5. The Populist

Last year 14

The word “restaurant” comes from the French verb meaning “to restore”—and this is the very essence of the Populist. The RiNo spot was built around the ideas of sharing, of coming together, and of sinking into the moment. Three years on, the restaurant—sustained by Jonathan Power’s exquisite seasonal dishes—does this perfectly. The menu (dishes are identified with minimal description: “grilled leek pesto bucatini” and “rockfish donburi”) encourages interaction with your server and masks the complexity and beauty coming out of the kitchen. This is a place that quietly pulls people through the door and, even after the check has been paid, continues to entice. 3163 Larimer St., 720-432-3163, thepopulistdenver.com

Order this: seasonal agnolotti

(Read 5280’s review of The Populist from the August 2013 issue.)