Chef Hosea Rosenberg's Favorite Restaurants in Denver/Boulder

The mastermind behind Blackbelly dishes on his local haunts
August 6, 2016
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by Zagat Staff

As the tireless chef-owner of Boulder's wildly popular Blackbelly — a restaurant, butcher shop and catering operation — Hosea Rosenberg is a man on the move. But when he does somehow find the time to dine out, these spots make his short list. 

Fruition Restaurant
New American · Country Club · $$$
Food 4.8 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.7

This Country Club "diamond" boasts a menu that reads "like a foodie romance novel" and brings to life a "seductive" approach to "garden-to-table" New American cuisine, by turns "rustic" and "ethereal" , "nuanced" and "startling" (and matched by a "well-thought-out" , "value" -oriented wine list); meanwhile, the "deft" manner of the "astute" staff makes even the "crowded" , "close quarters" seem "charming" – though getting into them at all can be "difficult" : "book far ahead."
Mercantile Dining and Provision
New American · LoDo · $$$
Food 4.7 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

Alex Seidel (Fruition Restaurant) and his team have "another winner” in LoDo’s Union Station: by day, the “hip” , “high-energy” space functions as a European-style market offering “superb” sandwiches and “top-notch” coffees; by evening, the open kitchen prepares an “inspired” assortment of “complex, artfully executed” New American dishes, delivered (along with "delicious" wines and cocktails) by “agreeable servers who want you to feel welcome” – ensuring you "can't wait" to return.
Oak
American · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

Boulder's "trendy crowd" "never turns down an invitation" to this "regular favorite" where the "imaginatively prepared" New American fare is "packed with flavor" and the "unique cocktails" are "off the charts" ; granted, so are the "deafening" noise levels in the "contemporary" dining room, but so long as you can hear your server "make great recommendations" , you're in for a meal that's "worth" the "expense."
Basta
Italian · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.3

Though the “delicious” pies are “like a gift from Naples” , chef-owner Kelly Whitaker's modern Italian-inspired spot "hidden” among luxury lofts “definitely does more than pizza – try the wood-fired chicken” and burrata that “melts in your mouth” , along with “interesting, well-priced” wines and "excellent" cocktails too; bolstered by "friendly, professional" service, the dining room overlooking the open kitchen is small and "simple" but always “full of life."
Beast + Bottle
New American · Uptown · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.3

"Great for brunch" but "even better for date night" , this "cute" Uptown "gem" is "warm and cozy" with a "locally sourced" New American menu that's "cool" and "imaginative" , paired with "wines and cocktails that are out of this world" ; though not inexpensive, it's "fine dining" that delivers "consistently good value" , bolstered by a "knowledgeable" , "personable" crew.
Hop Alley
Chinese · River North Art District · $$

From restaurateur Tommy Lee (Uncle) comes this hip RiNo hangout proffering modern interpretations of regional Chinese dishes in a shared-plates format. The low-lit space features an open kitchen with subway tiles, charred-wood walls and a cozy bar pouring craft beers, ciders and a changing menu of clever cocktails.