MUST-DO RESTAURANTS IN DENVER (PART 1)

Believe it or not, the Denver food and cocktail scene has spots that would hold their own against restaurants and bars on both coasts.
  1. Acorn
    Every small plate is meticulous, but not fussy, and each bite from this farm-to-table delight is flawless. The cocktail program is stellar. Located at The Source, whiz is worth a visit in its own right. Stop by RiNo Yacht Club for cocktails, first. The sister restaurant in Boulder, Oak on 15th, is equally stunning.
  2. Z Cuisine à Côté
    AKA My second home. French/inspired, quirky, beautiful. Best French onion soup I've ever had. The menu changes depending on what can be sourced from nearby. Sit at the bar and order a SazerEric (yep...named after me!)
  3. Old Major
    Chef Justin Brunson knows his meats and fish. I don't eat pork, so 86% of the menu is off-limits for me, but that doesn't mean I leave hungry. Beautiful duck and lamb, crazy delicious sides, and a happy hour featuring killer cocktails.
  4. Fruition
    An old favorite. A special occasion. A true Denver beauty.
  5. Uncle
    Named one of the best ramen restaurants in the nation! Sublime flavors, yummy sides. Sit at the counter.
  6. Sarto's
    Modern take on old school Italian food. I can't believe how fucking good everything is here. Gorgeous decor, flawless service. Order a negroni.
  7. Beatrice & Woodsley
    One of the most beautiful restaurants I've ever seen. It's like walking into an old cabin that's been slowly reclaimed by an aspen grove. The food is stellar.
  8. Williams & Graham
    Named one of the best bars in the world! It manages to be a brilliantly realized speakeasy without ending up twee. Some of the best cocktails I've ever had by the most talented, friendly bartenders. Two blocks from my house. Yay, me!
  9. Colt & Gray / Ste Ellie
    Colt & Gray is a kick-ass restaurant with tasty small plates and ridiculous desserts. Downstairs is the Ste Ellie, with affordable dishes and a brilliant assortment of Old Fashioneds.
  10. Work and Class
    Just. So. Good. Order your meat by the 1/4 pound increment (don't miss the goat or the beef short rub), and don't forget to go nuts on the sides.
  11. The Populist
    One of the anchors in the next hot neighborhood in Denver (RiNo). The duck trio makes me cry a little.
  12. Mercantile Dining & Provisions
    In the gorgeous, newly renovated Union Station. I totally different meal every time. Don't skip dessert - some of the best pastry chefs in Denver have been influential here.
  13. ChoLon Bistro
    Southeast Asian brilliance by Chef Lon. The French onion soup dumplings will change your life.
  14. The Plymoth
    Tiny. Intimate. Stellar.
  15. Brazen
    My favorite new restaurant in Denver until the canned the chef (my pal and a true savant). Cozy comfort food, crazy awesome sea bass, and cook-at-your-table s'mores. I'm sure it's still brilliant. But I can't go back in principle.
  16. Central Bistro
    Chef Matty Selby is the shit. And they have a wall o' whiskey goodness that'll satisfy the true aficionado.