But by the time we'd finally put down our forks, we returned to the top of the alphabet for our winner: Argyll.
Here's what Jason Sheehan had to say last November when he reviewed Robert Thompson's gastropub (yes, gastropub) at 2700 East Third Avenue: "Argyll isn't just a good restaurant; it borders on being a great one -- the kind of restaurant where you eat and drink and finish and walk out and immediately want to turn around and do the whole thing over again. The kind of restaurant where, once you're inside, you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the best possible place you can be at the moment, and so you linger. One more pint of Murphy's, another bite of this or plate of that."
Chef Sergio Romero is responsible for the great food coming out of Argyll's kitchen. "Look, we're never going to do molecular gastronomy here, but we have a great menu that's only getting better," he told Lori Midson when she interviewed him for Chef & Tell.
We can't wait.
This isn't Thompson's first win: Brasserie Rouge, the bistro he and then-wife Leigh Jones opened in the IceHouse, won Best New Restaurant in the Best of Denver 2004 -- and closed not long after. Thompson took a rocky path from there (which included some rocks thrown at Westword, and vice versa), but he's back on top with Argyll.
Argyll isn't the only new restaurant touted in the Best of Denver 2010; when the issue hits the streets (and this website) later today, you'll find many more awards for places that made their debut in 2009. And in the meantime, you can read all about a legendary Best of Denver award here.