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.
The Squeaky Bean
When a neighborhood restaurant relocates to a new part of town, an identity crisis is almost certain. But when the Squeaky Bean traded its Highland digs for a space in LoDo, it did so smartly. The restaurant has been remade: No longer a neighborhood spot, the Bean is a downtown dining destination. Even before chef Max MacKissock served his last meal at 33rd and Tejon, you could sense the transition. His cooking had evolved from straightforward (albeit excellent) dishes to more intellectual and expressive concoctions. The deconstructing and dehydrating demanded a bold platform. And the new space, housed in the historic Saddlery Building on the corner of Wynkoop and 15th, is a proper showcase. Diners looking for the old Bean will likely be disappointed, until they grasp that underneath the gloss, the philosophy—good food is good fun—is the same. Dishes are spirited (the truffle and the hare; one potato, two potato; pot au pho) and often feature wild juxtapositions, but the combinations are sound and thought-provoking. Most important, dishes are as exciting to eat as they are to look at.
Hot Seat: The two-seater against the window in the west corner ensures privacy, a little quiet (the space can be noisy), and an opportunity to take in the scene.
Don’t Miss: Hand-rolled couscous with smoked date purée, roasted cauliflower, and ras el hanout
1500 Wynkoop St., 303-623-2665, thesqueakybean.com