Best Italian Restaurant - 2012
From the beautifully baked breads that scent the dining room to the textbook-perfect gnocchi with rabbit confit to the twitchy egg that crowns the tagliatelle carbonara specked with house-cured pancetta, Panzano's kitchen just keeps out turning stunning fare. For that, you can thank chef Elise Wiggins, who interprets the cuisine of northern Italy with ingredients from Colorado farms and ranches — everything from impeccable Hazel Dell mushrooms to organic, locally raised chicken, lamb and beef. But Wiggins also knows how to command a kitchen, and her seasonal, contemporary dishes, which pair to a superb wine program, are the result of a tight-knit crew exuding the same commitment and passion as their queen.
Readers' Choice: Luca d'Italia