Denver >Food & Dining > Solera Restaurant & Wine Bar
5410 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO | Directions 8022039.739897 -104.924273
Tue-Sat 5pm to close and Sunday closes at 9pm
Neighborhoods: South Park Hill, Park Hill, Northeast Denver
We came here for Valentine's Day. They had a set menu or you could choose from the regular menu. The service was friendly, the bread was delicious and the wine selection quite decent. The cioppino was a bit too spicy, but the veggie dish was good as well as the soup. The place is small and cozy, with a nice atmosphere. Complimentary valet is nice.
Restaurant is a FAIL – This restaurant was a complete and total disappointment. I don't know that I've ever had such a bad meal.
For starters, we ordered by-the-glass wine of something we drink often at home. The bottle clearly had to be old. Then we ordered "Thai Style" Calamari... so much fried breading that I wasn't sure there was any Calamari in there.
Next came the caesar salads - they were just awful. The anchovy's had a horrible taste and the skin was still on them. I figured surely the entrees would be good... but alas, not so much.
A fusion of flavors that simply don't work well together.
We had the halibut and the Sauteed Sea Scallops w/ mac and cheese. Just bad. The scallops were not properly cooked - and the Halibut was so bad that we sent it back.
Honestly I don't know how they stay in business. Definitely will not be back. And definitely do NOT recommend this restaurant to anyone.
Waited an Hour for our Food!!!! – My husband and I booked a dinner for two at Solera Restuarant this evening. I had surgery a week ago so it was our first evening out. It was our first time going to Solera and will be our last. Our food took over an hour to come out. The couple next to us arrived at the restaurant 20 minutes after us and got there food 20 minutes before us. I understand that was not the server's fault but the service was less than desirable. My water glass sat empty multiple times, my husband had to ask another server for another jack and coke after waiting for 5 minutes, our bread was not refilled and I had to ask for a knife with my meal. My meal (Sea Scallops with Truffled Mac n Cheese) was good but my husbands came with 3 shrimp. $26 for 3 shrimp is a bit pricey. Not recommended at all.
Do Not Go Here for a Special Event – Last night, my husband and I came into Solera to celebrate by 30th birthday with a special birthday dinner - which was, sadly, anything but special. My husband, who isn't the surprise/reservation type (that's usually my job) - called Solera earlier in the week to see if someone would brainstorm with him as to how to make the night birthday-worthy. The person taking the reservation assured him that Solera had a certain romantic table on the patio that they used for special occasions like birthdays/engagements, etc. and that they would bring out a surprise dessert. When we arrived at Solera last night, the host looked at our reservation, and said "do you still want to sit outside?" - of course we did, because there was a special table waiting for us - right?! We walk outside, and were seated at a table next to a faux bamboo/wicker curtain with the service station behind it and my (very tall) husband's chair nearly fell of the stairs (not exactly romantic). Sure, we could see what we assume was the "special table" just across from us with lovely lighting and secluded by tree trunks, but apparently another couple had claimed that honor. To be honest, there was nothing special about our evening (the chef coming out and greeting all the tables on the patio except ours, was a nice touch).
The thing is, we would have been happy to pay a little extra for something special - we would have been thrilled to have anything that made this more than just a regular dinner - but that wasn't even an option. My husband chose Solera because I go there fairly often with my girlfriends and he thought that Solera may do something a little extra for my birthday - but he ended up apologizing to me for not going to Twelve, Potager, Tables or Fruition where we knew we would be treated well. Once he told me all this (over the entree), I encouraged him to mention something to the manager or host, but at that point, he didn't really know how to ask *again*. After dinner, he suggested that we try the birthday dinner again somewhere else this week.
I think what upsets me the most is that my husband rarely does surprises - and when he does, he really tries to impress me (I'm a bit of a restaurant snob with my girlfriends). However, our dinner at Solera was so disappointing, I'm willing to bet that he'll now think the dinner surprise plan isn't really worth it. I'm hurt, I'm irritated, I'm vocal...and I don't see myself or any of my girlfriends returning to Solera anytime soon. I think it is only fair that a restaurant that prides itself on service and atmosphere should know that staff shouldn't make empty promises to lure someone into the restaurant for a special event when we could have/would have gone somewhere else.
Scrumptious Food – I took my parents here when they were visiting and we did the wine tasting. It was so much fun! We also ordered the calamari and by far it was the best calamari I have ever had. The perfect combination of sweet and spicy.
Everyone enjoyed their meals as well. I had the mac & cheese scallops and savored every bite. It was delicious. The service was quite slow, but we were in no rush, so we didn't mind. To compensate, they gave us free dessert!
We went back for $52.80 and I loved it again. My salad wasn't great, but the rest of my meal was wonderful.
No good – We went for what we thought was 1/2 price wine last night (Thursday). They stopped doing this promotion, so the bill was much higher than anticipated. They do offer a $52.80 menu on Thursdays, but the food options on it were not that exciting. They ran out of one of the two dessert options and served cake which tasted like it came from a box.
Once one of the greats – As a long time fan of this restaurant, it's hard to review them so lowly. What was once a quaint hidden gem has suffered terribly lately. The food still can provide some high points to an evening, most notably the fish dishes. However, the truffle macaroni is runnier lately, the calamari more sweet than spicy, and the deserts more bland than ever. That may be nit-picky, but what is obviously clear is how poor the service has become. 15 minutes passed before we received water, a disinterested host seated us with what could only be called annoyance, and overly amplified music overwhelmed a patio previously remarkable for its quiet romance. A 200 dollar dinner shouldn't make me endure music that most people wouldn't pay a 5 dollar cover to see. It's gimmicky, unnecessary and obviously the sign of a manager out of touch with the elegant vibe of the early Solera. The long time staff members are an exception, and remain attentive and professional, but even they seem to realize their ship is sinking.
Great food, horrible service – Solera's food is some of the best in Denver. The problem is, their service has suffered over the last few years. It took over an hour to receive our dinners, with no apology from the waiter...it might be common. The live music is amplified on their tiny patio. We counted five different tables that complained to have it turned down, and nothing was done. Who wants to pay $30 plus per plate and not be able to have a nice conversation? (And the music...bad, tone-deaf bad.)
Unfulfilled Promise – We chose Solera because of the reviews and buzz but were very disappointed. Other than the calamari the food was pedestrian at best. Paella ($24) Solera-style means mussels and scallops with a little overdone tuna and a half cup of rice and not much else. The broth was tasty. Their Mushroom Cannolis ($20 for 2) were 2" by 1/2" in size. Premade ~ in this case they'd been sitting around for the better part of a week. were dried out and totally devoid of any flavor including the promised Eggplant puree. The Lamb ($30) was okay but again not very fresh. All in all Solera does not deserve more than a two star rating and suspect Solera is a restaurant on the edge of closing trying to cut costs while charging gourmet prices. Too many other terrific restaurants in Denver with better locations and quality food.
Decent food, horrible service – The food was ok, but the service was horrible, the manager was rude. This place refuses to accept the gift cards that they give out. Avoid this place.
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