Food & Drink

  • Best Drink Served in a Ceramic Pineapple

    Twin Dragon

    We all remember our first underage drink, and for a lot of us, it was probably cadged from an understanding (or careless) bartender at a Chinese restaurant. At Twin Dragon -- where we're sure they carefully check every ID -- you can get a fresh taste of those illicit thrills as an adult. The specialty-drink menu features Fog Cutters, Zombies… More >>
  • Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

    Kabul Kabob

    Kabul Kabob, an unassuming little joint tucked away in a strip mall, does everything flawlessly, without ever appearing to try too hard. The kitchen specializes in a cuisine that's east of the Middle East, north of northern India, flavored by the trickle-down influence of all the cultures that surround Afghanistan on the map; the menu reads like a history lesson… More >>
  • Best Gratuitous Use of Joe Pantoliano in an Asian Restaurant

    Mao Asian Bistro and Sushi Bar

    Yes, Mao is the hippest, slickest, South Beach-iest joint to debut on the Denver restaurant scene in a long time. Yes, they spent some godawful huge wad of cash on the trippy, color-changing ceiling and fiber-optic bar top. Yes, there are flat-screen TVs in the can, and, yes, that very well might be your neighbor/landlord/congressman in the corner booth getting… More >>
  • Best Gratuitous Use of a Political Scandal in a French Restaurant

    Le Central

    Remember all that Freedom Toast crap last year? All that screeching on AM radio about how patriotic Americans ought to pitch out their French cheese, pour their French wine into the gutter and abstain from all French kissing until the Frogs stopped thinking for themselves and, like Tony Blair, just blindly agreed with everything our president said? Yeah, that was… More >>
  • Best Low-Carb Menu

    The Palm

    Man does not live by bread alone. In fact, man shouldn't be eating bread at all these days, not if he's on a low-carb diet. Instead, he should do what Denver's fat cats have done for over a decade: stick his big butt down in one of the Palm's cushy booths and dig into a big, no-carb steak. And just… More >>
  • Best Low-Carb Menu -- Low End

    Carl's Jr.

    These days, everyone and his brother and their sister are hopping on the low-carb bus, tossing the rice, the tortilla, the pasta, the pastry, the bread and the bun out the window. But Carl's Jr. gives you a little something to hold what's left of your meal -- and your dignity -- together. Its fast-food burger comes neatly wrapped in… More >>
  • Best Nothing-but-Carbs Menu

    Paradise Bakery

    Baker Michael Bortz is the very devil that Atkins devotees see when they look over their shoulders. As they lie awake at night, dreaming of chewy sourdough and baguettes hot out of the oven, they hear Bortz's voice whispering, "Go ahead. What could one loaf hurt?" At Paradise Bakery, you walk right into the guts of a working kitchen and… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Off Your Diet

    The Cream Puffery

    Don't let the wedding cakes on display fool you: The Cream Puffery isn't just for special occasions. This bakery, bar and cafe has something to satisfy any sweet tooth, whether you're celebrating a marriage, a divorce decree or just the fact that it's Tuesday. Owner and pâtissière Amy DeWitt has forgotten more about baking and pastry and the hard science… More >>
  • Best Vegetarian Menu


    What makes Sunflower a winner? It's not only a vegetarian restaurant. Although chef Jon Pell has been immersed in the nuts-and-sprouts scene for more than a decade and his restaurant is known nationwide as a destination for itinerant veggie-heads, this bright, cozy cafe does its thing with no politics attached. And while Sunflower may be fawned over by every meatless,… More >>
  • Best Use of Soy on a Dinner Menu

    Moongate Asian Grill

    The best way to treat the humble soybean is to leave it pretty much alone, and that's just what Moongate Asian Grill does with its edamame. The pods are steamed, lightly salted, then served hot, sans fuss. You can eat a whole bowl of these addictive little buggers -- nutty in flavor and green as nuclear beer nuts -- and… More >>
  • Best Use of Soy on a Dessert Menu


    Sunflower's kitchen can cook, there's no doubt about that. Almost everything this crew touches turns to pure culinary gold. So who would suspect a pastry to be the dish that truly shines? Sunflower does a dessert -- a fresh berry shortcake swimming in sweetened tofu cream, of all things -- that's so good it takes our breath away. The berries… More >>
  • Best Starter -- Hot

    Kabul Kabob

    On the outside, fresh, hot flatbread, crisp and golden and rich with clarified butter. On the inside, sweet caramelized onions and mashed potatoes, smooth and gently flavored like a warm breeze over the spice market. Sitting at a table at Kabul Kabob with a plain, white plate of bulanee kachalu before you, you can't help but think that this is… More >>
  • Best Starter -- Cold

    Brasserie Rouge - CLOSED

    Chef John Broening loves charcuterie. He left his last executive-chef gig because that menu was too dainty, too precious. And now he's at Brasserie Rouge, LoDo's hot new French bistro, where he turns out big, lusty flavors night after night. The biggest can be found on the assiettes de charcuterie platter, the town's best way to start off a… More >>
  • Best Finisher -- Warm


    You've just eaten one of the great meals of your life at Vega. You've been charmed by the beautiful surroundings, coddled by the staff, well fed from the kitchen's upscale but approachable nuevo-Latino menu, and left with a tiny plate of amuse geules -- sweet bites like handmade chocolate-truffle and fruit gelées brought out gratis. But you've still got a… More >>
  • Best Finisher -- Chilled

    Mel's Restaurant and Bar

    There's only one way to improve on dessert, and that's to find a way to sneak some alcohol into it. Sure, this tactic has left us with a world full of rum balls, rum cakes and rum tarts, but don't blame Mel's. Here, pâtissière Robert McCarthy has come up with the coolest, most boozerific dessert we've found: the Cosmopolitan. Served… More >>
  • Best Dive

    Tom's Diner

    Denver has an abundance of dives -- some murky, some dark, some that smell funny, some that are just plain dangerous. There are joints, holes-in-the-wall and hellholes of every description in this town, but Tom's takes the prize, because depending on what day of the week and what hour of the day you arrive, Tom's can be any (or all)… More >>
  • Best Diner

    Breakfast King

    People-watching is an important part of the diner experience. Second to coffee-drinking, it might be the most important part. And if people-watching were a sport, Breakfast King is where future Olympic hopefuls would come to train. The King attracts all sorts, from old farts to young fellas, from truckers to slummers to parents dragging their squalling toddlers behind. Everyone is… More >>
  • Best Dinner After 10 p.m.

    Brasserie Rouge - CLOSED

    Americans now live in a 24-hour world. There's no more 9-to-5, no more forty-hour weeks, and the dinner hour has become a fluid concept as people try to balance B-shifts and night shifts and all the responsibilities of days over-full of everything. But some good has come out of all this hurry and stress: Restaurant hours keep extending later and… More >>
  • Best Breakfast at 2 a.m.

    Pete's Kitchen

    If you sometimes find yourself wandering the city's grayer quarters at odd hours, looking for a place to come down, sober up or just think those kinds of thoughts that come best in the middle of the night, then head straight for Pete's Kitchen. This year, everyone's favorite breakfast spot made the jump from being a weekend-only all-night destination to… More >>
  • Best Dinner After 2 a.m.

    Zona's Tamales - CLOSED

    The crowd outside Zona's is a telltale sign that last call has been called. Shortly after 2 a.m., patrons line up -- rain, sleet or snow -- for a taste of the down-home cookin' that's served hot and fresh until 3 a.m. And what Zona's lacks in amenities -- there's no seating, for example, unless you park yourself on the… More >>
  • Best Cheap Breakfast

    Johnny's Diner - CLOSED

    Ahh, Johnny's... No one does breakfast quite like this half-boxcar, half-cafeteria diner right in the middle of Aurora's burgeoning Korea-town sector. The coffee is hot and strong, the food greasy as hell, the service non-existent because of the order-wait-and-pick-up style of delivering meals to the crowds that come through here on the weekends, but the kitchen is fast, and things… More >>
  • Best Power Breakfast

    Dixons - CLOSED

    For starting your day in a powerful way, Dixons is the winner and still the chomp. There are plenty of reasons this restaurant deserves its loyal, early-morning following: an interesting menu that ranges from healthy cereal and fruit offerings to hearty skillets and eggs Benedict; cheery, accommodating servers who keep the coffee coming; a spacious dining room with tables where… More >>
  • Best Breakfast for the Discriminating Lumberjack

    Java Moon

    Paul Bunyan never had it as good as the grub dished up on the chow line at Java Moon. Jim Ilg's little coffeehouse and cafe tucked among the pawnshops of Broadway serves an order of biscuits and gravy hearty enough to fill you from toes to cowlick. Add to this big, smothered breakfast burritos, fruit smoothies (we all know Paul… More >>
  • Best Free Hangover Brunch

    Williams Tavern

    Besides serving some of the best Bloody Marys in town -- rich, spicy and spiked with globs of horseradish and cucumber spears -- Williams Tavern offers a free, all-you-can-eat brunch for the hungover hordes every Sunday. But don't look for quiche or candy-ass eggs Benedict here. Instead, bartender Gina Ko dishes up a simple, tasty buffet of stomach-anchoring dishes like… More >>
  • Best Bloody Mary Bar


    If you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself. And some mornings, nothing is more right than the build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Piscos. For $3.50 every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can doctor your vodka -- and your hangover -- with everything from the standard Tabasco, Worcestershire and horseradish to enough… More >>
  • Best Sunday Food Bargain

    McCormick's Fish House & Bar

    The happy-hour menu at McCormick's, the bar that fronts the seafood restaurant in the Oxford Hotel, is a perennial favorite. From 3 to 6 p.m. every day of the week and from 9 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, McCormick's bar menu features over a dozen $2 dishes, an unbelievably diverse spread… More >>
  • Best French Toast in a French Restaurant

    Bistro Vendome

    Nothing gets a morning started like a lovely pain perdu, the French version of French toast. At Bistro Vendome -- a comfy, bright spot tucked down an alley behind Larimer Square -- the brunch-menu fave is made from a single piece of soft, center-cut bread, perfectly browned, then sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. The strong citrus honey this pain is served… More >>
  • Best French Toast -- Freedom Toast Division


    There's a fine distinction between the classic egg-batter-and-French-bread breakfast most people think of as French toast, and the slices of pure American ingenuity dished up at Dozens. The Aurora eatery (which also does some lunches, but only until 3 p.m.) has a way with eggs, with hash, with everything a man could need to get up and going in the… More >>
  • Best Cheap Lunch

    Diamond Cabaret & Steakhouse

    Talk about bang for your buck! These days, five dollars won't go far in most places. But most places aren't the Diamond Cabaret, where lusty lunchers can dive into a lavish, all-you-can-eat buffet for only $4.95. And the scenery is free! While lovely ladies prowl the stage -- albeit a tad less enthusiastically than during the evening hours -- diners… More >>
  • Best Power Lunch

    The Capital Grille

    More deals per square inch are made in this place than anywhere else in the city. One reason, of course, is that the Capital Grille is so crowded. Amid the dark wood, red leather, polished mirrors and trophy heads, business is taken care of, futures are made and broken, and -- through it all -- a fantastic lunch is served.… More >>
  • Best Power Dinner

    Morton's of Chicago

    When you want to meat and greet, you go to the Palm. When you want to get down to serious business, you go to Morton's of Chicago. From the moment you step through the barely marked door on Wynkoop Street into this intimate, almost cave-like steakhouse, you feel as though you're in the most important, secret club in the world… More >>
  • Best Dinner Under $5

    Griff's Burger Bar

    Back in the day, Griff's could have given McDonald's a run for its money. But today is not that day. Now, as you pull off Broadway into a parking lot dwarfed by the I-25 interchange, you see the remains of a chain that coulda been a contender -- one of the last surviving locations of an empire that once covered… More >>
  • Best Dinner Destination for Impressing a Client

    Adega Restaurant + Wine Bar

    "Johnson? Consolidated Widget is looking for someone to promote their new line of shower-curtain rings. Their man will be in town tomorrow, and I don't need to tell you how much we need that contract. Play hardball, boy! Send them a muffin basket!" Or better yet, get on the phone and call for reservations at Adega. Chef Bryan Moscatello has… More >>
  • Best Dinner Destination for Impressing the Folks

    Mel's Restaurant and Bar

    What impresses your folks? Big steaks? A good bar? A crowd that arrives for dinner dressed in something better than work boots and an Avs jersey? No matter what you think will make Mom and Pop sit up and take notice, odds are you'll find it at Mel's. From the swank Cherry Creek address to the beautiful space, from the… More >>
  • Best Dinner Destination When You've Got No One to Impress

