The local culinary scene has never been brighter. This year’s crop of new restaurants is vibrant, relevant, and, above all, delicious. Book your table now.
If you’re going to copy a New York City restaurant as illustrious as David Chang’s Momofuku Noodle Bar, you’d better do a damn good job. That was what Tommy Lee, owner of Uncle in LoHi, set out to do—and he’s largely succeeded. Uncle’s minimalist, inside-a-bento-box decor is a carbon copy of his inspiration; the menu is similar (even the typeface looks the same); and the counter-as-focal-point is dead-on. It would be a little off-putting if the food and ambience weren’t so inviting. Lee has hit on an invigorating combination of loud music, easygoing servers, a come-as-you-are vibe, and creative noodle bowls. You’ll quickly pick favorites when it comes to the bowls—especially the spicy kimchi ramen with a poached egg and the Bibimbap with pickled mushrooms—but don’t pass up starters. Steamed buns stuffed with seared shrimp patties, Sriracha mayo, and shredded romaine are the envy of fish sandwiches everywhere. Order the sugar snap peas tossed in chile-soy sauce, if only for the heady, addictive remains. Scoop the sauce up with your chopsticks and add it to the Bibimbap or steamed buns—or eat it straight. Most exciting: Uncle is making an impact that’s all its own.
Hot Seat: Tables make conversation easier, but the counter offers a view into the kitchen.
Don’t Miss: Shrimp steamed buns, fried Brussels sprouts
2215 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-3263, uncledenver.tumblr.com