Row 14 Bistro and Wine Bar showed early promise when it opened in the glitzy new Spire Building in 2011. Arik Marcus, the restaurant's opening chef, was getting press and praise almost before he'd made his first knife cut; a few months later, our restaurant critic at the time, Laura Shunk, found ple ... More >>
In last week's fantastic ode, former Westword food critic Laura Shunk joined the chorus of raves for Uncle. If you haven't been to this tiny noodle shop in Highland, by all means try it; we named it 2013's Best New Restaurant for a reason. But on nights when you don't feel like waiting for a table ... More >>
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 >>
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 >>
The big question isn't why El Olvido closed, but how this Jaliscan eatery stayed open as long as it did. No sooner had it taken over the former home of Hades at 2200 South Broadway in the spring of 2011 than the city started a massive street project outside. And this stretch of Broadway is still a ... More >>
I'm not happy, and if she were still here, outgoing Westword restaurant critic Laura Shunk wouldn't be happy either. And if you, like us, bowed in gratitude to the xiao long bao (named Best of Denver in 2012) at Tao Tao Noodle Bar, an excellent Chinese joint in Aurora that opened in March of last ye ... More >>
"Delicious - divine - delectable." It's comments that like that just landed Fruition, Alex Seidel's tiny temple of gastronomy, in a listacle of ten restaurants that begins with New York City's Le Bernardin, includes Alinea in Chicago and ends with Screen Door in Portland.
Tres Jolie Tea & Champagne Lounge won Best Ladies' Lunch in the Best of Denver 2012, as well as an earlier rave review from Laura Shunk. But those weren't enough to keep this sweet spot in Littleton open.
Did beer gardens exist before hipsters recently discovered them? You're darn Teuton! For more than thirty years -- since before its hometown was officially known as Centennial -- Karl's Deli has been serving German specialties, including beer, on its front patio overlooking a suburban strip mall. ... More >>
The southern I-25 corridor has not been known for its proliferation of fantastic eateries -- but as Laura Shunk noted earlier this year, things are looking up lately, and Shiraz is one of many good spots we've found in the Tech Center.
Here's an idea that sounds like a definite smash: Smashburger, the homegrown chain, will introduce its first-ever SmashCart next Tuesday on the 16th Street Mall, one of the first physical signs of the extra effort that the Downtown Denver Partnership is putting into its mall vendor program. Smashbu ... More >>
Is restaurant service a lost art in Denver? That's what Laura Shunk asked in a post recounting some of the service problems she'd encountered at Charcoal, the restaurant she recently reviewed. Dozens of readers provided their own answer to that question.
Do you want a shot of attitude with that beer? Laura Shunk's interview with Adam Hodak, the Green Russell bartender who doesn't think bartenders should be pretentious, hit a few people in their funny bones, not to mention wallets lightened by the cost of craft cocktails. The comments keep flowing o ... More >>
Andrew Casalini and his wife, Jen Dactano, opened Satchel's on 6th just over a year ago, but the restaurant at 1710 East Sixth Avenue -- a replacement for Satchel's Market, the Park Hill market-turned-restaurant they closed in the fall of 2010 -- is on its third chef. Jared Brant was the opening c ... More >>
At the end of last year, we published our list of the ten best restaurants that had opened in 2011 -- as we saw them at the time. Over the next few months, though, as we prepared for the Best of Denver 2012, we had a chance to really digest what the 300 new restaurants had brought to the city, and o ... More >>
When the first Spicy Pickle opened at 988 Lincoln Street in 1999, it quickly drew faithful fans with its hearty sandwiches -- always accompanied by a homemade pickle. That early rush fueled lots of dreams, dreams of the kind of success that other homegrown chains, most notably Chipotle, which ... More >>
The action continues on South Pearl Street, where Sexy Pizza will be opening a second store in March -- although Kayvan Khalatbari, who opened the original Sexy Pizza in Capitol Hill four years ago, just signed the deal yesterday. "So we're a little busy at the moment," he told Laura Shunk. ... More >>
Where it all began....What's your favorite Chipotle? The food at each one tastes different, founder Steve Ells revealed in his recent interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold, because employees at Chipotle actually cook. "When our employees walk in in the morning, they see ... More >>
When Cut Copy was here a few nights ago, the Australian outfit transformed the Ogden into a sweaty discotheque. Everybody in the house dancing with complete abandon until the "set ended anti-climactically after a long instrumental interlude," as Laura Shunk puts it in her review. According to Joey B ... More >>
Welcome to In the Weeds. Kyle will be right with you -- most likely to complain about something. Usually he is pleasant, but this is his place to blow off some steam. Don't take it personally; he just needs to vent because he's been doing this for about thirteen years. Enjoy your meal. A reader who ... More >>
The gang's all beer at Denver Beer Co.Denver is awash in beer -- and in opinions about beer, about Jonathan Shike's suggestion of five ways to freshen up the Great American Beer Festival, and about Laura Shunk's list of the area's five best tap rooms. No Liquids and Solids? No Amato's Ale Ho ... More >>
Oinks! advertised itself as "American style BBQ," but its ribs smacked of St. Louis. And that's where you may have to go to get ribs as authentic as those served at Oinks, not to mention barbecued tofu. Because this East Colfax Avenue barbecue joint closed up after the end of business yeste ... More >>
After a summer of travels, Laura Shunk revealed the five restaurant concepts she'd love to see in Denver, ranging from a Burmese restaurant to a Czech restaurant and beer hall. Which had commenters wondering: What about Sobo 151?
