Dining in Denver 2004

December 2004

Denver's got a full plate — dig into our annual list and see which restaurants are up (and which are down).

At a table by the window, the dish arrives with a flourish. Before fork and knife are plucked from the tabletop, the plate is admired not only for the tastes to come but also as a work of art. On a brilliantly white platter, four medium-rare medallions of lamb and veal sit atop a puddle of berry-maple sauce garnished with a scallion waffle and a mound of aromatic sage-mashed potatoes. A ribbon of fragrant steam rises up as if to challenge the diner to wait any longer. A glass of Paringa Shiraz is raised, cheers is said, and fork comes to mouth with ceremony.

It's meals like this one at Opus Restaurant that you'll discover as you eat your way through the 2004 Dining in Denver list.

It's been an exciting year of dining, with exotic new additions like Zengo and Mao, comforting, homey places like Table 6 and The Kitchen, and sophisticated restaurants like Frasca Food and Wine and Mirepoix raising the bar. It's also been a year of loss, as Sean Kelly's Claire de Lune and Sean Yontz's Vega - both winners last year - closed their doors. This annual list is an account of dining in the metro area over the last year. There are winners and there are losers, but all in all, we say dining in Denver has never been better.