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Best Of 2001

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Best Of :: Food & Drink

Best Service
Briarwood Inn

When your water glass has been empty for an hour and you're eating steak with a spoon, when your second course arrives a half hour after the first and your check is set down before dessert, remember this: You could be sitting in the elegant Briarwood Inn, sipping champagne and celebrating the kind of ser-vice this town hasn't seen on a consistent basis since servers started getting 401(k) plans. At this 21-year-old bastion of good taste, many of the staffers have been here from the start -- where else would they want to be? -- and the veterans train the new hires. As a result, everyone understands that genuine cheerfulness, efficiency and decorum -- rather than condescension, laziness and eye-rolling -- are essential service elements, and warmth and professionalism permeate the Briarwood experience. Until the economy tanks completely and people start begging for service jobs, diners can take heart in the knowledge that they'll be treated well at the Briarwood.

1630 8th St., Golden, 80401
MAP
303-279-3121
Best Barbecued Ribs

As fans of the unbelievably good ribs at Brothers BBQ on Leetsdale since it opened three years ago, we didn't think the British-born O'Sullivan brothers could get any better. But then they opened a second location in an old convenience store in central Denver -- a spot where they can serve cold beer alongside their hot 'cue -- and Brothers is now a real double threat. The dry-rubbed, slow-smoked, St. Louis-cut ribs are so tasty, so tender, we could eat a rack plain, but we also love the peppery, vinegary Memphis-style sauce and the sweet, smoky Kansas City-style sauce. Dem bones, dem bones.

Best Barbecued Ribs
Brothers BBQ

As fans of the unbelievably good ribs at Brothers BBQ on Leetsdale since it opened three years ago, we didn't think the British-born O'Sullivan brothers could get any better. But then they opened a second location in an old convenience store in central Denver -- a spot where they can serve cold beer alongside their hot 'cue -- and Brothers is now a real double threat. The dry-rubbed, slow-smoked, St. Louis-cut ribs are so tasty, so tender, we could eat a rack plain, but we also love the peppery, vinegary Memphis-style sauce and the sweet, smoky Kansas City-style sauce. Dem bones, dem bones.

6449 Leetsdale Dr., Denver, 80224
MAP
303-322-3289
Best Dinner After 10 p.m.

You'll be dazzled by the late-night look of Dazzle. Even after the funky dining room closes, the intimate, elegant lounge keeps things cooking, serving up down-home favorites with an upscale twist. Stumble in at midnight on a Friday or Saturday night, and you can still snag a dazzling bar burger: a quarter-pounder on focaccia with your choice of Stilton or smoked Gouda, along with exceptional thin-cut French fries. If your night's been a rough one, add some iron via a soothing salad of spinach with candied walnuts and blue cheese. Better to eat late than never at Dazzle. (Fair warning: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the kitchen closes at 10 p.m., and Dazzle is closed entirely on Sundays and Mondays.)

Best Dinner After 10 p.m.
Dazzle

You'll be dazzled by the late-night look of Dazzle. Even after the funky dining room closes, the intimate, elegant lounge keeps things cooking, serving up down-home favorites with an upscale twist. Stumble in at midnight on a Friday or Saturday night, and you can still snag a dazzling bar burger: a quarter-pounder on focaccia with your choice of Stilton or smoked Gouda, along with exceptional thin-cut French fries. If your night's been a rough one, add some iron via a soothing salad of spinach with candied walnuts and blue cheese. Better to eat late than never at Dazzle. (Fair warning: On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, the kitchen closes at 10 p.m., and Dazzle is closed entirely on Sundays and Mondays.)

930 Lincoln St., Denver, 80203
MAP
303-839-5100
Best Kosher Pizza

Pete's Pizza makes a righteous pie -- and that's even more impressive since all of the pizzas that come out of this kitchen are completely kosher, right down to the meat toppings. For anyone who keeps kosher but still craves America's favorite food, Pete's is a real garden of eatin'.

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Best Service: Briarwood Inn

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