Suffice it to say that I eat out more than the general population, unless, of course, the general population can catalogue more than 450 restaurant meals in a year -- which is about the number of breakfasts, lunches and dinners that I stomached in 2012. Pathetic, isn't it? But all those food dates are worth the gluttony, because it allows us to tell you where you should eat, a little favor that we started in late 2009, when we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- 100, to be exact. Now we're back with round three, counting down (in no particular order) 100 more of our favorite dishes in Denver (and Boulder). If there's something in particular that you think we need to try, reveal it in the comments section below, or shoot me an e-mail at [email protected].
No. 82: Sopressata pizza from Kaos
Kaos Pizzeria had been expanding -- and evolving -- so rapidly that every time I swing through the gate into the pastoral courtyard strewn with wrought-iron tables, there's something new that catches my eye: swaying sunflowers; another patio, now with communal picnic tables, that stretches to the back alley; a lush garden flush with fragrant fresh herbs; and a sign in the front window that seeks approval for a cabaret license to complement the murmurs and hums of diners with live music. But through all the metamorphosis, Kaos has remained steadfast to pumping out spectacular wood-fired pizzas that zigzag from a simple four-cheese to a vegetarian pizza crowned with ingredients from the garden -- and the pizzeria's own farm -- to the Smokestack, a pizza slicked with San Marzano tomatoes and topped with mozzarella, provolone, bacon, roasted poblano chiles and dots of goat cheese.
There's not an average pizza in the bunch -- they're all wonderful -- but my favorite pizza, one that's been on the board since the beginning, is the sopressata, which mimics the other pizzas insomuch that it's burnt and blistered around the rim, thin but not wispy and triumphantly satisfying. But there's something about the sopressata pizza that always beckons me back. Maybe its the thin, slightly spicy spheres of salami, or the whisper-thin potatoes, their edges still crusted with skin, or the garlic-intensive pesto sauce smeared on the crust. Or maybe it's the cracked egg, its weeping, maize-colored yolk trickling a stream of sunshine. Change is good -- but whomever said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," was secretly pointing a finger at Kaos, because those pizzas are nothing short of splendid.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2013 countdown are linked below:
No. 100: Foie gras oysters from Sushi Sasa No. 99: Porchetta from Parisi No. 98: chocolate caramel sea salt tart from Spuntino No. 97: Nachos from the Pioneer No. 96: Fried pickles from TAG Burger Bar No. 95: Breakfast burrito from Jalapeños Mexican restaurant No. 94: Jajangmyeon from Yong Gung Dragon Palace Chinese Restaurant No 93: French fries from Jonesy's EatBar No. 92: Fried rice from Benihana No. 91: Lobster macaroni and cheese from Mizuna No. 90: Schezuan beef in numbing chile oil from Chef Liu's Authentic Chinese Cuisine No. 89: lamb tartare from Epernay No. 88: Reuben from the Bagel Deli No 87: Wood-fired chicken from Pizzeria Basta No. 86: Watermelon and frisee salad from EDGE No. 85: Chicken-fried eggs and smoked buffalo hash from Sassafras No. 84: English pea agnolotti from Harman's Eat & Drink No. 83: Sushi - any sushi - from Land of Sushi