Best New Restaurants 2009

They are all hip, refined places to see—and be seen. But, most of all, the food is excellent. This winter, escape to one (or more) of Denver’s most fabulous new eateries for a meal that’s guaranteed to please your palate.

December 2009

The Squeaky Bean

3301 Tejon St.

God bless the cocktail that kicked off the Squeaky Bean. In 2006, owner Johnny Ballen was in Palmanova, Italy, sipping a classically effervescent blend of orange-flavored Aperol, Prosecco, and sparkling water, when he began dreaming up his perfect restaurant. Three years later, in May 2009, the Squeaky Bean threw open its doors, inviting diners to sip the drink—dubbed the Squeaky Spritz—and order off an eclectic, largely seasonal menu. Heading up the kitchen is chef Max Mac­Kissock, who first caught our eye at Vita (a "Best New Restaurant" in 2007). Here, in his tiny but well-stocked kitchen, you can sense MacKissock's growth as a chef. This is confident, smart, even daring food. Dishes like creamy duck rillettes served with house-made mustard and fruit preserves or caramely braised beef cheeks show his reach, while side dishes like custardy spoon bread and wickedly delicious potato fonduta (served in a hollowed-out potato) demonstrate his playfulness. You can tell MacKissock is having fun, and a happy chef makes a happy restaurant.

Hot Seat
A two-top along the windows is best for taking in the space while still being right in the middle of the action.

Don't Miss
Squash gratin with salsa verde; beef cheeks; gluten-free chocolate dessert

Did You Know?
The restaurant is named after the sound a green bean makes when bitten.