12. Barolo Grill

Last year 19

The evolution of Barolo Grill has been fascinating to watch. Since the restaurant opened in 1992, the reservation books have been full, and it’s always difficult to revise a good thing. But when Darrel Truett was appointed executive chef in 2010, he steadily—and gracefully—updated the Northern Italian cuisine. Today his menu is mind-blowingly good, but what ties the Barolo dining experience together is the waitstaff. Dishes that might seem out of context (hamachi carpaccio) make perfect sense once a server recounts the crew’s experience enjoying a similar dish on the Amalfi Coast. One bite of that smooth fish and the flavors of puttanesca complete the seaside picture. There are more changes afoot at Barolo: This past spring, Blair Taylor sold the restaurant to longtime general manager and wine director Ryan Fletter. But transformation has been kind to Barolo, and we can only imagine what’s to come. 3030 E. Sixth Ave., 303-393-1040, barologrilldenver.com

Order this: agnolotti del plin with veal stuffing and sage brown butter