Chef Matt Selby's grillardins at Vesta Dipping Grill win the Fire-Eater Award. Not only do they deserve it just for hanging tough in a restaurant where damn near every menu item has to come (at least in part) off their station, but they also put out some of the best, most butter-tender and flawlessly temped tenderloin we've had anywhere.


Vesta
Mark Antonation
Chef Matt Selby's grillardins at Vesta Dipping Grill win the Fire-Eater Award. Not only do they deserve it just for hanging tough in a restaurant where damn near every menu item has to come (at least in part) off their station, but they also put out some of the best, most butter-tender and flawlessly temped tenderloin we've had anywhere.
The Iron Skillet Medal of Honor goes to chef Michael Long's sauté crew at Opus, for conspicuous and sustained gallantry in the face of a chef who's been known to change his menu by phone from the golf course just a few hours before the start of service. Granted, Long's particular brand of ironic culinary artistry is a welcome addition to Denver's high-end restaurant scene, and we're supposed to forgive the quirks that come along with such creativity. But, Chef, we think you owe the fellas a drink.


Opus
The Iron Skillet Medal of Honor goes to chef Michael Long's sauté crew at Opus, for conspicuous and sustained gallantry in the face of a chef who's been known to change his menu by phone from the golf course just a few hours before the start of service. Granted, Long's particular brand of ironic culinary artistry is a welcome addition to Denver's high-end restaurant scene, and we're supposed to forgive the quirks that come along with such creativity. But, Chef, we think you owe the fellas a drink.
Fried cheese, fried onion rings, fried pickles. No matter how good something is in its natural state, it can only be improved by a dunk in the fryer. And it's for his unfailing dedication to this simple fact that we award Dick Lande -- a 25-year veteran of the kitchen at 2052 Stout Street, now home of the Stout Pub -- the Gold Fryolator Lifetime Achievement Award.


Fried cheese, fried onion rings, fried pickles. No matter how good something is in its natural state, it can only be improved by a dunk in the fryer. And it's for his unfailing dedication to this simple fact that we award Dick Lande -- a 25-year veteran of the kitchen at 2052 Stout Street, now home of the Stout Pub -- the Gold Fryolator Lifetime Achievement Award.
Seth Black, Sean Kelly's right-hand man and, in fact, the only other pair of hands in Clair de Lune's kitchen, is the hardest-working garde-manger in show business. All the salads, all the cold apps -- all those antipasti plates and plateaus de fruits de mer that come banging out of Clair's kitchen -- come straight from Seth to you. For duking it out solo in claustrophobic confines, with a menu that changes daily and a dining room that's fully committed most nights of the week, Seth is awarded the Silver China Cap Award of Excellence.
Seth Black, Sean Kelly's right-hand man and, in fact, the only other pair of hands in Clair de Lune's kitchen, is the hardest-working garde-manger in show business. All the salads, all the cold apps -- all those antipasti plates and plateaus de fruits de mer that come banging out of Clair's kitchen -- come straight from Seth to you. For duking it out solo in claustrophobic confines, with a menu that changes daily and a dining room that's fully committed most nights of the week, Seth is awarded the Silver China Cap Award of Excellence.
No need goes unmet nor any desire unfulfilled at Mizuna, where the service on the floor runs as smoothly and professionally as the business behind the line. From the minute you step through the doors of this comfortable French-Mediterranean eatery, you are folded into a complete dining experience that includes perfectly timed courses and flawless table-side service rendered by a staff that is well educated in the nuts and bolts of every menu item, and always seems delighted to see you, whether you're the first table or the last. For this, Mizuna's more-than-capable front-of-the-house crew is awarded the Gilded Corkscrew Medal of Valor.


Mizuna
Joni Schrantz
No need goes unmet nor any desire unfulfilled at Mizuna, where the service on the floor runs as smoothly and professionally as the business behind the line. From the minute you step through the doors of this comfortable French-Mediterranean eatery, you are folded into a complete dining experience that includes perfectly timed courses and flawless table-side service rendered by a staff that is well educated in the nuts and bolts of every menu item, and always seems delighted to see you, whether you're the first table or the last. For this, Mizuna's more-than-capable front-of-the-house crew is awarded the Gilded Corkscrew Medal of Valor.

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