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
8 Basta (new to the list)
When Basta in Boulder stripped “pizzeria” from its name two years ago, executive chef and owner Kelly Whitaker did not remove pizza from the restaurant’s offerings. Indeed, seven pies still anchor the menu and have since spawned Cart-Driver, a Denver outpost. What the slight reconcept did do was free up Whitaker to chase his original vision. Basta, which means “enough” in Italian, employs meticulous ingredients to create simple, seasonally rich cuisine. Refined but rustic dishes such as duck rillettes or a whole Colorado bass served on a thick wooden cutting board bear the mark of Whitaker’s training in Italy and Los Angeles—and they sing in a minimalist dining room warmed by the hearth of a wood-fired oven. 3601 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303-997-8775, bastaboulder.com