Chef Steve Redzikowski, who’s spent time in the kitchens of Le Cirque, Jean-Georges, and Frasca Food and Wine, is no stranger to working long hours. After all, he splits his days between Oak at Fourteenth and Acorn, the two restaurants he co-owns with bar wiz Bryan Dayton. Running two restaurants—one in Boulder and one in Denver—and feeding the mobs that descended when Acorn landed on Bon Appétit’s Best New Restaurants of 2014 list, can stretch a chef to his limits. But Redzikowski is up for the challenge, so long as he gets to eat what he wants when he’s off the clock.

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5280: Where do you eat out in Boulder or Denver?

SR: I don’t like fancy at all. I am the most anti-fancy. Any chance to get back to New York I will. That’s where I really love to eat. That place just really kicks my butt and inspires me to do better.

I’d say around here I really like going to Uncle. Tommy [Lee] does a great job over there. It’s a nice streamlined concept and I think he does everything really well. I really, really like Rosenberg’s. I think that place is terrific. This town has needed something like that forever. Coming from New York…I consider a killer bagel place like that food culture. I think that place is top one or two of my favorites to go to.