It's all over but the shouting -- and the counting -- for the Readers' Choice for the Best New Restaurant to open in 2009.
More than fifteen noteworthy restaurants opened last year -- add Cafe Options, Interstate Bar & Grill and the Lobby to the list here -- which could be a record. No question, it's a remarkable accomplishment for Denver dining in this down economy.
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But as for most noteworthy chef, at least one member of the kitchen crew thinks the title should go to Sysco.
When he worked in Denver, Daniel K wasn't thrilled with our kitchen scene. Digest this note that he put at the end of last Friday's Best New Restaurant post:
I've staged as a line cook at pretty much all these restaurants before moving to Aspen from New York. I just wanted to check out what was happening here in the culinary scene. The only person that I can call a Chef in the fullest extent of the word is John Broening at Olivea. That guy can really cook. His technique is flawless, his knowledge incredibly vast and he has a remarkable respect for the ingredients he uses. I worked with a bunch of other "chefs" in the city that claimed that they were using prime ingredients, supporting farmers...and all they did was loading their walkins with junk from Sysco that later will sell with an outrageous markup. An eye-opening experience to say the least.
The Readers' Choice for Best New Restaurant will be revealed next week. Don't count on Daniel K getting any Chef's Choice prize.