25 Best Restaurants
After countless lunches and dinners, tens of thousands of calories, and hours of careful deliberation and debate, our fourth annual ranking of the Denver area’s best restaurants is complete. Dig in for a comprehensive, of-the-moment snapshot of the local dining scene.
23 Trillium (last year 16)
If Trillium, Ryan Leinonen’s Scandinavian-influenced American bistro, feels like part of a passing fad, consider this: Although bold-name restaurants such as René Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen brought Nordic cuisine into the dining lexicon in a serious way of late, Leinonen is less about trends and more about exploring his own personal roots. He grew up in Michigan, learned to cook under his Finnish grandmother, and later married a Swede. In other words, Leinonen’s cooking is a unique representation of his background. His food bears the clean and bold Nordic stamp, just as it comforts diners in a traditional American fashion. Scandinavian ingredients such as rye, cloudberries, fresh dill, and horseradish are scattered about the menu, but they mingle with standbys such as a grilled pork chop, foie gras, pickled shrimp, and New York strip. Taken as a whole, Leinonen’s dishes offer a sense of discovery that is both worldly and grounded. 2134 Larimer St., 303-379-9759, trilliumdenver.com