    Brewery Bar II

    Thirty years after it made its debut on Kalamath Street, Brewery Bar II is now about as close as you can get to honest, unmanufactured perfection in a divey, old-guard neighborhood bar. It's small, cramped and homey, smells alternately wonderful or horrific, depending on how close you end up to the men's room, and the walls are covered with the… More >>
  • Best Dinner Destination for Impressing a Date

    Vesta Dipping Grill

    Short of roofies, booze, candles and dim lights are still the best way to kindle the fires of passion. At Vesta Dipping Grill, fire and passion are the primary elements on display. And booze, of course. With its virtually endless combinations of appetizers, entrees and thirty-odd dipping sauces, Vesta's menu is structured for sharing. And the gorgeous space -- all… More >>
  • Best Family Restaurant

    Dragonfly Cafe and Coffee Bar

    With the Dragonfly Cafe, Greg and Christie Metheny hit on an idea whose time had truly come: a restaurant that wasn't just kid-friendly, didn't just make a few half-assed attempts at catering to children, but was actually built as a place for the little rugrats to congregate. But they kept the parents in mind, too: The Dragonfly's coffee shop/lunch bar… More >>
  • Best Chain Restaurant for Families

    Big Bowl Asian Kitchen

    Big Bowl is one of those places we like to think of as dressed-up fast-food chains: They're more expensive and time-intensive than McDonald's, or even Noodles & Company, but then again, the portions are bigger and the extras more extravagant. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially when you're trying to please everyone -- your chic sister-in-law, customer-service-intensive grandmother,… More >>
  • Best Coffeehouse for Mommies

    Flamingo and Two Chicks

    Flamingo, a converted Congress Park salon, once was devoted exclusively to ladies' locks. These days, it helps look after their tots. This coffeehouse caters to adults by providing the usual coffee drinks, pastries and occasional live entertainment, but it also offers a play area for toddlers and after-school snacks suitable for older kids. People reluctant to give up those long,… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Dogs

    Blue Hills Dog and Cat Shoppe

    True, true, dogs these days are already too fat. But since you've already committed to pampering your pets, you might as well try to make the snacks they're vacuuming up healthier and tastier. Blue Hills not only creates new doggie takeout dishes every day, but on Saturdays it hosts an all-you-can-eat buffet for pooches, where the dishes range from buffalo… More >>
  • Best Wine List

    Adega Restaurant + Wine Bar

    It's unlikely that any restaurant will ever top Adega when it comes to the size, depth and complexity of its wine list. That is, it's unlikely until someone else builds a restaurant around a wine room the way Adega did, until some other enterprising gang of booze-hounds assembles a store of 800 labels and thousands of bottles the way Adega's… More >>
  • Best Short Wine List

    Clair de Lune

    What is it they say? That good things come in small packages? We wonder how sick chef/owner Sean Kelly must be of hearing that. Still, it was never so true as it is at Kelly's Clair de Lune, where everything -- from the menu to the dining room to the kitchen to the wine list -- is small, controlled and… More >>
  • Best Mid-Range Wine List

    Mel's Restaurant and Bar

    In Denver, Mel and Jane Master are known for a lot of things. Their flagship restaurant, Mel's, is one of the most consistently excellent eateries in town, with a staff of top-notch professionals and a menu that's high-end and comforting at the same time. Outside of Denver, though, they're probably best known for the name they've made for themselves in… More >>
  • Best Wine List -- Inexpensive but Never Cheap

    Brix - CLOSED

    It's no surprise that Charlie Master, son of Mel and Jane, would come up with a good wine list at his first restaurant, whose very name is a word used for measuring the sugar content in wine. At Brix, Charlie set out to create a list of appealing, very drinkable bottles, none of which would come in above thirty dollars.… More >>
  • Best Wine List -- Just Plain Cheap


    There was a time not so long ago in American culinary history when wine was ordered simply by asking for the house red or white. Bastien's is a product of that period. And while settling down for a night in this time-warped Colfax fixture may not inspire your thirst for a delicate Côtes du Rhône or hundred-dollar bottle of bubbly,… More >>
  • Best Margarita


    Like its agave-derivative namesake, Mezcal -- the upscale Mexican cantina that opened on a gentrifying-by-the-second block of East Colfax last December -- is getting slammed on a nightly basis. And rightly so. From its glowing Moroccan lamps and sunny walls painted with Sol Cerveza advertisements to such kitschy decorations as a chrome low-rider bike suspended from the ceiling and a… More >>
  • Best Specialty Margarita


    Good margaritas are a dime a dozen in this town. But Cielo raises the tequila bar with its Hot & Cold margarita, a hot twist on the cool classic. Made with triple citrus and chile-infused Chinaco Silver, a splash of dry vermouth and olive and serrano-chile juices, this marg bursts with exotic flavors and leaves a warm, spicy afterglow on… More >>
  • Best Strong Drink

    Mario's Double Daughters Salotto

    What do you get when you combine seventeen liquors with a smidgen of water? At Mario's Double Daughters, it's called Succo Vaffanculodi Mario, which translates roughly into English as "Mario's go-fuck-yourself juice." While the super-strong recipe is a well-guarded secret, the bright-red concoction is on display front and center in this whimsical LoDo bar, mocking weak stomachs as it gurgles… More >>
  • Best Beer List

    Falling Rock Taphouse

    Falling Rock's long list of "best taphouse in the nation" honors includes a fresh nod from Celebrator Beer News, and the house lives up to the acclaim. Over seventy taps of the world's best beers -- as well as a hefty collection of classic and obscure bottled beers and knowledgeable staffers serving them in a great relaxed atmosphere -- make… More >>
  • Best Cask-Conditioned Beer

    Bull & Bush

    The Bull & Bush's award-winning India Pale Ale gets even better when it's served off the beer engine at the B&B. The cask-style Man is a hazy, golden nectar for hop-heads, loaded with verdant, thrilling hops flavors and a complement of pale malt tastes and alcohol. Yeah, Man.… More >>
  • Best Brewpub Beer List

    Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery

    Take a seat in the front room of the Mountain Sun and enjoy the wondrous array of world-class beers served here. Peek into the brewery at the back of the pub, and wonder how such a tiny operation can craft so much liquid treasure. Brewmaster David Chichura's lineup is astounding, from the Sun's hoppy gems to its finely crafted ales,… More >>
  • Best Microbrew


