Top 5 to Try...

October 9, 2012
Last week I shared 5280 Magazine's '25 Top Restaurants in Denver' with you here.  I was a bit impressed myself that I had dined at 11 of the 25 spots but of course, was already thinking about the next place on the list that I would want to try.  

(Clockwise from top left:  Luca d'Italia  /  Z Cuisine  /  Frasca Food and Wine  /  Barolo Grill  /  Oak at Fourteenth)

After reading the magazine's article, visiting every restaurant's website and salivating over impressive seasonal menus, I have come up with my top 5 restaurants to dine at.  A bit of a wish list but a girl can dream right!?!?

1. Frasca Food and Wine - this place has been #1 in 5280 year after year because of their impeccable service and ability to create delicious rustic-elegant food.  They have been featured in Bon Appetit as one of the top restaurants in the nation and every year they close their doors for a week jet-setting every employee to northeast Italy to train, taste and explore all the country has to offer.  Need I say more?

2. Luca d'Italia - I am a sucker for fresh handmade pasta and Luca d'Italia rolls out some of the best in town.  Anchored by seasonal ingredients that are used to create complex dishes, it is no surprise Luca d'Italia is Zagat rated and highly regarded.  They also have a four-course tasting menu for $55 a person which is one of the best deals in town.

3. Oak at Fourteenth - one of Boulder's newest restaurants that puts equal emphasis on their drink and food menus.  The pièce de résistance is center stage in the dining area,  the oak-fired grill which adds woodsy flavor and smoke into dishes up and down the menu.  I can see myself already tasting my way through their 'shared plates' menu with a Monks Garden cocktail in hand.

4. Z Cuisine - simple, market-fresh French dishes are hand written on a chalkboard menu for diners to peruse each evening.  Charming details and friendly staff await your entrance.  Z Cuisine is a very small restaurant that is only open Wed-Sat and word-on-the-street is it is pretty difficult to get into as well (so expect a wait or arrive early).  Yet, to feel like you have fallen into a French Bistro for a night, without a 10 hour flight, seems completely worth the wait.

5. Barolo Grill - this restaurant has become a well-known establishment in Denver for 20 years yet I sadly have yet to dine here.  Rustic dishes are juxtaposed with refined finesse, allowing diners an array of Italian options to choose from.  In August 2011 the restaurant had a major renovation, bringing a contemporary feel to the once dated decor.  

So, if any of you are interested, I am hungry and ready to eat some of the best food this city has to offer!


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- Jaime