John Kessler

  • Blogs

    March 25, 2014

    The Best of Denver 2014 is almost here -- after many calories and lots of sweat

    When I started this job in 2012, former critics wrote in with advice. Number one on John Kessler's list was "Don't sweat your first Best Of." At the time, it seemed like odd advice. Not only was I not sweating Best of Denver, I'm pretty sure that it had never crossed my mind to worry about the annua ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2012

    New Cafe critic Gretchen Kurtz dishes up a few words on her philosophy

    A presidential honeymoon lasts about 100 days. Having devoured well wishes and advice from Kyle Wagner, Laura Shunk, John Kessler and Jason Sheehan, I'm bracing myself for a honeymoon about 99 days shorter than that. I'm sure donning a thick skin will be hard -- possibly as hard as not shouting "Don ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2012

    Jason Sheehan: Don't take anyone's advice about anything

    In advance of Gretchen Kurtz's debut next week as the new Cafe critic, we asked some of our previous restaurant reviewers to weigh in -- and given their jobs, we do mean weigh in -- with advice for our newest critic. Kyle Wagner, now the travel editor at the Denver Post, served up her thoughts first ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 30, 2012

    John Kessler warns our new critic about 7/Eleven hot dogs

    In advance of Gretchen Kurtz's debut next week as the new Cafe critic, we asked some of our previous restaurant reviewers to weigh in -- and given their jobs, we do mean weigh in -- with advice for our new newest critic. Kyle Wagner, our reviewer for close to a decade who's now the travel editor at ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 22, 2012

    Westword has a new Cafe critic

    And the wait is over. On September 6, we'll publish the first review by our new Cafe critic: Gretchen Kurtz, the latest in a list of distinguished Westword restaurant reviewers that stretches back three decades and includes Laura Shunk, Jason Sheehan, Kyle Wagner and John Kessler.

  • Blogs

    June 21, 2012

    Westword's next restaurant critic: food for thought

    This week's Westword includes Laura Shunk's last review, of Fruition; earlier today, she posted her list of "Denver spots I'll miss most.." Since we announced a month ago that Laura was moving to New York, Westword has received a smorgasbord of applications for her food-writing job. And although E ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2011

    Reader: Skip Frasca and stick to Chuck E Cheese when you're taking kids to dinner

    The friendly crew at Frasca Food and Wine.​Westword staff writer Joel Warner recently had a big night out with his wife and three-year-old son -- not at Chipotle, their regular family haunt, but at Frasca Food and Wine, which just won Best Front of the House in the Best of Denver 2011 (as it h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2011

    Former Westword critic John Kessler weighs in on bashing Atlanta's restaurant scene

    John Kessler, formerly of Westword.​Just over a month ago, Hanna Raskin, restaurant critic at our partner paper, the Dallas Observer, raked the entire Dallas dining scene over the coals. In a lengthy diatribe, she explained why the industry in the city was "broken." Hot on the heels of that, ... More >>

  • Dining

    June 10, 2010
  • Blogs

    March 31, 2010

    Best Place to See Beaver: A not-quite-undercover tale from the Best of Denver

    ​Some of our favorite Westword stories -- including ones connected to our annual Best of Denver issue -- are not the ones we've published. I spilled a few of the juicier ones when I sat down with the Denver Post's Bill Husted for his Bar & Grilled interview earlier this month. Not surprisingl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2010

    Update on Sheehan replacement

    The angelic Jason Sheehan​ "You should have filled Jason's spot before letting him go to Seattle," one disgruntled reader wrote in the comments section after "Pot Luck," William Breathes's piece on 8 Rivers. "This review was not worth reading. What a disappointment." First things first: Like ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2008

    Brews and beaver at the Wynkoop Brewing Co.

    In honor of the Wynkoop Brewing Co.'s twentieth anniversary, we're asking readers to send their memories of the brewpub -- with the author of the best account getting free beer! As a former Westword employee, John Kessler is not eligible for that prize -- but his story is definitely a winner. Leave ... More >>

  • Dining

    November 22, 2007

    Trading Spaces

    Mel’s is out, and Iron Mountain is in.

  • Dining

    October 16, 2003

    Bite Me

    So Foie, So Good

  • Dining

    May 16, 2002

    The Bite

    Glendale glows up.

  • Dining

    January 11, 2001

    Grunge for the Border

    El Ranchito's meaty marvels prove that appearances can be deceiving.

  • Dining

    February 17, 2000

    The Old Aunt

    While staff changes were smooth for Tante Louise, the Newsstand Cafe finds transition a little rough.

  • Dining

    August 27, 1998
  • Dining

    October 30, 1997
  • News

    October 9, 1997
  • News

    September 25, 1997
  • Dining

    September 6, 1995
  • Dining

    June 7, 1995
  • Dining

    November 23, 1994
  • Dining

    May 11, 1994