    Most people know Fort Collins-based New Belgium Brewing for its huge-selling Fat Tire, but serious beer nuts love its more ambitious beers. And Trippel is the best of New Belgium's bolder bunch. This honey-hued, bottle-conditioned wonder is brewed with a Belgian yeast, by a Belgian brewer (the revered Peter Bouckaert), and blessed with Saaz hops. Better and more elegant than… More >>
  • Best Bartender

    Sharon Guisinger, High Street Speakeasy

    Sharon Guisinger is the only O.B. (original bartender) left at the High Street Speakeasy, which opened just a year ago, but in our book, she's the best anywhere in town. It's telling that Guisinger -- a registered nurse by day -- is studying to become an emergency-room nurse or Flight for Life EMT, because she's cool under pressure and able… More >>
  • Best French Fries

    Max Burgerworks

    Much has been done to the poor french fry in the name of progress, and most of it has been bad. But Max Burgerworks has finally managed to come up with an innovation that's a real improvement. The fries, hand-cut and nicely handled by the kitchen's fryer crews, are big, crisp, lightly salted and served in generous portions. They're fine… More >>
  • Best Pommes Frites

    Le Central

    No. For the last time, the French did not invent the french fry. That was the Belgians. But as with so many things, the French took them, made them better and claimed all the credit. This means two things. One, it must suck to be Belgian, having your one great idea stolen like that. And two, when you're looking for… More >>
  • Best Fries -- Boardwalk Style

    Santoro's Brick Oven Pizzeria

    In terms of food, there are many ways to classify people. Are you a thin-crust-pizza person, or do you prefer thick? Hot meatloaf for dinner or cold meatloaf sandwiches for lunch? With french fries, the choice is between thin-cut or thick. And if you're a thick-cut, skins-on, boardwalk-style french- fry sort, then Santoro's Brick Oven Pizzeria is for you. The… More >>
  • Best Hot Dog

    Sam's #3

    A hot dog without chili is a pathetic pup indeed. So we went straight to the source: Sam's #3. There's an art to the chili dog that's been lost in most places west of Chicago, but in the kitchen at Sam's #3 on Havana, it's been kept alive, because it's still practiced every day. First you need a good bun.… More >>
  • Best Dog Topper

    Mady's Olde Tyme Beer Mustard

    Short of chili, the next best thing for putting a cap on that dog is Mady's Olde Tyme Beer Mustard. This thick, spicy beer mustard is the pride and joy of Mady's Specialty Foods, a Highlands Ranch outfit that also does champagne and honey mustards, bread mix and peanut brittle. Made locally, out of nothing but quality ingredients and Killian's… More >>
  • Best Hot Sauce

    Boulder Hot Sauce Company

    Smokey Serrano, a homegrown wonder bottled by the Boulder Hot Sauce Company, accomplishes the almost impossible: It matches a hit of heat with a blast of flavor. Made from smoked poblano peppers and fresh serranos, this gourmet condiment sports glorious amounts of woody smokiness, followed by a pleasing, not-too-heavy number of BTUs… More >>
  • Best BBQ

    M&D's Cafe - CLOSED

    One million dollars. That's what it cost to bring the new and improved M&D's Cafe back to the Denver dining scene. One million dollars, and what do we get for all that money? The best BBQ joint in town. But Mack and Daisy Shead's new spot is no hole-in-the-wall joint; it's a clean, well-lighted space with a large waiting area,… More >>
  • Best BBQ Ribs


    American BBQ is good, but Mexican can be better -- and the high-tone norteño costillas at Cielo are proof. These pork ribs are smoky, slow-roasted, meaty masterpieces of balance and simplicity, crusted with crushed black pepper, rubbed with chiles and piloncillo, then slathered in a thick, sweet-hot adobo-chile barbecue sauce that plays perfectly against the pork's mildness and the simple… More >>
  • Best BBQ Ribs -- Traditional

    Blest Bar-B-Que of the Rockies

    Blest's ribs are truly blessed. To make these down-home spears, owner Gene Washington slowly smokes his pork ribs over hickory until they're infused with rich flavor and achieve slip-off-the-bone tenderness. The house sauce is a dreamy, Southern-style version with unholy amounts of vinegar tang and a dose of balancing sweetness, perfect for the ribs. The sides are heavenly, and the… More >>
  • Best BBQ Small Ends

    M&D's Cafe - CLOSED

    Juicier, fattier and more tender than racked ribs, the taste not quite as intense but better wedded to the flavors of smoke and sauce, small ends are the filet mignon of the rib kingdom. And M&D's small ends rule. After the meat and smoke, of course, the most important key to 'cue is the sauce. And you can forget the… More >>
  • Best Bottled BBQ Sauce

    Brothers BBQ

    The house barbecue sauce from brothers Nick and Chris Sullivan is something of a sibling rivalry in a bottle. The city's best meat paint pairs the charm of old-school Kansas City sauce with hints of Memphis tang and Texas sweetness. The result is a sauce that hits home with brothers and sisters from all parts and goes great on barbecued… More >>
  • Best BBQ Relief for Diabetics

    Old West Bar B Que

    If you must avoid sugar, barbecue sauce is typically a no-no -- especially here in the West, where we like our sauces sweeter. Old West BBQ to the rescue. Its line of exceptional sauces includes a flavor-rich, sugar-free version that provides sweet relief for diabetic 'cue fans. Splenda is just one of the secrets to this splendid sauce.… More >>
  • Best BBQ Chicken


    Over the years, the almost claustrophobically cluttered India's has gained a very loyal following with its Mughlai Indian cuisine, a gentler and beautifully complex culinary counterpart to the wholesome simplicity of Haryanvi and the richness of Bengali seafood. Whether you're after an adventure, an education, just lunch or a little of all three, the best way to begin is with… More >>
  • Best Burger

    Cherry Creek Grill

    Something about the Cherry Creek Grill just feels right. From the outside, from the inside, from the heavy front doors to the exhibition line in the back, everything about this restaurant oozes comfort. The restaurant fits so well into its corner in Cherry Creek, it's hard to believe that it's part of a chain -- and that's even harder to… More >>
  • Best Burger -- Waxed-Paper Division


    From the outside, Burgers-n-Sports could easily be mistaken for just another strip-mall burger joint. From the inside, it looks more like the dugout of a very well-off parks-and-rec ballfield after a tragic collision with a fast-moving gift shop. But out of this mess of green chain-link, cement, commemorative photos and baseball hats comes a burger worth bragging about. Burgers-n-Sports uses… More >>
  • Best Bar Burger With All the Trimmings


