We now have a copy of the Zagat 2011 America's Top Restaurants Survey in our grubby little hands. The guide, better known as the "burgundy bible," ranked 1,552 restaurants in 45 major markets across the country, including Colorado, based on votes from more than 153,000 diners.
The Survey also tracks national trends, and -- no shocker here -- the tanking economy means that diners are eating out less (3.1 times per week, down from 3.3 pre-recession), reading menus from right to left (i.e. price is front and center) and backing down on appetizers, desserts and alcohol, except for those of us here at Cafe Society headquarters, who never make sacrifices when it comes to liquor. On the upside, 55 percent of foodniks believe they're getting better deals, thanks to prix fixe meals and other discounts, and 33 percent say that reservations are easier to come by.
But for at least one Denver restaurant, which is barely bigger than a nostril, reservations will likely skyrocket.
Grubniks who voted on more than 150 restaurants initially surveyed for inclusion in the Colorado section of the America's Tops guide, edited by yours truly, anointed Fruition, Alex Seidel's restaurant at 1313 East Sixth Avenue, as the top overall winner, earning Denver's No. 1 food ranking, with a score of 28 out of 30. Frasca Food & Wine, 1738 Pearl Street in Boulder, took both the Most Popular and Top Service titles. Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek was voted No. 1 for decor, while Colt & Gray, 1553 Platte Street, was the No. 1 rated Newcomer of the year, with a food score of 25
For Zagatland's listage of all forty Colorado restaurants that landed in the guide, sink your teeth into the next page.
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Top twenty Colorado restaurants
Denver - Fruition Boulder - Frasca Aspen - Matsuhisha Beaver Creek - Splendido Denver - Mizuna Denver - Sushi Sasa Denver - Sushi Den Denver - Virgilio's Denver - Rioja Boulder - L'Atelier Carbondale - Six89 Denver - Del Frisco's Denver - Luca d'Italia Denver - Z Cuisine Denver - Izakaya Den Beaver Creek - Grouse Mountain Grill Aspen - Montagna Boulder - The Kitchen Keystone - Keystone Ranch Denver - Tables
Other Noteworthy Places
Denver - Argyll Denver - Barolo Grill Boulder - Black Cat Denver - Cafe Brazil Denver - Colt & Gray Denver - Duo Denver - Elway's Boulder - Flagstaff House Denver/Boulder - Jax Fish House Vail - La Tour Denver - Marco's Coal-Fired Pizza Denver - Olivéa Denver - Opus Denver - Palace Arms Denver - Panzano Denver - Squeaky Bean Vail - Sweet Basil Denver - TAG Denver - Venue Denver - Vesta Dipping Grill