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Fried chicken continues to flood our fair city, and three-month-old Low Country Kitchen has joined the party with a new outpost in LoHi. Owners Brian and Katy Vaughn (from Lexington, Kentucky, and Chattanooga, Tennessee, respectively) opened the original Low Country in Steamboat Springs in 2014 to satisfy their hunger pangs for the food of their childhoods. Now Denverites can dig into the Vaughns’ homestyle offerings, including cheesy shrimp and grits and bourbon cocktails aplenty—the frosty mint juleps are perfect for slow sipping. But save room for Low’s fried bird, which undergoes a three-day process before it hits your table. First, the chicken brines in salt, sugar, and herbs for 24 hours; then it marinates for another day in buttermilk and hot sauce. On day three, the pieces are doused in flour and secret spices then fried to juicy perfection. 1575 Boulder St., Unit A, 720-512-4168
Dining in 21-year-old Domo’s Japanese garden is especially lovely this month as the foliage turns a verdant green under the early summer sun. Complete your lunch escape with a bowl of nanban ramen. While “nanban” is often associated with a chicken dish, the Japanese term is also used to denote anything foreign and desirable—in the case of Domo’s ramen, that’s the presence of curry powder. The hint of spice in the long-simmered dashi broth plays nicely with chewy noodles, chicken or pork, and crunchy bean sprouts. The best part? You couldn’t take the ramen back to your office even if you wanted to: Domo won’t sell it as a carryout order because it insists that the noodles be eaten fresh. Take the mandate as an invitation to sit down and slurp away. 1365 Osage St., 303-595-3666
If it seems to you that restaurants from the coasts are taking over Cherry Creek like the aliens in Independence Day, you’re right. Luckily, a lot of these interlopers (Matsuhisa, Sol Cocina) are pretty darn good, and now you can add three-month-old Quality Italian to that list. Located in the Halcyon hotel—across the lobby from Portland-import Departure Restaurant and Lounge (also very good)—the Italian-American steak house is off to a strong start. Quality Italian NYC chef-partners Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito have brought us a playful menu with quirky spins on classics and dramatic tableside service. Spicy lobster for a rigatoni dish is flambéed within inches of your chair; ingredients for steak sauce are emulsified in a mortar and pestle as you watch; and custom cannoli arrive on a cart, shells waiting to be filled with your choice of flavored cream. With food like this, we say, “Welcome to town.” 241 Columbine St., 303-532-8888