    It's Friday night on Old South Pearl, and you forgot to make dinner reservations. Have no fear: There's always room for you at Hanson's. This idealized, college-town neighborhood bar comes complete with a great crowd, plenty of history (it used to be the legendary Oak Alley Inn) and the best bar burger in town. Ten ounces of grilled ground chuck,… More >>
  • Best Burger With No Trimmings Whatsoever

    Caro's Corner

    Caro's Corner can be tough to find if you don't know what you're looking for, and even once you do find it, you won't see the niceties that some people find necessary for their dining enjoyment. Little things like tables, a menu, waitresses, regular hours, a phone. But if you can get past all that, you'll realize you're in a… More >>
  • Best Fried Chicken

    Pierre's Supper Club

    When you want fried chicken done right, you have to go to the source. You have to fall back on tradition -- when it was done best, first and with the most love. Yup, we're talking soul food, and in Denver, soul food really means just one place: Pierre's Supper Club. Although this longtime institution recently changed hands, new owner… More >>
  • Best Jerk Chicken

    Caribbean Cuisine Plus

    Caribbean Cuisine Plus, a relatively new storefront restaurant tucked back among the butchers and barbers and motor-vehicle offices in Aurora's suburban sprawl, does a lot of things remarkably well. Its friendly staff handles the large crowds with zero stress, takes orders smoothly, and turns out excellent cornbread, curried goat and Jamaican meat pies. And it does them all from a… More >>
  • Best Chicken-Fried Steak

    Breakfast King

    Breakfast King is where we go when we need to commune with the food gods of our forefathers. We come here to be reminded of a simpler time when there was fine dining only on special days and diners for all the others. We come for the chicken-fried steak. At the King, the steak is crisp and wrinkly on the… More >>
  • Best Unexpected Chicken-Fried Steak


    The chicken-fried steak at Lola comes as a double surprise. First, who'd even imagine that this upscale coastal-Mexican restaurant would be open for Sunday brunch? Given how packed the place is on weekend nights, you'd think that the staff would want to sleep in -- while their customers sleep it off. Instead, Lola opens its doors at 10 a.m. on… More >>
  • Best Fried Rice

    Little Shanghai Cafe

    Food fads come and food fads go, but our love for Little Shanghai remains eternal. This Chinese restaurant has been a Denver institution for close to thirty years, drawing big stars -- the Rolling Stones are reputed fans -- and small-fry alike. Everyone has their favorite dishes at Little Shanghai, but we're partial to its take on fried rice. Its… More >>
  • Best Unexpected Fried Rice


    The brand-spanking-new Zengo is so big, so opulent, that we've just started to take it all in -- from the retro-hip decor to the exotic cocktails to the extra-squishy bar stools from which you can appreciate those cocktails. The menu is expansive, so yin-and-yangy that it demands study. Meditation, even. So we've started small, dropping by for a quick meal… More >>
  • Best Use of Things Never Meant to Go in a Fryer

    Wingin' It

    Last year's winner of the Best Fried Twinkie award makes it into the record books again for continuing to milk a fad that never really made it big. Even so, Derrol Moorhead, owner of Wingin' It, just couldn't stop with Twinkies, so this year he's added to his offerings battered and fried candy bars -- everything from Snickers to Milky… More >>
  • Best Use of French Fry Grease

    Mercury Cafe

    Marilyn Megenity can't stand cars. Most days, she walks to the Mercury Cafe, the restaurant/cafe/community hub she's owned for more than two decades in an assortment of locations, most recently in this comfy two-story building on the edge of downtown. But even this dedicated piéd-ophile has to hit the road now and then. And when Megenity gets motoring, she drives… More >>
  • Best Fried Organ Parts


    Radek Cerny -- chef, owner and sole motivating force behind the unbelievable L'Atelier -- never does anything small, never does anything simply. His restaurant is a riot of strangeness and color, and his giant plates would be a joke if it weren't for the fantastic stuff that comes on them. Of particular note are his sweetbreads, which arrive in a… More >>
  • Best Fried Intestine

    Mee Yee Lin

    Other people eat this. Just keep telling yourself that other people eat this every day and enjoy it a lot. They must, because otherwise why would fried intestine be on Mee Yee Lin's 75-item-strong dim sum menu? So be brave. Be resolute in your desire to sample the true cuisines of other lands. Now taste. See? It's not as bad… More >>
  • Best Dim Sum

    Mee Yee Lin

    At more raucous dim sum restaurants, you order your meal by shouting and pointing at a favored plate on a passing cart. At Mee Yee Lin -- a bright and busy little dim sum restaurant in the same neighborhood as its more cavernous competitors -- the service works sushi-bar style, with every table getting a paper menu and pencil so… More >>
  • Best Fried Dumplings

    Little Ollie's

    That benchmark of Asian food, that great equalizer of world cuisine, that humblest, most savory of bites. Ladies and gentlemen, we give youŠthe dumpling. In a town chock-full of restaurants churning out thousands of dumplings of every conceivable nationality seven days a week, Little Ollie's is the place that does them best. Plump little pillows, pan-fried, stuffed with a smooth… More >>
  • Best Pizza -- Thin Crust


    Really, Parisi makes the best pizza, period. End of contest. It just happens to be on a thin crust. The cooks laboring before the blast-furnace heat of Parisi's stone ovens could put their pizzas together on cardboard, spread sauce and melt cheese over Wonder bread, assemble the ingredients for a Margherita, Rustica or caper-and-anchovy Napoli on top of old Pinto… More >>
  • Best Pizza -- Thick Crust

    Vita Bella Pizza and Pasta

    Some things never change, and the thick-crust, Sicilian-style deep-dish pizza served up by the Sarlo clan is one of those things. The pizza has been made the same way through three generations of this family, most recently by Anthony Sarlo and his crew at Vita Bella, the Italian eatery they opened in suburbia two years ago. This pie is assembled… More >>
  • Best Pizza -- New York Style

    New York Pizzeria

    Step through the doors of New York Pizzeria and you're stepping into a true New York pizzeria. The smell of hot ovens, sweating dough, sweet tomatoes and charred baking flour is as unmistakable as it is universal, and while the decor isn't much to speak of -- call it Brooklyn street-corner chic, with a black-and-white linoleum floor, a dozen scattered… More >>
  • Best Pizza -- White

    Anthony's Pizza & Pasta

    Making a great white pizza is a delicate business, because one of the three primary ingredients of your standard pizza -- the sauce -- is no longer in play. Without that red to wed the texture of the crust to the flavors of the toppings, things can very easily get out of whack. Some pizzerias' whites are too dry, others… More >>
  • Best Red Sauce

