From left: A view from the long bar; Maine diver scallops and ricotta toast
Photography by Jennifer Olson
THE DRAW: Hearty wood-fired vegetables and meats, diverse small plates, tables for big groups
THE DRAWBACK: Loud room, some convoluted dishes, weak desserts
DON'T MISS: Roasted pork collar, roasted yams, raw fish plates, toasts
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From left: Diners at the sushi bar; the must-order miso black cod
—Photography by Sarah Boyum
98 N. Steele St., 303-329-6628
THE DRAW: Grand but welcoming room, adept service, inventive dishes, superb fish whether raw or cooked
THE DRAWBACK: Pricey, tables are a bit crowded
DON'T MISS: The omakase menu, any sushi or sashimi...
From left: The Preservery’s market space; squash and Burrata salad
—Photography by Aaron Colussi
THE DRAW: Bright urban-industrial space with good lunchtime sandwiches and evening music
THE DRAWBACK: Transition to dinner marred by uneven cooking and inattentive service
DON'T MISS: Salads, cocktails, octopus appetizer, chicken...
From left: Crunchy toast with tomatoes; chef Kyle Mendenhall —Photos by Carmel Zucker
THE DRAW: Kyle Mendenhall’s kitchen turns out rootsy, often inventive dishes that go well with a terrific wine, beer, cider, and cocktail program
THE DRAWBACK: Has yet to live up to its vaunted goals of blending traditions into a new definition of American cooking...
From left: The bustling dining room; Cafe Marmotte’s coq au vin. —Photography by Carmel Zucker
THE DRAW: A pleasantly eclectic room; classic bistro dishes
THE DRAWBACK: Inconsistent kitchen and several menu misfires
DON'T MISS: Anything braised, such as coq au vin or beef cheeks; onion tart; apps and wine at the small bar
Ordering from the omakase menu promises the most inspired of plates.
—All photography by Lauren DeFilippo
THE DRAW: Beautifully prepared omakase dinners at the sushi bar
THE DRAWBACK: À la carte menu can be hit-or-miss; deep-frying is a weak point
DON'T MISS: Omakase menu, chef’s nigiri picks, broiled hamachi collar, agedashi tofu
—Hop Alley’s lazy Susan table is ideal for family-style dining. All photography by Aaron Colussi
THE DRAW: Lively interpretations of regional Chinese dishes that don’t stray too far into fusion territory; tall cocktails to wash them down
THE DRAWBACK: Some dishes are oversalted, some undersauced
DON'T MISS: Fried chicken with Sichuan pepper, Shanghai rice cakes, suan ni...
Bar Fausto’s crudo changes regularly—here, it includes seared tuna, bottarga, cherry tomatoes, jalapeño, and basil aïoli.
—All photography by Aaron Colussi
Black Eye Coffee Cap Hill
THE DRAW: Handsome space, all-day service, very good brunch.
THE DRAWBACK: Too-complicated cocktails, hit-or-miss-service, weaker p.m. food.
THE DRAW: Expert cocktail innovation and a food menu that goes beyond bar...