Behind the scenes at The Kitchen Denver.
Behind the scenes at The Kitchen Denver.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews

I've written a hundred reviews since becoming the restaurant critic at Westword. To celebrate the occasion, I wanted to give a shout-out to the kitchens and teams that have made dining out so memorable over the past two years -- not just for me, but for all of us who appreciate the quality and diversity of Denver's robust food scene.

Of the thousands of plates that have come my way, I've selected twenty that deserve a spot in the highlights reel. These are the ones I find myself thinking about when a similar dish is put before me, the ones I'd gladly eat over and again. One of them is a summery bruschetta that I enjoyed long ago, while preparing for my first review of The Kitchen Denver. Another is an appetizer that bumped another leading contender at the buzzer; you'll read more about that dish, and the restaurant it came from, in my review of Barolo Grill tomorrow. Of the twenty, most are (sadly) no longer available, a sign of seasonality and the speed at which menus change -- but at least the kitchens that made them are still open (with the exception of Twelve, which closed last month). And you can still order seven of my favorite dishes, which appear at the end of this otherwise alphabetized list. So keep reading -- and be prepared to get hungry. See also: Five Behind-the-Scenes Takes on Being a Restaurant Critic, After 100 Reviews

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

20) Acorn Tempura-fried snapper with farro and a Thai-inspired sauce of chiles, basil, mint and cilantro.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

19) bang! Coconut cream pie.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

18) Beast + Bottle Bangs Island mussels with celery root puree, shallots, garlic, wine and cream.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

17) Harman's eat & drink Roasted beet salad with chickpeas, oranges and feta.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

16) Il Posto Risotto with beets, kale and gorgonzola. Keep reading for fifteen more favorite dishes.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

15) Lower48 Kitchen Wild mushroom salad with pear-walnut puree, pickled carrots, braised and raw radishes, celery and pear.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

14) Oak at Fourteenth Crispy farm egg with wild mushrooms and chicken confit.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

13) The Plimoth Pear tarte Bourdaloue.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

12) The Populist Broken duck cubano with gruyere, cornichons and dots of Dijon.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

11) Squeaky Bean A soup-like appetizer of red kuri squash with pear, granola and curry, with a pitcher of warm, frothy milk poured tableside. Keep reading for ten more favorite dishes.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Mark Manger

10) Tables Crispy chicken with cherry-fennel panzanella.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

9) To the Wind Bistro Escargot empanadas

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

8) Twelve Scallops with persimmons, bacon and butternut squash. Keep reading for the seven favorite dishes that are still available.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

7) Barolo Grill Hazelnut-crusted prawns with wild rice and chanterelle puree.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

6) Gozo Wood-oven clams with spicy chorizo and chickpeas.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews

5) Humboldt Grass-fed burger with bacon, onion jam and cheddar on a sweet brioche.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

4) The Kitchen Denver Burrata and peach bruschetta. Keep reading for our last three favorite dishes.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

3) Rincon Argentino Pollo empanada with paprika and green olives.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews
Danielle Lirette

2) Thai Monkey Club Green curry.

Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews

1) Work & Class Cochinita pibil.


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