7. Beast & Bottle

Last year 22

After a few bumps last year, this tiny Uptown bistro has found its groove. Chef and proprietor Paul Reilly’s seasonal cuisine has never been more finely tuned, Jon Feuersanger’s bar runs like a Swiss watch, and Aileen Reilly’s front-of-the-house aptitude knits the experiences together. Dinner at Beast & Bottle is so easy and delightful that the restaurant has become a staple for all occasions: birthdays and anniversaries, nights on the town, and even casual evenings when you just want to get out of the house. The best seats are at Feuersanger’s bar or at the six-top that abuts the front window. Both spots allow you to see what’s coming out of the kitchen—consider it a preview of what’s to come. 719 E. 17th Ave., 303-623-3223, beastandbottle.com

Order this: dayboat fluke crudo with Meyer lemon, celery, mint, and crispy quinoa

(Read 5280’s review of Beast & Bottle from the November 2013 issue.)