Mile High City makes the cut.
Too often, restaurants in such fly-over states as Colorado are overlooked by coastal arbiters of what eateries American diners should revere, admire, patronize. Thankfully, Denver has veteran food critic Lori Midson to wave the banner of the local scene. She writes in Zagat.com’s “The Top 17 Food Cities of 2015.” Seventeen states of 50 isn’t totally exclusive, but it’s better recognition that Colorado usually gets.
As Denver’s culinary climate continues to soar, the Mile High City’s restaurants and chefs –– as well as the foodies who live here –– are celebrating its gastronomic prowess. And so are national media outlets. Uncle, Tommy Lee’s insanely popular noodle house, secured a notch on USA Today’s roster of the top 10 ramen restaurants in the country, while Punch Bowl Social, Robert Thompson’s playful restaurant and entertainment mecca, was named one of the 10 Breakout Brands by Nation’s Restaurant News. Forbes.com recognized Jennifer Jasinski, the James Beard Award–winning restaurateur and kitchen magician who presides over Euclid Hall, Bistro Vendome and Stoic & Genuine, as one of the top 10 female chefs in the country –– and speaking of Stoic & Genuine, it was also named one of the “Coolest Train Station Restaurants” in the world by Travel + Leisure. Meanwhile, Bon Appétit singled out The Source, a European-inspired market for its “newer take on the classic artisan food market,” while the Food Network named Avanti Food & Beverage, a collective food hall, one of Denver’s must-visit destinations.
In addition, several Colorado chefs and restaurants, including Dana Rodriguez (Work & Class); Alex Seidel (Fruition and Mercantile Dining & Provision); Steve Redzikowski (Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn); and Frasca Food &Wine were all named as James Beard Foundation semi-finalists. And Redzikowski was also a Food & Wine magazine People’s Best New Chef nominee. And while Denver’s food scene is on fire, so is its cocktail culture. At this year’s Spirited Awards, the Best American Cocktail Bar award was bestowed upon Denver’s Williams & Graham, Sean Kenyon’s sultry speakeasy. Esquire magazine waxed poetic about Williams & Graham, too, calling it a “meticulously crafted fantasy.”