The Mile-High dining scene has never been hotter, and this year was one for the record books. Our definitive list of Denver's 10 best new eateries.
Big Hoss Bar-B-Q Steakhouse
3961 Tennyson St., 720-855-3061, www.bighossbarbq.com
Tucked into a booth with pints of beer and plates of St. Louis-style ribs, Texas brisket, and Kansas City pulled pork before us, we're transfixed by Big Hoss Bar-B-Q Steakhouse's spirited vibe. Could be the heavenly scent of smoke and vinegar that fills the air, or the booming voice of owner Hoss Orwat holding court in the sunken bar, or the diners—many of whom Orwat knows by name—trading "huntin'" stories over PBRs. Or it could be the handsome, masculine dining room that feels somehow refined and comfortable all at once.
This is upscale barbecue (read: no Styrofoam or plastic forks), but it's still the perfect spot to roll up your sleeves, order more meat than you should, and get your grub on. The smoky chicken smothered in a tangy Alabama white sauce will likely disappear first, followed by tender brisket and pulled pork, spot-on coleslaw, and crispy steak fries dunked in Big Hoss sauce.
This zesty blend—a bottle of which sits on each table—combines Orwat's favorite elements from each barbecue region: the Carolinas, Kansas City, Memphis, and Texas. The result is a punchy sauce that complements everything you put it on—savory baked beans, meaty bison back ribs, cracklin' rib tips, and the crispy hand-cut chips.
Opened December 2006
Best Bites The Memphis Belle sandwich with brisket and a side of steak fries
Hot Seat Grab a booth near the bar in the handsome dining room.
Don't Miss Big Hoss' addictive barbecue sauce, which is sold at the restaurant and at Whole Foods.