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.
25 Spuntino (new to the list)
When owners John Broening and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom temporarily closed Spuntino several months ago for a remodel, they banished the dessert case to the back. This was not because Lozada-Hissom (a four-time James Beard Foundation–nominated pastry chef) had a change of heart, but instead because so many diners couldn’t see the restaurant that existed beyond the gelato and sweets selections. That meant a terrific neighborhood bistro was getting lost in the shuffle. Now, with a newfangled interior of rustic wood, elegant wallpaper, and a bar that runs the length of the narrow space, Spuntino’s seasonal cuisine sits front and center. The result has been a steady increase in dinner business—momentum bolstered by a new beverage program. Executive chef Nick Ames’ menus come across as fresh, inspired (the risotto made with quinoa and farro—called “quinotto”—stirred with fresh herbs, and topped with a shaved root salad is just one example), and approachable. Spuntino also offers a tremendous value with entrées ringing in at no more than $18. When the restaurant figures out a more capable hood system, there will be few places that can match its gathering force. 2639 W. 32nd Ave., 303-433-0949, spuntinodenver.com