One thing is for certain, 2001 has been a year of belly busting. And what it all comes down to is this: what’s hot and what’s not? How is the 2001 Denver dining scene different from 2000’s?
If there was one bona fide trend last year, it was chains saturating the city. California Pizza Kitchen came to town. P.F. Chang’s expanded, as did Il Fornaio, and Roy’s took Denver by storm with its haute Pacific-rim cuisine. Food trends such as crème brûlée, garlic mashed potatoes, rotisserie chicken, steak, and foie gras were big deals – steak the biggest deal of them all. Gourmet-to-go was all the rage with the addition of Tasteez Market, Diane’s Good to Go, The Fine Dining Company, Jody’s Market, and Cooks Fresh Market.
So, what, if anything, has changed this year? The carryout theme lost steam. Cucina Leone, the pioneer of gourmet take-out, shuttered its windows and doors. We said good-bye to Diane’s Good to Go, The Fine Dining Company, and Jody’s Market. But we welcomed Whole Foods Market with gusto. Foie gras is still hot, and the steak race has become even tighter, though don’t expect all the meat meccas to last.