Close to 300 new restaurants opened in the metro area in 2011 -- by our count, at least, which you can see when our Restaurant roll call for 2011 is posted here later today.
When Laura Shunk narrowed that big list down to the ten best new restaurants of last year, the complaints came quickly. Where was Charcoal? Pinche Tacos? Ambria? And was it fair to include Trillium, which opened in December 2011, and not Bittersweet, which opened on New Year's Eve 2010?
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My votes go to ambria and Bittersweet (open only a few weeks should put a place up for the next year). Westword should be elevating the Denver dining scene by showcasing the real independents -- not those with seemingly unlimited budgets. The interior of Coohills is so overly decorated it might as well be a chain.
The renovation of ambria in 2 weeks is such an accomplishment I can't believe how good it feels in there. Bittersweet (if they had unlimited funds) could have expanded, instead they have an onsite garden!
What do you consider the best new restaurant of 2011? The most disappointing? Post your thoughts below, or join the conversation already under way at the end of our list of the ten best new restaurants of 2011.