    Anthony's Pizza & Pasta

    Ironic, isn't it? Not only does Anthony's put out the best white pizza in town, but it also has the best red sauce in a field crowded with contenders. A mild, slightly sweet sauce, neither too thick nor too watery and with good depth of flavor, Anthony's red is put to use not just on its pies, but also on… More >>
  • Best Italian Sausage Sandwich

    Vincenza's Italian Bakery & Deli

    The panini at Vincenza's, a revitalized bakery in the old home of the Wheat Ridge Dairy, start with great fresh breads. Case in point: the sausage sandwich, a chewy baguette stuffed with peppers, onions, provolone and a hungry-guy-sized portion of well-seasoned sausage. If Ralphie hadn't been decapitated during the fourth season of The Sopranos, he'd lose his head over this… More >>
  • Best Cheesesteak

    Taste of Philly

    The founder of Taste of Philly, a six-seater joint, came from Yeadon, Pennsylvania, and its new owners are from South Jersey -- but that's okay, because Jersey is a lot closer to Philly than, say, Littleton or Lyons. The space is decorated in East Coast-refugee style, with a bunch of Philadelphia paraphernalia tacked up on the limited wall space, including… More >>
  • Best Grilled Cheese Sandwich


    Forget your jumped-up truffled mashers, your milk-and-cookie menus, your comfort food in all its gummy incarnations. That fad is played out, and good riddance. What's replaced it is a focus on those uncomplicated culinary pleasures that -- when done well and treated with respect, rather than tongue-in-cheek smart-assitude -- can bring more actual comfort than a hundred gallons of gussied-up… More >>
  • Best Mac-n-Cheese

    Le Chantecler

    "It's the best macaroni and cheese you'll ever have," our server told us, and in his eye was the gleam of the fanatic. Eat out enough, and you'll hear that kind of thing a thousand times -- that blank is the best blank you'll ever have -- and it always comes from servers who are adamant in their convictions and… More >>
  • Best Homemade Cheese


    There's so much to love about Parisi, beginning with the restaurant and ending with the deli, which is what dedicated foodies hope heaven will look like when they die -- from the frozen Muscovy ducks to all the homemade stocks for the home cook. But the best thing at the deli, and one of the reasons the food in the… More >>
  • Best Burrito


    It's such a simple thing, the burrito. Take some rice and beans, some meat, a little salsa, spread it on a soft tortilla, fold and go. It's the ultimate convenience food, was in the vanguard of the Mexican-cuisine invasion that changed the way our entire country eats, and still stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the dumpling, the cheeseburger, foie gras and cassoulet… More >>
  • Best Breakfast Burrito

    Pete's Kitchen

    A truly great breakfast burrito must be three things: It must be big, it must be messy, and it must be capable of curing anything from a simple hangover to Patagonian skull fever in just one serving. At Pete's, the kitchen makes a breakfast burrito that accomplishes all three admirably. First, this burrito is huge -- a big tortilla, liberally… More >>
  • Best Fish Burrito

    Jalapeño Mexican Grill

    There are three things we love about the little, often-overlooked Jalapeño Mexican Grill that squats on Leetsdale amid all the paint stores and mechanics. We love the patio, which is the ugliest patio in the city, with the worst view in the state. We love the fish tacos, which are basic, pedestrian and the closest thing to the real Juarez… More >>
  • Best Tamale

    La Popular

    Down in Texas, right on the border between El Paso and Juarez, there's a stand -- really nothing more than a shack --that sells the best tamales in the known universe. They're made by the hundreds every day, wrapped, then left in bowls inside this tin-roof tamale stand where they have all day to get good and funky. If they… More >>
  • Best Taco


    Things do not move fast at Jack-n-Grill. Actually, everything moves fast, but nothing happens quickly. Even with the expansion completed this winter, the wait for a table and the wait for your food can be extreme during peak hours. But should you find yourself in this situation, take a lesson from the regulars who sit with Zen-like indifference to the… More >>
  • Best Menudo

    El Taco de México

    Long touted as mankind's only guaranteed cure for the common hangover, menudo is a hearty, spicy, slow-cooked stew made from hominy, chiles and tripe, feet, knuckles or any other unattractive cut requiring several hours of cooking to bring out its more subtle charms. On weekends at El Taco de México, these lowly ingredients are brought together into something far greater… More >>
  • Best Chips and Salsa

    Sherpa's Adventurers Restaurant and Bar

    It's papadum, not tortillas, and the salsa isn't a cruda or a fresca, but a spicy-sweet tomato chutney. And it's served in a Tibetan/Nepalese restaurant, not a storefront dive on Federal. Still, the chips and salsa at Sherpa's Adventurers Restaurant are deserving of not only this prize, but many others. For starters, they're free; there's been a disturbing trend lately… More >>
  • Best Green Chile


    Jack Martinez is the green-chile king, and until someone comes along who knows his pods better and loves them more, Martinez's Jack-n-Grill will wear the green-chile crown. At Jack-n-Grill, the Martinez family treats beautiful Socorro green chiles with the sort of reverence the Italians have for tomatoes or the French for cheese. They're brought in by the truckload from deep… More >>
  • Best Green Chile -- Colorado Style

    Brewery Bar II

    At Brewery Bar II, there's no element of Mexican cuisine that cannot be improved by the addition of melted cheese. No ingredient that can't be wrapped in a tortilla or deep-fried, no weakness in flavor or texture that can't be bullied up with a liberal dose of the house's custom chile -- a red-and-green blend that's heavy on the pork,… More >>
  • Best Red Chile

    La Fiesta

    There are those who go for the cheap thrills -- the quick, delicious burn that green chile makes when it reaches the sinuses. But red has its pleasures, too, and there's no red chile more pleasant than the version that La Fiesta's been dishing out for close to thirty years. This red chile has a fire all its own, a… More >>
  • Best Chile Sauce


    In the classical canon, there are five mother sauces -- delicate and complex base mixtures from which all other sauces are born. But since this list of mothers was compiled ages ago by the French culinarians, it was weighted heavily in the direction of old Continental classics, and nowhere among the five is there a sauce that, through any miracle… More >>
  • Best Steak Ranchero

    Rosa Linda's Mexican Cafe

    Over the years we've eaten our way around Rosa Linda's menu, devouring everything from the soft chiles rellenos to the classic shredded beef burrito. But for a Mexican meal that really sticks to your costillas, try the steak ranchero -- tender diced beef mixed with chiles and onions in a killer red chile sauce.… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse

