shot. If I hear back otherwise from others on this board perhaps I will reconsider.

Overall, if I was the one making a reservation (and I would DEFINITELY make a reservation as soon as possible at any of these places!), I would choose either Fawnbrook Inn or Inn of Glen Haven first. I would put Twin Owls next on the list with The View very close behind. After that I would consider places like Mary’s Lake Lodge and Dunraven.

Groningen...
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4. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

Thanks to all of you for the great ideas. I already started studying the websites and comparing the menus of the different places you suggested. Actually they all look pretty nice and it will be hard to make a choice, but I'm sure with all your great suggestions we'll be able to find something in the end. Thanks again for all your help! And of course other suggestions are still welcome.

florida
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5. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

We've also become big fans of Villa Tatra in Pinewood Springs. Nice, quiet, family owned place...something a tsad different than many places in Estes.

Littleton, Colorado
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6. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

We too don't understand the allure of the Dunraven, though it's very attaractive from the outside and in a wonderful setting. I actually like the Dunraven Downtown better.

I still am a huge fan of Mary's Lake Lodge. At first it was so-so with the changes but now it's good again. I liked the new version of the salmon burger even better and the new smoked salmon salad was great. They no longer have an option of homemade German potato salad though. I like that you can now sit in the upscale , white tablecloth restaurant--The Chalet--and order off either menu, theirs or the less pricey Tavern restaurant menu. The Chalet has a porch for dining with awesome views

Sue.

Groningen...
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629 posts
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7. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

Thanks to you both for your tips and sorry it took me so long to reply. We just had visitors from Australia for a couple of days and were busy showing them the area.

Colorado
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8. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

We also enjoy Villa Tatra, but haven't been there in a few years.

florida
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458 posts
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9. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

Well, you all have inspired me....my wife and I have made reservations for Glen Haven Inn and Fawnbrook Inn for next week.

Looking forward to it.

Nederland, Colorado
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10. Re: Place for a romantic but casual anniversary dinner?

You (hopefully) will not be disappointed in the Fawnbrook. One of you must try their cold soup... indescribably delicious and one of the highlights of the meal. Enjoy!