Colorado restaurants are expected to post the strongest growth for any state in the nation in 2010, according to a report from the National Restaurant Association (via the Denver Business Journal). Sales should increase 2.9 percent, to $8.7 billion this year, continuing a 2009 trend that bucked the recession.

A couple factors—Colorado’s anticipated population growth of 1.4 percent and residents’ disposable income—are helping push the forecast up to 1.8 percent, a tie for third-highest in the country.

Not only are the state’s restaurants expected to do well, they’re unique enough to garner national attention, just as Fort Collins’ Fish has in The New York Times.

The news comes just in time for Denver Restaurant Week 2010, which spans February 20 to March 5. The two-week celebration of the local culinary scene offers a multi-course dinner for the fixed price of $52.80 for two.