Lower48 Kitchen's Alex Figura on the "each" concept -- and winning Best New Restaurant

Good things come in small packages. That's certainly the case at Lower48 Kitchen, winner of the Best New Restaurant title in our recent Best of Denver issue. As I wrote in this week's review of Lower48, it was what came in the small packages dubbed "each" that gave me the first inkling that something special was happening at the corner of Lawrence and 21st streets.

See also: Lower48 Kitchen raises the bar in Denver

I wouldn't know just how special until months went by and the kitchen, helmed by chef/co-owner Alex Figura, continued to wow -- not just with those two-bite beignets and Gruyere crisps, but with the extended repertoire of small plates that can be fit together for a spectacular meal.

Today it's hard to imagine Lower48 Kitchen without those $2 morsels. But early on, Figura and co-owner Mario Nocifera "kind of struggled with the 'each' section," Figura remembers.

"At first we were really nervous," he explains, given how much prep work is involved with each item, and how many tables order one of each. "We wondered how it would affect the flow of the kitchen, but once we figured out how to be more efficient and more organized, we really couldn't be happier with the outcome."

Happy, yes, but not content to rest on their laurels. "We're trying to compete with the best, and to get this award was a great feeling," Figura says of Lower48's win. "We worked really hard, but we need to keep setting the bar higher."

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