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.
6 Potager (last year 19)
Chef-owner Teri Rippeto subscribes to the ideal that food is only as good as the ingredients themselves. It’s such a basic premise, and yet when Rippeto opened Potager in 1997, she was considered a pioneer in the Denver dining scene. Depending on the season, you will taste the sunniest of summer tomatoes or the earthiest of winter turnips in Rippeto’s dishes. There’s much to be said about leaving an ingredient alone and allowing its natural flavors to bloom, but there have been times in the past when Rippeto had too light a hand. Last year, her attention seemed focused on the top half of the menu. Starters were, without exception, seasoned beautifully and carefully conceived. The entrées, however, did not receive the same consideration. That oversight has since been corrected—and beautifully so. Portions are generous and curated but not overly meticulous. Seasoning is spot-on. Free-flowing service from one of the city’s best teams follows suit. And there’s something about the classically urban space that never ceases to pull you in and make you feel like you’re in the know. 1109 Ogden St., 303-832-5788, potagerrestaurant.com