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.
19 Duo Restaurant (last year 22)
Skipping over Duo’s vegetarian offerings is nothing short of a missed opportunity. This is, in fact, precisely what the restaurant touts: farm-fresh, as local as possible, and in season. If you can’t detect clean summery flavors or homey autumnal notes in the food you’re eating, then the kitchen hasn’t done its job. A recent meal revealed that executive chef Tyler Skrivanek (who took over from John Broening in February) revels in Duo’s mission. Skrivanek’s been cooking at Duo for seven years, and he’s clearly acquired Broening’s light touch and allegiance to quality. This steadiness transfers beyond vegetables to Duo’s meat and fish dishes—and especially to the merguez lamb meatballs, in which delicate flavorings, local white bean salad, and charred green onion pistou keep the dish light. Eight years after opening, Duo still admirably serves the Highland neighborhood that grew up around it. 2413 W. 32nd Ave., 303-477-4141, duodenver.com