What's on Denver's shortlist of hot spots right now? Glad you asked. The buzz is strong with these 10 places, all opened within the past six months.
Must-order: An ice cream sandwich or a cotton-candy waffle cone
Insider tip: Now through February 28, creative kiddos are invited to submit valentines in a parent's honor that explain what ice cream flavor mom or dad would be and why. Not only will the winning flavor be added to the lineup, but its inventor will receive an ice cream social for the whole family. Get the full details at the shop.
Must-order: Crispy sunchokes, fried crab, hen of the woods with celeriac, gnocchi with uni cream (pictured), grilled branzino — or a preordered Whole Beast Feast
Insider tip: If this doesn’t look like the kind of place where you could catch the game, guess again — those gilt-framed mirrors behind the bar (pictured top) are elaborate covers for TVs.
Must-order: Beef-fat candle, riccio di mare, linguine nere with calamari, short-rib risotto, scallops in lobster bisque
Insider tip: If it’s a special evening, book a table on the mezzanine in advance for an intimate perch with a view.
Must-order: Besides steak, Colorado lamb (pictured) and bison
Insider tip: In a town as casual as Denver, feeling underdressed is rare. But trust us — if you put a little extra effort into looking sharp before coming here, you'll be glad you did.
1550 Market St.; 720-597-8010
Must-order: Frog's legs karaage (pictured), cream pork kimchi, Mizu roll
Insider tip: Don't overlook the list of daily specials, featuring such surprises as insalata caprese with Fernet dressing.
1560 Boulder St.; 720-372-7100
Must-order: The veggie sandwich (lunch only), braised short ribs, mint fazzoletti, sunchoke mezzaluna
Insider tip: Rowdy kids in tow? Sit in back — the video screening on the wall will mesmerize them.
3264 Larimer St.; 303-562-1965
Must-order: To name just a few of a wide array: egg-challah scramble with pork belly at Izzio, the salumi cone and grilled cheese sandwich at Culture Meat and Cheese, oysters at Silva's Market, the Massimeno pizza at Vero (pictured), SK Provisions' porchetta and a five-scoop flight at High Point Creamery
Insider tip: Though the market closes at 8 PM, rest assured that its house bar, Curio, keeps the party going until 10 PM on weeknights and midnight on weekends.