I love experiencing things. A big part of loving food so much is the tangible feelings and moments that happen from beginning to end. From the smells, to the touch, to the sounds, to the laughter, to the things that were said, to the people you’re with in that very moment – it’s special.
When I learned about Cloud9 Living they basically put into practice, my exact philosophy above. They call it: experience gifts. They have 1,800 unique experiential gifts for men, women & couples in 43 regions across the US so there really is something for everyone. They run the gamut from being a fighter pilot for a day, to dinner cruises, to private pottery classes.
Recently, Cloud9 invited me to learn more about their experiences (and their 9 days of Christmas giveaway – more on that below).
Naturally, I gravitated toward a food-specific experience. For the Denver area there was a murder mystery dinner show, a painting and wine class, a beer tour, wine 101 class and a food tour. I landed on the food tour as I felt it encompassed many things while I could also spend some time down in Denver. Another bonus? I liked how we were chauffeured around to each restaurant we visited. Each excursion is setup through a local purveyor and Cloud 9 serves as the place where you can access them in one place. This particular tour was facilitated through Culinary Connectors.
Row14 Bistro & Wine Bar | row14denver.com:
Row14 always seems to provide a comfortable environment, with seasonal food and an accessible wine list. Both dishes that evening were a stand-out with the polenta brussel sprouts covered in grana padano evoking umami flavors and the braised beef short rib.
Central Bistro and Bar | centralbistrobar.com:
I was excited to learn we were going to be stopping at Central Bistro as its new to the Highlands neighborhood and I’ve been hearing great things. With a truly exquisite aesthetic (their eye for design is incredible) and focus on local, it’s really my kind of place. Many of the pieces were hand-picked vintage finds from Owner/Managing Partner, Isaiah Salazar. The view overlooks the downtown Denver’s skyline and I can’t wait to go back for a full dinner with friends. This was my favorite stop of the day.
Their food and presentation are both thoughtful and filled with artistry.
Al Lado | richardsandoval.com/allado:
From the infamous restauranteur, Richard Sandoval, our last stop was Al Lado, a Latin wine and tapas bar in Riverfront Park. Only open for about three months, Al Lado which means “next door” (to another Sandoval restaurant: Zengo) is dark, sexy and swanky. The space itself is roomy, unlike many tapas bars I spent time in, in Barcelona. I would prefer to hunker down for drinks as their food didn’t wow me but I did appreciate the concept of tapas with shared dishes like almonds, olives, cured meats and grilled bread that always go nicely with your drinks and finger food. Their bacon-wrapped dates with almonds & Valdeon cheese were however, quite delectable. As our tour was ending, I asked the bartender for a particularly spicy margarita and he whipped up something for us off the menu, so I know their spirits and wine selection can hang.
The tour was informative and much like many food tours you might embark on, you interact with the chef or owners so you can learn an inside view of their vision – something you don’t often get when you dine there alone. I also like the way you bond with your fellow tour-mates, learn their story, and share laughter over the food and drinks.
Cloud 9 always ensures to have partners that are established and well-loved already, so I would recommend checking out their excursions and experiences. Thanks to Cloud 9 for hosting and inviting us on the tour!
Onto the giveaway ->
9 Days of Christmas Giveaway – Cloud 9 Living
Starting on December 16th through the 24th, Cloud 9 Living will pick one daily winner for the below mention prizes. The grand prize winner will be announced on December 24th!
- Day 1 Prize: Flight – Learn to Fly
- Day 2 Prize: Relaxation – Spa Package
- Day 3 Prize: Driving – Drive a Stock Car & Stock Car Ride Along
- Day 4 Prize: Foodie – Food Tour for Two
- Day 5 Prize: Golf – Golf Lesson with a PGA Pro
- Day 6 Prize: Romance – Dinner Cruise for Two
- Day 7 Prize: Adventure – White Water Rafting for Two
- Day 8 Prize: Adrenaline – Tandem Skydiving
- Day 9 Prize (GRAND PRIZE): Experience of a Lifetime – Fighter Pilot for a Day
You can enter the contest here. Contestants must be 18-years old and live in the United States. Only one entry per person.