    The Capital Grille

    Let's hear it for the new kid on the very old block. In a market already saturated with high-end meateries, the Capital Grille -- which opened in Larimer Square in late 2003 -- sets itself apart by outdoing the competition in every vital category. The decor is picture-perfect, full of dark wood, leather and manly hunting-dog prints. The atmosphere is… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse for Your Next NRA Meeting

    Northwoods Inn - CLOSED

    Soup served out of communal iron pots, straight iceberg salads made by the hundreds every day, big bowls of peanuts on every table and dead animals on all the walls: This is what a steakhouse used to be, before the suits got ahold of the idea and started turning them into hifalutin, cigars-and-martinis clubhouses for the rich and powerful. The… More >>
  • Best Steakhouse With History


    Bastien's isn't retro; the rest of the world is. If you're looking for the cocktail culture of the '50s, a time capsule of early-'70s swinger swank still sealed and unchanged, then head straight for Bastien's. If anything in this place has come around again into a third generation of recycled cool, it's only a happy accident. The Bastien's we know… More >>
  • Best Nine-Dollar Steak

    Club 404 - CLOSED

    Club 404 is unique to the Denver dining scene, an irreplaceable landmark in a city that doesn't have many left. There are regulars who've been coming here since Nixon was in office, and one owner, Jerry Feld, who's had the 404 since the Eisenhower administration. There are twinkle lights behind the bar, as well as an albino frog in the… More >>
  • Best Seafood Restaurant

    McCormick's Fish House & Bar

    First clue that you're in a good seafood restaurant: no ambulances out front. The second? A menu that changes every day, and sometimes twice a night. At McCormick's, the dozens of varieties of sea critters available each day are grouped like some kind of aquatic U.N., by their nationality or ocean of origin. Everything is beautifully fresh, presented simply and… More >>
  • Best Seafood at a Steakhouse

    The Capital Grille

    Okay, we all understand that the only seafood that should be eaten in a steakhouse is that queen of the deep blue sea, the lobster, right? The Capital Grille gives lobster the royal treatment, serving up crustaceans that weigh anywhere from two pounds to the-monster-that-ate-Cleveland size. Bibs are available (and necessary), as are an array of nasty-looking shell-cracking implements, but… More >>
  • Best Bargain Seafood

    Le Central

    There are few foods in the world as perfect as the mussel, few foods so filled with potential greatness, few so often mucked up by incompetent kitchens trying to do too much with a thing that's so good when left pretty much alone. Luckily for us, Le Central not only knows how to handle mussels properly, but it offers them… More >>
  • Best High-Mountain Shrimp

    Bear Creek Tavern

    Chuck and Martha Koch, owners of the Bear Creek Tavern, have family living on the Alabama shore, and while visiting there in 1991, they discovered Royal Reds. These beauties have been on the menu ever since, shipped in fresh every week straight from the Gulf Coast shrimpers to Kittredge. As far as the Koches know (and as far as we've… More >>
  • Best Sushi

    Sushi Tazu

    Classic edomae sushi has no better avatars than the guys behind the bar at Sushi Tazu. Sitting in this beautiful, understated space in Cherry Creek, you can indulge your purist's cravings with everything from perfectly simple tuna nigiri to the bizarrely addictive sea urchin sashimi, from lovely tuna belly o-toro to more modern interpretations like giant crab-tempura rolls that look… More >>
  • Best Sushi Selection for the Rookie

    Hapa Sushi

    Say you're new to all this raw-fish nonsense. You're curious about the fuss, but you don't know your ebi from your uni. For you nigiri neophytes, we suggest making a lunch date at Hapa Sushi. While fish aficionados may scoff at Hapa's jumped-up, fusiony, oh-so-flashy fare, this hip Cherry Creek hot spot has two very important things going for it.… More >>
  • Best Sushi Selection for the Pros

    Sushi Den

    Any way you slice it, Sushi Den is a top sushi spot. It's been a trendy destination for nearly twenty years, always loud, always crowded. Why? Because the house believes in importing everything it can straight from the warm, bloody center of the sushi universe: the fish markets of Japan. Oddly enough, this does not mean that you, the customer,… More >>
  • Best Japanese Restaurant


    Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to have restaurants in Denver that foodies will travel hundreds of miles to visit. Domo is one of those restaurants. It serves "country food," Japanese farmhouse cuisine, which translates as simple, elegant sushi presentations in hand bowls, yellowtail steaks, salted salmon donburi and a flight of exotic side dishes made fresh every day.… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese Restaurant

    New Saigon

    The only bad Vietnamese food is no Vietnamese food, but the best Vietnamese food being done in Denver is coming out of the kitchen at New Saigon. With hundreds of choices on the menu, dozens of sauces, a friendly and accommodating staff, and plenty of talent in the galley, anyone with a taste for the cuisine of the mysterious East… More >>
  • Best Pho

    Pho 2000

    Pho is the ultimate do-it-yourself Asian cuisine. It's peasant food, lacking any pretension, based on frugality and the whole-food ethos that demands the use of any possibly edible bit of everything. Pho broth is slow-cooked, simmered and reduced simple stock kicked up with onions boiled until translucent, green onion stalks and spices. There's always salt but never pepper; sometimes star… More >>
  • Best Spring Rolls


    At Indigo, chef Ian Kleinman has put together a globe-trotting, multiple-fusion board of fare, but his most outstanding creation -- the one thing we can't help but order anytime we find ourselves seated in Indigo's blue-on-blue dining room -- is the lobster spring rolls. This Asian-inspired appetizer combines fat chunks of perfectly cooked lobster and juicy shrimp with a rough… More >>
  • Best Chinese Restaurant

    Ocean City - CLOSED

    Eating in China is not like eating in the United States, and eating Chinese food in the United States is not like eating at Ocean City. As a matter of fact, it's nothing like eating at Ocean City -- as evidenced by the fact that on any given night, there are few round-eyed customers included in the throngs of regulars… More >>
  • Best Chinese -- American Style

    Little Olive

    Just because a Chinese restaurant isn't authentic doesn't mean it can't be authentically good. Little Olive does Chinese food American style, but it does it right. Shrimp and crab dumplings, Mongolian beef, orange chicken, Peking duck, Thai curries and Vietnamese soft-shell crab come together on an Asian menu that has something to please every palate. Yes, it still serves the… More >>
  • Best Thai Restaurant

