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
21 Old Major (last year 10)
When you’re first seated at Old Major, you’ll likely notice two things: the vast, gleaming open kitchen and the glassed-in charcuterie room. Both are justifiably impressive, and they give diners a sense that food here is taken seriously—very seriously. Taste the wares of executive chef and owner Justin Brunson’s in-house curing program by ordering the charcuterie plate, and then quiz your server for details about each cut. In fact, that’s a good rule by which to dine at Old Major: Ask questions. Dishes are gorgeous and presented with flourish, but rarely are they explained to the degree you’d expect from a chef so devoted to his craft. In Denver’s ever-expanding restaurant culture, this service discrepancy can mean the difference between a great dinner and a good one. Brunson is known for his dedication to heritage-raised Colorado pork (which he butchers in-house), but his lighter seafood-centric dishes often surpass the meatier ones. 3316 Tejon St., 720-420-0622, oldmajordenver.com