Cafe Society

Jonah Munson, exec chef of the Walnut Room, on yard sales and mixers

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What's your idea of an unparalleled dining experience? Sitting down with my wife and four daughters with good food and a lot of laughter.

Most underrated Denver restaurant: My family and I love eating out together, and we always search for independent restaurants near where we live in the suburbs, so we don't make it to a lot of downtown Denver restaurants. But one of our favorites in Denver is Highland Tap & Burger. We've also found a couple of great places close to where we live, including Jack's, an out-of-the-way, fun little place in Arvada with amazing sliders and a fun atmosphere. Another noteworthy place that opened up earlier this year, literally right outside our back yard, is the Aspen Lodge Bar & Grill. It's pretty much run by the owner himself, Mesut, who serves your drinks, takes your order and cooks your food -- it's fabulous and always fresh -- and yet he still finds time to touch tables and have a great conversation with you.

Who's the most underrated chef in Denver? That's hard to answer, but I'd say that any chef who works his trade with quality and customer satisfaction in mind is probably underrated.

What's one thing that people would be surprised to know about you? That even at six feet, five inches tall, I don't watch basketball and I don't know what the weather is like up here. I'd rather bake and paint my daughter's fingernails than go to a sports arena. I am a family man first; everything else is second.

What's next for Denver's culinary scene? I'm still fairly new to the area, but I think the direction that we're heading is positive, especially since we're getting more and more independent, local and healthier restaurants. That makes me happy.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson

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