    Thai Basil II

    When we need to retune our tastebuds, when we crave bright, dominant flavors unmuddied by excess, we go to Thai Basil II. Here we can sample the simple pleasures of Asian cuisines -- hot curries, sweet lime, peppery-sweet basil, vegetables cooked fast and served fresh without all the taste leached out of them. Thai is a cuisine best tasted in… More >>
  • Best Korean Restaurant

    Han Kang

    Han Kang sits in a strip mall next to a piano lounge. It's cool, quiet and, if not exactly dignified, then certainly muffled with smiling, soft-footed servers working the room and a giant TV kept to a murmur. The noisiest thing about the place is the food -- everything bubbling and sloshing -- and the splashy mural of an impressionistic… More >>
  • Best Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Chinese and Japanese in One Place


    Looking for jackfruit juice? Ko-Mart's got it. Whole dried pink shrimp? Smoked anchovy? Pork neck? Octopus tentacles? No problem. The front of this all-in-one market is dominated by a series of concessions selling everything from ready-made sushi and boba "bubble" tea (fruit teas filled with tiny tapioca balls) to bone-marrow soup, housewares and videos. Lining the market shelves are a… More >>
  • Best Indian Restaurant


    Although there's no such thing as bad Indian food in Denver, India's clearly serves the best. Try a few benchmark dishes, and you'll agree. First, the saag paneer: If an Indian kitchen can't cook good saag paneer, then you must run, not walk, away, because this dish is the standard by which all others are measured. India's is a divine… More >>
  • Best Tibetan/Nepalese

    Sherpa's Adventurers Restaurant and Bar

    Sherpa's owner, Pemba Sherpa, comes with heavy-duty street cred: The guy actually is a Sherpa, with more than twenty ascents over 20,000 feet to his credit. He grew up in Nepal, in the shadow of Everest, eating the kind of food he now serves in a restaurant that's decorated with artifacts of his previous life -- the snowshoes, gunny bags… More >>
  • Best Russian Restaurant

    Astoria Restaurant

    When most Americans think of Russian food -- if they do at all -- they picture one of two things. They envision frozen gray latitudes, turnips and beet roots, with giant cauldrons of borscht -- that most recognizable of old Soviet cuisine -- steaming and bright, bloody purple in the pot. Or, going in the other direction, they imagine silver… More >>
  • Best Place to Drink Russian Vodka

    Red Square Euro Bistro

    Here in America, our national drink of choice is cheap beer. But in Russia, the winner -- hands down -- is vodka, served clear and cold. To get the good stuff straight from the source, exile yourself to Red Square Euro Bistro, a restaurant that serves up hearty portions of stroganoff and goulash, and also pours Russian, German and Lithuanian… More >>
  • Best Italian Restaurant

    Luca d'Italia

    With Luca d'Italia, chef/owner Frank Bonanno has done what most transplanted East Coasters would have thought impossible: He's brought good Italian food to the Rocky Mountain region. No, not just good. Great Italian food. Wonderful, vital, superlative Italian food that's absolutely without equal on the Denver scene. Luca's menu is designed for gluttonous abandon, arranged for wild flights of pairing… More >>
  • Best French Restaurant

    Brasserie Rouge - CLOSED

    This has been a weird year for the French-restaurant community. It began with all that Freedom Fries nonsense, followed by a wildly unsuccessful attempted boycott of all things French by a bunch of jingoistic ideologues. And then, in the midst of that, Denver and Boulder saw a sudden, inexplicable resurgence in French dining with several bistros, cafes and brasseries opening… More >>
  • Best Franco-Anything Fusion


    The food created by Ian Kleinman at Indigo has been called a lot of things: post-modern, new American, fused, confused, and just plain strange, to name a few. And true, the young chef has done some unusual things here. But what's come out of all the crossover spring rolls, high-end popcorn, Mexi-French and Franco-Asian mixing fusion is a restaurant that… More >>
  • Best Menu


    The measure of a great menu is the way it makes you consider the future. How long can I sit here eating before I'm kicked out? How much of this can I try before I burst? And how long before I can afford to come back? At L'Atelier, the answers to those questions are, in order: not long, not enough,… More >>
  • Best Special-Events Menu

    Opus Restaurant

    Every kitchen guy we've ever known has been a movie-obsessed, pop-culture-spouting cinema geekus extremis. Their language comes straight out of a dozen Hollywood classics; their style and affectations are based half on the job, half on the image of the job as espoused by the media. But Mike Long, the chef at Littleton's wonderful Opus Restaurant, has taken things a… More >>
  • Best Rebirth of a Chef

    Radek Cerny

    A year ago, Radek Cerny -- formerly of Papillon (now Indigo), formerly of Radex (now Opal), formerly of Le Chantecler (still Le Chantecler, only better) -- looked like he might be down for the count. One by one, he'd closed the crown jewels of his restaurant empire. Among local foodies, the opinion was that it was about time: Cerny's cooking… More >>
  • Best Chef

    Sean Kelly

    Sean Kelly's restaurant, Clair de Lune, is almost beyond categorizing. Although it's very small -- Kelly can seat a maximum of twenty people in the dining room and three at the bar -- it's huge in terms of its importance in the interlocking mesh of Denver's food scene. It's not known for a particular dish, because they're all so good… More >>
  • Best Second Act

    Frank Bonanno

    Nineteen steps. That's what it takes Frank Bonanno to get from his first restaurant, Mizuna, to his second, Luca d'Italia. He can do it in the blink of an eye -- and does, several times a night, moving from the classy, comfortable fare of Mizuna to the complicated, unbelievably delicious Italian menu at Luca. From lobster-spiked mac-and-cheese to gnocchi in… More >>
  • Best New Unexpected Restaurant

    Kabul Kabob

    Every city has Greek food. Every city has Italian. And there aren't many cities where you can't find at least one French restaurant, one sushi place (however frightening it might be to be eating sushi in Fargo, Billings or Texarkana), and a handful of Mexican restaurants fighting it out on the edge of town. But you know you're becoming a… More >>
  • Best New Restaurant

    Brasserie Rouge - CLOSED

    When an American christens a place Brasserie Anything, the temptation is always to crank up the Continental ostentation, but Brasserie Rouge -- opened last August in a long-vacant space in the Ice House by not one, but two Americans, Robert and Leigh Thompson, with a kitchen overseen by a third, John Broening -- avoided this pitfall. Wisely, these three skipped… More >>