BEST MOULES ET FRITES - 2006
There's nothing more soothing than a huge bowl of fresh mussels, perfectly cooked, surrounded by hedgerows of frites fresh from the fryer. Moules et frites is comfort food for the terminally overserved, for those who eat more meals out than they do at home and can appreciate both the vigorous innovation of today's young chefs and the beautiful classicism of certain dishes. In Denver, there's no better place to get a serving of this calming, consoling French masterpiece than at Le Central. Here the moules come in a dozen varieties -- from the simplest beurre blanc to more worldly curry- and saffron-scented styles -- in huge, heaping portions, and accompanied by an endless supply of crispy frites for dunking in the puddle of broth that's left after you've devoured the shellfish.