A Look Back at Our Best New Restaurants, 2005-2009

Frasca put Colorado on the national dining map a decade ago.
Frasca put Colorado on the national dining map a decade ago.
Frasca Food and Wine

As we count down to next week’s release of our annual Best of Denver issue — our 32nd edition! — we thought it would be fun to dip into the archives to see what’s become of past winners in one of our most prestigious categories: Best New Restaurant. After all, chefs change, owners change and trends change, and it’s not a given that restaurants can stand the test of time — even if they got off to a good early start. Below are our Best New Restaurant honorees from 2005 through 2009; check back early next week for the next five. Taken together, they showcase a decade in the life of the city we love, one forkful at a time.

2005: Frasca Food and Wine
These days, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey are known as the pizza guys, the budino guys, the made-a-deal-with-Chipotle guys. But ten years ago these French Laundry alums were busy carving a reputation for themselves that would transcend Boulder, the Front Range and even the country. When it comes to execution, wine and service, Frasca remains the gold standard.

Z Cuisine, before it began its current renovation project.
Z Cuisine, before it began its current renovation project.
Westword

2006: Z Cuisine
What Francophile hasn’t whiled away the evening over foie gras and cassoulet at Patrick Dupays’s ode to France at Z Cuisine? The restaurant – which closed for remodeling this winter, but continues to serve the full menu at the next-door A Cote — remains as beloved as ever, and is only slightly easier to get into than it used to be, given the arrival of sister restaurant.

Fruition captured the Best New Restaurant Award a few months after opening on Sixth Avenue.EXPAND
Fruition captured the Best New Restaurant Award a few months after opening on Sixth Avenue.
Westword

2007: Fruition
All Best New Restaurant winners are, well, new. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be eligible for the category. But when Fruition won top honors in 2007, it was newer than most, having opened just a few months prior to the issue’s publication. So while other restaurants would’ve still been working out the kinks, chef Alex Seidel was knocking us over with the sophisticated comfort food that would eventually nab him several James Beard Foundation nominations. Fruition still nabs our hearts, even after all these years.

The sushi is still stunning at Izakaya Den — now in a stunning new space.
The sushi is still stunning at Izakaya Den — now in a stunning new space.
Mark Antonation

2008: Izakaya Den
Years before it moved into its stunning, multi-level location next to sibling restaurant Sushi Den, Izakaya Den already stood out for inventive Japanese-Mediterranean fusion. It remains as much a fixture as ever, not just for denizens of Platt Park who treat it as a neighborhood watering hole, but for fans of the talented kitchen’s izakaya-style small plates.

Bones beat Denver's current ramen craze by five years.
Bones beat Denver's current ramen craze by five years.
Westword

2009: Bones
Frank Bonanno never set out to serve authentic ramen at his noodle shop in the Governors Park neighborhood. He set out to serve food he loved to eat, and we loved it too, right from the start. We still do, returning to this sliver of a restaurant to slurp everything from lobster ramen to pork udon.

What will be the Best New Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2015? Watch for the winner here on March 25.

Use Current Location

Related Locations

miles
Frasca Food and Wine
miles
Z Cuisine and A Cote Bar a Absinthe - Closed

2239 W. 30th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

303-477-1111

zcuisineonline.com

miles
Fruition
miles
Izakaya Den

1487 S. Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80210

303-777-0691

www.izakayaden.net

miles
Bones

701 Grant St.
Denver, CO 80203

303-860-2929

www.bonesdenver.com


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