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
19 Barolo Grill (not ranked last year)
Last year Barolo Grill, a Denver icon, fell from this list, largely because the experience of dining there wasn’t keeping up with the rapidly transforming Mile High City food scene. In the year since, owner Blair Taylor and executive chef Darrel Truett have seriously stepped up their game. Service has always been a strong point here, with a waitstaff that’s steeped in knowledge of the Barolo region’s food, culture, and wine. In its current incarnation, Truett’s cuisine not only matches the fine-tuned staff, but also surpasses it. His Italian dishes skew modern without shunning tradition or going too far. For proof, order the roasted halibut with zucchini, yellow squash, sweet peppers, and spicy pomodoro sorbet: Green tomato brodo is poured tableside, and the sorbet gradually melts into the broth. The entrée is a complex interplay of temperatures and textures, evidence Truett has found a rhythm that pushes Barolo right back into the dining conversation. 3030 E. Sixth Ave., 303-393-1040, barologrilldenver.com