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.
13 Beast & Bottle (new to the list)
In January, when Paul and Aileen Reilly announced they were opening Beast + Bottle in Uptown, they immediately declared that the restaurant would not be Encore reincarnated. Instead, the siblings intended to elevate the late-eatery’s best elements. Mission accomplished. Given the Reillys’ penchant for brunch, it’s no surprise that the menu is rife with exalted staples: The burger touts lamb belly; a pork shoulder tostada with charred tomatillos and queso panela replaces huevos rancheros; and the hotcake shows up with dried cherries, pistachios, and lemon curd. But to simply view B+B as a midday spot is to ignore the restaurant’s best asset: dinner. Squeeze into the space, and find it jammed with neighbors sipping wine and fawning over dishes from the tight menu. A dozen or so small plates round out the options—including a don’t-miss vegetable (pea, corn, etc.) soufflé that gracefully demonstrates the Reillys’ innovation and finesse. 719 E. 17th Ave., 303-623-3223, beastandbottle.com