Concourse Restaurant Moderne

What’s 1,726 miles between friends? Not enough to keep chef-owner Lon Symensma (ChoLon, Cho77) from asking his pal Luke Bergman to leave Miami Beach to lead the kitchen (and become a partner) at Symensma’s now three-month-old Stapleton eatery. The elegant restaurant is ambitious, serving breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and weekend brunch. But as the vibe and the menu evolve throughout the day, not a bad bite comes off Bergman’s line. We especially love items cooked on the screaming-hot “plancha,” or flattop grill, for the deep caramelization it gives. The only better combo at Concourse than Symensma and Bergman is the Bitter Mai Tai cocktail with the charred calamari, a prime example of browning via plancha. Creamy lemon sauce and pickled celery gild without going too far, as does Concourse. 10195 E. 29th Drive, Suite 140, 720-550-6934

Hinman’s Bakery

It may sound creepy, but we’ve been stalking pastry chef John Hinman for years. We first fell for his flaky-crusted cherry pie back when he worked at the Post Brewing Co. in Lafayette in 2015. (The dessert took the crown in 5280’s Top of the Town issue that year.) When Hinman decamped to run his own bakery, which opened last October, in Northeast Park Hill, we were thrilled…until we learned it was a wholesale- only endeavor. Finally, in March, Hinman’s Bakery opened its storefront to the public. Since then, we’ve been happily frequenting the unassuming spot for his sweet and savory creations. The case is regularly stocked with many-layered croissants, tender Danish, and, of course, pie. There’s also a short menu of breakfast and lunch sandwiches, including our new obsession, a recent special: the green chile cheeseburger. 4850 E. 39th Ave., 303-287-3431

El Five

Stepping off the elevator into the fifth-floor penthouse that holds LoHi’s newest hot spot, El Five, is like walking into a swanky artist’s loft—one with an open kitchen, wraparound views, a patio, and a vibrant, sultry interior dominated by vintage Egyptian movie posters. (The stunning aesthetics are not surprising, considering that it’s a Justin Cucci endeavor; he’s also the force behind eclectically stylish Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, and Vital Root.) Snagging a table has been tricky since the 250-seat space opened in May. But once you do, there’s plenty to love about the food and drink, from crisp gin and tonics served in wine glasses with ornate custom garnishes to new-school, Mediterranean-style tapas like charred baba ghanoush with smoked almonds and lemony goat-milk yogurt. El Five is on top of its game in more ways than one. 2930 Umatilla St., 303-524-9193

Bonus: A Peachy Treat

Our favorite way to celebrate National Peach Month? With a caramelized, vanilla-pastry-cream-filled, Palisade peach–topped doughnut from Glazed & Confuzed Donuts. The shop’s new location in the Stanley Marketplace means you don’t have to travel farther than Aurora to get a taste of Western Slope goodness.

This article was originally published in 5280 August 2017.
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin
Callie Sumlin is a writer living in Westminster, and has been covering food and sustainability in the Centennial State for more than five years.
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.