No. 75 Udon Noodles at Bones 701 Grant Street 303-860-2929 When we namedBones the Best New Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2009, we said the tiny eatery was less a noodle bar and more "a loose conglomeration of plates and styles and techniques that came together only because one man thought to stick them together." That man is Frank Bonanno, who has since sealed his domination of Governor's Park by occupying every space on the corner of Seventh and Grant. But out of that mix of Asian-inspired dishes, the noodles still stand out -- especially the rich and salty pork udon noodles.
See also: Ten Best Tiny Restaurants in Denver
The bowl isn't just soup poured from a stock pot; it's a constructed dish of stir-fried ingredients layered with sauces and finished with an inky (but far from sweet) plum-soy broth, a mound of achingly tender pork shoulder and a jiggly poached egg, cooked sous-vide (where the water bath never exceeds 150 degrees) with the whites velvety and just set and the yolk flowing like golden lava.
Wear a dark shirt when you visit Bones; slurping down the chewy wheat noodles -- fatter than chopsticks -- will spatter the dark broth in every direction. The word umami -- which describes the fifth flavor of savoriness -- may have been invented specifically to describe that broth and the way it grows thicker and more delicious as you near the bottom of the bowl and the egg yolk: The starch from the noodles and the collagen from the pork combine into unctuous, tongue-coating bliss. You may have to fight the dinner crowd for a spot at the bar, even after five years; go for lunch instead, when you can slurp and spatter to your heart's content.
In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're already loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next nine months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.
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No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch No 96: Baum Cakes at Glaze by Sasa No. 95: Goat hot pot from Viet's No 94: Head cheese from Beast + Bottle No. 93: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus No. 92: Pork Belly Confit at Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar No. 91: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria No. 90: Biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co. No. 89: Clams and Chorizo at Gozo No. 88: Aburi Sushi at Sushi Den and Izakaya Den No. 87: Kimchi and Sausage Torta at City, O' City No. 86: Mar y Tierra Molcajete at Paxia No. 85: Crispy Pork Spare Ribs at Table Top No. 84: Chips and Dip at Euclid Hall No. 83: Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico No. 82: Scallop Crudo at Stoic & Genuine No. 81: Ceylon Curry Dosa at Khazana No. 80: The Lambada Torta at La Torteria No. 79: Pork Bulgogi at Dae Gee No. 78: the Pulled Pork Pig Pen Sandwich at Boney's No. 77: IPA Mac & Cheese at Hops & Pie No. 76: Chiles en Nogada at Chili Verde