701 Grant Street 303-860-2929 When we namedBones
in the Best of Denver 2009, we said the tiny eatery was less a noodle bar and more "a loose conglomeration of plates and styles and techniques that came together only because one man thought to stick them together." That man is Frank Bonanno, who has since sealed his domination of Governor's Park by occupying every space on the corner of Seventh and Grant. But out of that mix of Asian-inspired dishes, the noodles still stand out -- especially the rich and salty pork udon noodles.
See also: Ten Best Tiny Restaurants in Denver
The bowl isn't just soup poured from a stock pot; it's a constructed dish of stir-fried ingredients layered with sauces and finished with an inky (but far from sweet) plum-soy broth, a mound of achingly tender pork shoulder and a jiggly poached egg, cooked sous-vide (where the water bath never exceeds 150 degrees) with the whites velvety and just set and the yolk flowing like golden lava.
Wear a dark shirt when you visit Bones; slurping down the chewy wheat noodles -- fatter than chopsticks -- will spatter the dark broth in every direction. The word umami -- which describes the fifth flavor of savoriness -- may have been invented specifically to describe that broth and the way it grows thicker and more delicious as you near the bottom of the bowl and the egg yolk: The starch from the noodles and the collagen from the pork combine into unctuous, tongue-coating bliss. You may have to fight the dinner crowd for a spot at the bar, even after five years; go for lunch instead, when you can slurp and spatter to your heart's content.
In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're already loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next nine months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.
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