14. Fruition Restaurant

Last year 6

Fruition may not have the wildly creative spirit of Alex Seidel’s newest venture, Mercantile Dining & Provision (number three on this list), but that’s not a knock. The tiny neighborhood restaurant is still turning out fantastic food. It’s packed every night of the week, and recent updates (new lighting, new paint, new art) refreshed the space with the whitewashed feeling of a New England farmhouse. Go for the brand of comfort food—such as the pasta carbonara with hand-made cavatelli and house-cured pork belly—that helped Seidel make a name for himself, then branch out with dishes that showcase the produce and cheese coming from Seidel’s farm. For a spot that doesn’t have a dedicated sit-down bar, the beer list and cocktails have vastly improved, and Aaron Foster’s command of the wide-reaching wine list is commendable. 1313 E. Sixth Ave., 303-831-1962, fruitionrestaurant.com

Order this: octopus carpaccio with Ibérico chorizo, red quinoa tabbouleh, and sheep skyr