21. Bittersweet

Last year 10

Olav Peterson has always looked for ways to distinguish Bittersweet from Denver’s crowded dining scene. To start, he built his restaurant and the adjoining garden as a cohesive unit—in most years, the bounty supplies a large portion of the restaurant’s summer produce. And then there’s his presentation. Peterson has always cooked with an eye toward beauty; few chefs have his propensity for color, texture, and artistry. Now, nearly five years on, Peterson is refreshing Bittersweet by changing the menu’s format. The seasonal cuisine will remain, but instead of the more traditional appetizers-and-entrées setup, he’s reducing portion sizes and prices and presenting most dishes as small plates designed for sharing. 500 E. Alameda Ave., 303-942-0320, bittersweetdenver.com

Order this: herbed sausage with baby turnip, pecorino, and cumin toast