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.
16 Colt & Gray (last year 9)
Service—which can be spotty at so many Denver restaurants—is never an issue at Colt & Gray. Barman Kevin Burke turns out some of the city’s most carefully crafted cocktails, and a seasoned and personable waitstaff attends to the dining room. The front-of-the-house star is headwaiter and sommelier Adam Condit, who carefully listens to preferences, offers suggestions, and gently guides you to the best possible experience. But even with Condit’s watchful eye in the dining room, the dishes coming from chef-owner Nelson Perkins’ kitchen just don’t measure up as they have in the past. Of late, each dish seems to offer both a high point and a flaw: the Burrata, bedecked by stunning heirloom tomatoes, needed salt; the frisée’s crispy poached egg was oozy perfection over woefully overdressed greens; the roasted corn agnolotti sung of cozy, cold-weather food on a sizzling August evening. Perkins’ other projects—a bar named Ste. Ellie and a salumeria called Viande Colorado Charcuterie—might make one wonder whether Colt & Gray is getting the attention it needs. With a bit of TLC, however, we’re sure the restaurant will bounce back to its old—and nearly perfect—self. 1553 Platte St., 303-477-1447, coltandgray.com