Twenty Favorite Dishes Over 100 Reviews

I've written a hundred reviews since becoming the restaurant critic at Westword. To celebrate the occasion, I wanted to give a shout-out to the kitchens and teams that have made dining out so memorable over the past two years -- not just for me, but for all of us who appreciate the quality and diversity of Denver's robust food scene.

Of the thousands of plates that have come my way, I've selected twenty that deserve a spot in the highlights reel. These are the ones I find myself thinking about when a similar dish is put before me, the ones I'd gladly eat over and again. One of them is a summery bruschetta that I enjoyed long ago, while preparing for my first review of The Kitchen Denver. Another is an appetizer that bumped another leading contender at the buzzer; you'll read more about that dish, and the restaurant it came from, in my review of Barolo Grill tomorrow. Of the twenty, most are (sadly) no longer available, a sign of seasonality and the speed at which menus change -- but at least the kitchens that made them are still open (with the exception of Twelve, which closed last month). And you can still order seven of my favorite dishes, which appear at the end of this otherwise alphabetized list. So keep reading -- and be prepared to get hungry. See also: Five Behind-the-Scenes Takes on Being a Restaurant Critic, After 100 Reviews

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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz