Given Denver's explosive restaurant scene, it's all but impossible to narrow down a list of favorite dishes — the foods we crave the most — but here it is: our picks for the 10 best bites we've devoured in Denver over recent months, all of which make us hungry for more.
Corned beef hash from Central Bistro & Bar
Admirers of this LoHi seasonal American, whose kitchen is quarterbacked by chef Matt Selby, are enamored, as are we, with the brunch-only corned beef hash, a crisp-edged, texturally perfect sphere of shredded potatoes and salty corned beef elevated with pickled shallots, scallions and a yolk-spilling poached egg.
1691 Central St.; 303-477–4582
Morel mushroom toast from Acorn
Chef Steven Redzikowski's seasonally intensive menu changes on a whim, but our current obsession is his morel mushroom toast, a splay of earthy white caps propped on char-flecked bread smeared with housemade ricotta and topped with fennel pollen and glistening pea shoots. Morel season is nearly over, which means the dish won't be on the menu for much longer, so get it while you still can.
3350 Brighton Blvd.; 720-542-3721
Bluefin tuna collar from Land of Sushi
The bluefin tuna collar at Land of Sushi isn't on the menu, nor does it make an appearance on the specials board, but regulars of this sensational shrine to pristine fish — raw and cooked — know that the roasted collar, when it's available (call ahead to make sure), is the prize catch. The flesh, served on the bone, is meaty, tender, impossibly rich and paired with wedges of lime and a spicy ponzu sauce.
2142 E. Arapahoe Rd.; 303-779-0608
Barbecued rainbow carrots from Farm House at Breckenridge Brewery
When it comes to vegetables, there's nothing better than the simplicity of just-unearthed carrots. And while they're undeniably delicious raw, the kitchen crew at this newly opened beer campus takes them up a notch, charring the rainbow-hued root vegetables until they're perfumed with smoke and serving them with drizzles of crème fraîche laced with fresh dill.
2920 Brewery Ln.; 303-573-0431
Chicken karaage from Osaka Ramen
Chef-owner Jeff Osaka's chicken karaage — Japanese fried chicken — features boneless pieces of dark meat crusted with potato flour and marinated in ginger, garlic, soy and citrus, the result of which yields crisp, delicate and addictive skin and incredibly tender meat. Not that it needs a boost, but the sunrise-colored spicy Japanese mayo that comes alongside is excellent too.
2611 Walnut St.; 303-955-7938
Naadan from Biju's Little Curry Shop
The chalkboard menu at Biju's Little Curry Shop, a contemporary fast-casual Indian storefront, is streamlined for simplicity, a necessity considering the lines that snake out the door during peak times. There's a chicken bowl, a beef bowl, a veggie bowl and the naadan bowl, which consists of a little of this, a little of that and a symphony of bold flavors and textures. Brimming with chicken curry (get the vindaloo), beef curry, white or basmati rice, vegetables, curried lentils, cubed potatoes, crushed pappadams and your choice of a variety of chutneys and sauces, it's bound to bowl you over.
1441 26th St.; 303-292-3500
Vietnamese shrimp roll from ChoLon
There are plenty of Vietnamese haunts that offer spring rolls, but no one does them like ChoLon, chef-owner Lon Symensma's modern Asian restaurant. Here, the new menu addition is an artfully composed plate that struts a dissected shrimp roll complemented with fresh ginger, pickled crimson beets, cucumbers and a swipe of sauce infused with soy.
1555 Blake St.; 303-353-5223
Vegetable samosas from Cho77
We're also head over heels for the gold-tinged samosas at Cho77, Symensma's new Asian street-food stop in Baker. The highly addictive all-vegetarian snacks, enveloping cauliflower, creamy potatoes, garam masala, cilantro and cardamom, are paired with a cooling yogurt punctuated with cilantro.
42 S. Broadway; 720-638-8179
Rosé and rhubarb pairing from Harman's Eat & Drink
John Chad Little, exec chef of Harman's, just launched his rosé and rhubarb trio earlier this month, and the result is a luxurious collection of bites that amplify the vibrant flavors of the season. The slate plate arrives with a sweet oyster, its flesh topped with rhubarb granita, little orbs of sour cream and flecks of cilantro; a lovely rhubarb and strawberry gazpacho punctuated with a sheet of house-cured ham; and a sliver of smoked goat cheese matched with rhubarb jam and grilled bread. It all amounts to a spectacular display, paired with three generous pours of rosé, that's especially tempting on a hot summer afternoon.
2900 E. Second Ave.; 303-388-7428
Foie gras bonbons from Milk & Honey Bar & Kitchen
Decadence abounds at Larimer Square's swanky new Milk & Honey Bar & Kitchen, where chef Lance Barto's foie gras bonbons, rolled in cashew brittle torched with liquid nitrogen and plated with housemade cherry syrup, will make your eyes roll in euphoria.
1414 Larimer St.; 303-319-9922