Second Helpings

Second Helping

Adega is many things: a hip, fine-dining mecca; a LoDo anchor that helps keep the neighborhood from degenerating into nothing but club nights and drunken Let-Out brawls; a showcase for some of the best, smartest New American cuisine on offer in the Mile High City (or anywhere else); and a breeding ground for talented cooks who'll inevitably move out from under the wing of chef-partner Bryan Moscatello and on to other gigs.

But most important, Adega is an example of how a restaurant can survive -- and thrive -- over time. In just three years, Adega has weathered storms of press, waves of fame, partner departures, staff changes and nearly anything (except bad reviews) that can be thrown at a restaurant, yet it's stayed on top of its game. Even though the kitchen recently went over to the dark side, trend-chasing with its new small-plates, tapas-style menu, Adega manages to do it better than a lot of houses that never did anything else.

A lot of the credit goes to Moscatello, now permanently back in his post behind the rail. A perfectionist, a brilliant chef, a skilled trainer and a food geek to the core, Moscatello has never been afraid of taking risks or screwing with the status quo. Adega may not be the same restaurant that opened in May 2002, when it ranked as one of Denver's best from day one -- but it's still right up there today. $$$$

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Jason Sheehan
Contact: Jason Sheehan