Feature

Top 25 Restaurants

Our food editor's phone rings constantly here at 5280, always with the same S.O.S. — "I'm taking the in-laws/boss/grandparents/hot girl next door to dinner. Where should we go? What's the best?" Finding that answer is a never-ending

September 2005

AIX
719 E. 17th Ave., 303-831-1296

Three words describe the decor and the food at this charming Uptown Provençal French eatery: fresh, fresh, fresh. Abstract canvases, modern metal details, and glass lanterns swirled with acid-green color create a clean, spare backdrop for cuisine that enchants with fresh, seasonal produce. Highlights include the beet and fennel salad off the small-plates menu, with sweet golden beets topped by slivers of tangy goat cheese and smoothed out by a subtle fennel slaw, or the classic tuna niçoise featuring chunks of sweet, pink tuna offset by kalamata olives and mustard-tarragon aioli.

Chef's favorite dish: Seared foie gras brioche served with seasonal berry compote and shaved country ham (from the small-plates menu)