Two years in, Max MacKissock’s Bar Dough remains one of the top Italian joints in town. I hope he and executive chef Carrie Baird never take the wonderfully chewy squid-ink tagliarini off the menu, with its delicious combination of plump mussels, squid, tangy-hot Calabrian chiles, and a surprising hit of orange zest. Nor should they even consider changing the Mountain Man pizza, beautifully charred and topped with Gorgonzola and Montasio cheeses, guanciale, pistachios, and a drizzle of spicy honey. And they clearly must leave intact—can you guess the trend?—the wood-fired small plates and showstopping pollo al limone Denverites so love. All that and the bustling vibe of the LoHi spot continue to catapult Bar Dough over the already high bar Denver has set for Italian food. 2227 W. 32nd Ave., 720-668-8506

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen

Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.