Of all the food categories in our annual Best of Denver issue, none is quite like Best New Restaurant. To determine which spot should take home the coveted golden statuette (actually, a framed certificate), we started our discussions even before the end of 2013, the official cut off to be considered for the category. So many restaurants had opened last year -- but which ones immediately came to mind? Which places had already become restaurants we wanted to go back to when we weren't working? Which names kept coming up over and over? See also: The ten best new restaurants in Denver
We pulled out our master lists of restaurants that had opened in the metro area in 2013 to make sure we weren't leaving any out -- there were over 200 openings last year -- and hurried to eat at any contenders, often places too new to review but not too new to be turning out amazing meals.
From these brainstorms, we worked our way to a short list of finalists. Over the course of several meetings, we shared experiences -- both good and bad -- that we'd had at each of them. Just prior to publication we revisited the top two -- and after those visits selected our winner. Congrats, Lower48 Kitchen, and many thanks to the other restaurateurs who made this the most competitive year we've had.