What a difference a year makes. Denver’s restaurant scene is in the midst of a big transformation—you won’t want to miss a single bite.
—Photography by Carmel Zucker
11 Oak at Fourteenth (last year 11)
What Oak does best, it does quietly. Casually mention you’re sharing a dish, and it shows up split for two and beautifully plated. A new, folded napkin arrives before you even realize you’ve dropped yours. Smart server inquiries lead to sound menu choices: Which spirits do you prefer? Are you in the mood for a lighter or more filling meal? This foundation—a feeling of genuinely being cared for—allows executive chef Steven Redzikowski’s New American dishes to speak loudly. On a recent evening, a branzino entrée was a shining example of the chef’s balance of flavors: There was smoke from the oak-fired oven, spice from the curried coconut sauce, and tang from a perfect amount of acid. Altogether, the service, Redzikowski’s food, and beverage director–owner Bryan Dayton’s smooth cocktails create an experience you’ll want to repeat. 1400 Pearl St., Boulder, 303-444-3622, oakatfourteenth.com