By Jonathan Shikes
By Alex Brown
By Cafe Society
By Samantha Alviani
By Lori Midson
By Mark Antonation
By Loren Lorenzo
By Nate Hemmert
What do you think the role of a reviewer should be? Knowing a lot about the restaurant business as a whole. The reviewer should have a lot of experience in tasting many different types of cuisine, and they should also have experience in knowing how service plays a very important role in the restaurant world. It's a difficult job, because as we all know, the culinary world is subjective. I just hope the reviewer has the ability to take all of this into account.
Most interesting development on the restaurant scene this year: What keeps this city interesting year after year is that a lot of us chefs in Colorado are continuing to create a bigger and better dining scene all across our beautiful state.
Keegan Gerhard/Lisa Bailey
D Bar Desserts
Favorite restaurant in town: Fruition. It's simple, fresh food done well, plus Alex Seidel is amazing, not to mention just a great guy.
What do you think the role of a reviewer should be? Be truthful and informative.
Most interesting development on the restaurant scene this year: Denver is quickly becoming a food city worthy of national acclaim. From new restaurants opening with new blood to veteran restaurateurs opening second and third places, it's definitely an exciting time to be cooking in Denver.
Bentley Folsebr>Finley's Pub
Favorite restaurant in town: Mizuna. Frank won't let me down. I hate to be let down. Four words: slow-roasted pork belly.
What do you think the role of a reviewer should be? Has this role been filled? Because if not, let me throw my name in the ring. In the event that it has, then the critic should write an unbiased review without any preconceived notions as to what said place is all about. Honesty is a pretty rare occurrence.
Most interesting Denver restaurant scene development: I would love to be able to answer this question...but the fact that you're asking me about the most interesting restaurant-scene development is ridiculous. I don't get out enough to even dream about answering this question; in fact, I haven't been out to eat in so long that my opinion of the "scene" is as dated as the croissant (think 1980s) or the bagel (think 1990s). But the fact that you asked makes me feel important, so thanks!
Luca d' Italia
Favorite restaurant in town: Sushi Sasa. They always do me right. I think it's really rare to find a group of sushi chefs who are willing to think outside the box, especially when you're talking about such a traditional, rigid cuisine. I can draw the same parallels between sushi and what people think Italian food is "supposed" to be. But Sasa is the only place where I'll happily spend over $100 on dinner.
What do you think the role of a reviewer should be? Provide insightful, well-written reviews of actual restaurants. The fast-food reviews worry me, as they're completely unnecessary, and there are plenty of great independent, chef-driven restaurants that could use a review — bad or good. I'd like to see more re-reviews of current spots, too; a lot has changed within the restaurant culture over the years, and it should be noted.
Most interesting development on the restaurant scene this year: The sheer volume of new restaurants opening up. You have an endless bucket of fodder to review, and there are so many people opening such odd, niche-y joints. I'd love to know who talked Hawt Dog & Sausage Eatery in Cherry Creek and that fucking grilled cheese restaurant in the Streets at SouthGlenn into opening.
Favorite restaurant in town: Tom's Home Cookin' has great food, great value and great owners. Did I mention great food?
What do you think the role of a reviewer should be? Be honest — but not brutal. Most people don't realize what it takes to launch and run a restaurant. An unfair, brutal, personally motivated review could destroy a business.
Most interesting development on the restaurant scene this year: Street food totally came into its own.
Project Angel Heart
Favorite restaurant in town: Just one, eh? Well, the restaurant that's got it all for me right now is Euclid Hall. I get to the Project Angel Heart Kitchen at 6 a.m., and twice a week, I head right over to Metro State to teach in the evenings. Those are long days, so wandering over to Euclid Hall after class on those nights for a boudin noir, along with the perfect brew to cap off those long days, is a true comfort. Plus, sitting at the chef's counter and chatting up the crew is a fun time. I can even learn a little while watching. Can I put in a quick shout-out to Hops and Pie, too? They also have great food and a killer beer list, not to mention a real cool crowd, and it's a five-minute walk from my house. As a bonus, they make vegan mac and cheese for my wife.
What do you think the role of a reviewer should be? Fairness and impartiality, of course, but it would also be cool to highlight some of the things restaurants do above and beyond food and service. I may be biased in saying so, but an occasional mention of an establishment's community supporting activities in reviews might be something nice. We have so much generosity in this town's restaurant scene — and I'd love to see it highlighted more. Also, while a certain amount of snarkiness can be entertaining, with all due respect, there's a fine line between sarcasm and just being an asshole. Be cool, be funny, but don't be a jerk.