15. Old Major

Last year 21

If there’s a dish that captures the essence of Old Major, it’s the ham and biscuits: buttery, fall-apart cheddar biscuits stacked with salty, house-smoked ham and a slather of sweet pepper jam. Yes, this is a restaurant built around wonderful indulgence. The wood-hewn room’s heft demands weighty dishes and a meat-centric focus (see the glassed-in charcuterie room and the in-house butchery program). At times, Justin Brunson rightly pulls back and balances all that richness with fresh details, like a crunchy kohlrabi salad or a simple grilled fish. It’s these moments, and Brunson’s fierce dedication to the finest ingredients, that make Old Major thrive. 3316 Tejon St., 720-420-0622, oldmajordenver.com

Order this: smoked mussel flatbread with lime aïoli, sweet corn, kale, chile, and red onion

(Read 5280’s review of Old Major from the November 2013 issue.)