Thank goodness Carrie Baird, Bar Dough’s executive chef, competed on season 15 of Top Chef when it filmed in the Centennial State last year. Not only did Baird sweeten the show with her Denver-sunny disposition and knack for turning simple dishes into memes—fancy toast!—but she also picked up a whole bunch of culinary confidence from the experience. Now, she’s bringing that swagger and finesse to Bar Dough via consistently excellent wood-fired pizzas, handmade pastas, and plates of vegetables, none excessively garnished or overwrought. If it’s on the menu, order whatever pasta comes with Baird’s pork shank “sugo,” a gorgeous, glossy emulsion of olive oil, tomatoes, and goat Gouda brightened with handfuls of chopped fresh herbs. $$, 2227 W. 32nd Ave., 720-668-8506