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Low Country Kitchen is now serving fried chicken and other comfort foods in LoHi. Photograph courtesy of Laurie Smith

The Highlight Reel: February’s Tastiest Food News

A monthly review of happenings in the Denver dining scene from 5280's food team.

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Keeping up with Denver’s ever-changing, always-growing dining scene can be challenging. For this reason, we bring you “the Highlight Reel,” a monthly recap of everything you need to know about dining out in (and around) the Mile High City. We’ll talk about the month’s hottest openings and news, as well as closings and what we’re looking forward to in the month to come.

For more 5280 food and drink coverage, subscribe to our award-winning, weekly email newsletter, Table Talk.


Recent Openings

On February 1, chef Mary Nguyen opened the second location of Olive & Finch. The Cherry Creek locale is bigger and brighter than the Uptown original.

Broken Rice, a new fast-casual Asian street food-inspired eatery, opened on February 2 on Colorado Boulevard. Bonus: It’s got a full bar.

More Stanley Marketplace spots opened in February: cozy, farm-to-table Annette Scratch to Table started welcoming guests on February 4, while the Denver Biscuit Company joined the ranks on February 14.

It was a happy Valentine’s Day indeed with the opening of Congress Park’s Sweet Cooie’s, an adorable creamery from the Little Man team.

Sweet Cooie
Ice cream with a side of vintage-inspired whimsy at Sweet Cooie’s in Congress Park. Photograph by Rachel Adams

Kahlo’s, a vegetarian and vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant from the owner of Tarasco’s New Latino Cuisine, opened in the Westwood neighborhood.

In early February, the Dive Inn on South Broadway got a new kitchen tenant: the Cluck Truck. The formerly mobile operation has moved in and is slinging the same menu of fried chicken tenders and other comfort foods.

Low Country Kitchen opened on February 27 in LoHi. The Steamboat Springs-based eatery is expanding into Denver with a similar concept of Southern comfort food and family-friendly hospitality.

Denver gained a new food truck this month with Hoof, Wing, and Fin. The mobile operation specializes in bone broth and charcuterie.

Morton’s the Steakhouse moved into the former Sullivan’s location and reopened on February 21.

On February 28, mini-chain Ali Baba Grill opened a location on West 32nd Avenue in LoHi.


Closings

After six years, Frank Bonanno closed Lou’s Food Bar on February 19. Bonanno does have some good news in store for this year: He’ll open a new bistro, French 75, on Stout and 17th sometime in the coming months.

Aurora’s Mu Brewery closed in late February after less than three years in business.

Platte Street’s Eat & Drink closed after five years.

Restaurant Fourteen Seventy Two closed its South Pearl Street location in January.

In March, L’Atelier will close its Boulder location. Chef-owner Radek Cerny is moving L’Atelier to the former Il Posto space in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood.

The 16th Street Mall’s Tilted Kilt closed this month. It will be replaced by Burnt Barrel, Colorado Spirits & Sports this spring.

Cattivella
Cattivella will serve bistecca Fiorentina and other wood-fired Italian fare in Stapleton starting in April. Photograph by Callie Sumlin

News

Semi-finalists for the James Beard Awards have been announced, and the list includes four from Colorado: Frasca Food and Wine is in the running for outstanding restaurant; while Steve Redzikowski (Acorn and Oak at Fourteenth), Alex Seidel (Mercantile Dining & Provision and Fruition), and Erik Skokan (Black Cat and Bramble & Hare) are all contenders in the best chef Southwest category.

On February 16, a handful of Denver restaurants shuttered for “a Day Without Immigrants,” a response to President Trump’s immigration policies. Russell’s Smokehouse, Osteria Marco, and Maria Empanada were among the spots that closed for the day.

Arvada’s Yak & Yeti Brewpub has a new name: Spice Trade Brewing Co. The beers will soon be available in canned format.

The Preservery‘s sous chef, Dave Hadley, appeared on the Food Network’s show Chopped on the 21 of February.

Former Panzano chef Elise Wiggins will open Cattivella, her wood-fired Italian concept, in Stapleton this spring.

Gourmet doughnut purveyor Glazed & Confuzed will shutter its original location on Leetsdale Drive and reopen in the Stanley Marketplace in April.

Chubby Cattle, a Mongolian restaurant from Vegas, is coming to the former Walnut Room location on Broadway this summer. The restaurant promises a unique experience that combines hot pot and a refrigerated conveyor belt system.

Whole Foods’ Capitol Hill store will close this fall upon completion of the new flagship location near Union Station. Whole Foods is also closing stores in both Boulder and Colorado Springs.

Popular breakfast eatery Snooze is planning on opening two locations in Westminster, one to come this summer and another in 2018.

Quality Italian
Quality Italian’s baked lasagna for two with filet mignon meatballs and Robiola cheese. Photograph by Callie Sumlin

What We’re Looking Forward to in March

On March 2, Quality Italian opens its doors inside the Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek. An extension of Quality Branded (a group of restaurants in NYC), the menu features smart, playful takes on red-sauce-joint Italian and steakhouse favorites (think fresh agnolotti filled with dry-aged porterhouse and pizza-shaped chicken Parmesan for two).

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