A week ago, three young entrepreneurs launched a new concept: Sabi Sushi, a restaurant without a restaurant that takes orders online, fills them at a local kitchen, then delivers the goods to a predetermined downtown drop zone. "First there were traditional restaurants," co-owner Shaan Puri ... More >>
Snarf's, the chain of sandwich shops that got its start in Boulder and is now taking a bite out of Denver, closed its location at 1310 College Avenue in Boulder last month. According to employees at the original location on Pearl Street, this Boulder outpost couldn't draw enough customers t ... More >>
Mark MangerEl Diablo, which won our Best New Bar award in the Best of Denver 2011 and is reviewed this week in Cafe, turns one this month. It's been busy from the start -- and that's both good and bad news, according to Angel Hernandez. as good as this place may be, it saddens me that it is ... More >>
Mark MangerTony Lonardo at Carbone's Italian Sausage Deli.For this week's reviews, Laura Shunk visited two old standbys in Denver's hottest new restaurant neighborhood: Carbone's Italian Sausage Deli and Lechuga's. The description of the area prompted this from Steve065: You called it northw ... More >>
Steuben's Food Service was the first of the new-fangled trucks to get in gear.A year ago this week, Westword's cover story was Laura Shunk's "The Truck Stops Here," a look at the spanking-new phenomenon -- in Denver, at least -- of gourmet food trucks. Steuben's, the first truck to take to th ... More >>
With ice cream weather finally on the horizon, Laura Shunk served up "Denver's Five Best Places for Ice Cream," including Sweet Action and Sweet Cow, winner of the Best Ice Cream in the Best of Denver 2011. But her ice cream picks left Werdna cold: You've got to be kidding me that Liks isn' ... More >>
Who's behid the door of Wednesday's Pie? Sean Kelly.When Laura Shunk recently visited Green Russell, our Best Contemporary Cocktail Bar in the Best of Denver 2011, she discovered that the subterreanean speakeasy not only has a new menu, but someone new in the kitchen, too: legendary local che ... More >>
Cassandra KotnickBob Marley watches over 8 Rivers CafeWanda James, who owns 8 Rivers Cafe with her chef/husband, Scott Durrah, isn't the only entrepreneur upset with the Yelp review filter. A couple of other restaurateurs have weighed in on Laura Shunk's story about her campaign against Yelp, ... More >>
Laura ShunkTrudy Gonzales had never owned a restaurant before she opened 5th Sun Cafe & Lounge at 3024 Speer Boulevard. "People love my food, and they bugged me and bugged me to open a restaurant, so I finally decided to just do it," she says. The name, she explains, is translated from the ... More >>
Some like it hot -- and US Thai delivers.It's not easy finding Laotian food in Denver, as Laura Shunk discovered after her recent return from a trip to Southeast Asia. On the hunt, she dropped by Edgewater's US Thai, which has an owner from Laos, a chef who's cooked all over Thailand, some s ... More >>
Jason, not Julie.Jason Sheehan has been gone from Westword for a year, but he is far from forgotten, as evidenced by yesterday's missive from Still Reading in response to the Julia & Julia characterization of Laura Shunk's Sachi Sushi review: It's hard to be Jason Sheehan. Probably not as ... More >>
Lori MidsonLast February, fourteen Denver chefs congregated inside the Stranahan's Whiskey distillery as part of a 50top feast, an invite-only, underbelly dinner club that gives chefs the opportunity to cook whatever the hell they want for an appreciative cluster of foodniks who never know w ... More >>
Will the real Laura Shunk please stand up?Early this month, Jason Sheehan gave Chipotle Mexican Grill a glowing review in the Seattle Weekly, our partner publication where he now works -- and where the haters haven't stopped rolling their eyes and asking why he'd bother writing about such a u ... More >>
Denver International Airport may have just been named the "Best Airport in North America" -- for the sixth consecutive year!" -- by Business Traveler magazine, but it's definitely lacking in a few departments. Souvenir beers sales, for example. And here's how Bubba responds to Laura Shunk's l ... More >>
The original Que Bueno at DIA.For many travelers at Denver International Airport, a meal at the colorful Que Bueno -- with cold beers and fiery hot sauces -- has been more than enough consolation prize for a delayed flight. But this longtime eating oasis on Concourse B, right by gate 52, is ... More >>
Wherefore art thou, PETA?Upset by our video of the live octopus hot pot, PETA member Belinda Heinikey-Williamson threatened to protest at the Westword offices today at 11 a.m. That hour has come and gone, though, with not a single protester in sight. What happened? Was the circus back in to ... More >>
Behold the highlights from this week's Cafe Society blog: 1. With the streets of Denver flooded in suds, it's likely that you're well and truly hammered while reading this, but if you can still see the screen without covering up one eye, and you haven't had your fill of hops and barley, the ... More >>
The annual Plates for the Peak fundraiser, tonight at Vesta Dipping Grill, 1822 Blake Street, is a delicious highlight of the summer fundraising scene, featuring contributions by many of Denver's top chefs. From 6 to 10 p.m., enjoy small plates created by Brian Laird (Barolo Grill), Keegan G ... More >>