Ten new eateries where the food, staff, and ambiance make for fantastic dining discoveries.
2911 W. 38th Ave., 303-458-1163, www.gelmansmarket.com
We're sure the naysayers told Charlene Connolly and Michelle and Steve Gelman not to open Gelman's on 38th Avenue, one block east of Federal. But aren't we glad the trio disregarded the advice. Since Gelman's opened in December 2005, we've spent many an hour at a corner table, become addicted to the asparagus chicken sandwich with breaded chicken, bacon, and asparagus cream sauce, and told anyone who would listen about this dining gem. What we love most: the welcoming staff, the hand-painted tabletops, and the fresh take on gourmet food. No other market we know serves Challa French toast, marinated hanger steak, or crispy fish and chips with housemade tartar sauce. Bonus: There's a full bar with a rockin' martini happy hour Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Eat The eggs Gelman—smoked ham, asparagus, and poached eggs on English muffin topped with asparagus bacon cream sauce with homemade fries.
Drink The Flirtini: Stoli Razberi, Cointreau, pineapple juice, and Champagne.
Don't Miss Homemade Asiago and artichoke dip served with fresh baguette and veggies (on the dinner menu).
Sit At the far corner table, near the window, for the perfect vantage point to take it all in.
1618 E. 17th Ave., 303-322-0898, www.limondenver.com
If you've never had Peruvian food, here's what you're missing: cebiche, pisco sours, fresh fish, hot peppers, nutty farro, and purple potatoes. The cuisine is rich with Chinese, Spanish, and French influence—and at Límon, chef-owner Alex Gurevich serves an eclectic menu that uses South American ingredients in nontraditional ways. Open since July, the 17th Avenue restaurant has seen huge business serving starters such as the mango, passion fruit, and prawn cebiche and the yucca chips with black mint-béarnaise dipping sauce. For dinner we go for the arroz con pato—a balanced dish of crispy duck confit, cilantro rice, sugar snap peas, and cotija-aji rocoto salsa. The final effect: delicious and exotic but still approachable.
Eat Crispy duck confit over cilantro rice, sugar snap peas, and cotija-aji rocoto salsa.
Drink Chicha Morado—a traditional Peruvian beverage made of purple corn, pineapple, cloves, and cinnamon.
Don't Miss Lucuma (a Peruvian fruit) ice cream and Alfajores cookies, shortbread-like treats filled with dulce de leche.
Sit Inside along the far wall for a perfect perch overlooking the entire restaurant.