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New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

providence
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New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

I'm an expat Coloradoan coming back for a visit after too many years in October. My favorite month in Colorado by the way. Wondering about places to eat in the Downtown area and any must visit restaurants in the metro area. My wife (why I'm an expat) and I are both foodies and I am a chef so we are kind of picky but very brave. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

The restaurant scene has sure changed the past 20 years since I last lived there! Check the Westword 2013 list for new stuff (I recognize maybe 3 places, lol) westword.com/bestof/…

Some oldies that are still around Buckhorn Exchange, The Fort (not downtown), The Cherry Cricket,

Jazz at El Chapultepec

Gone but not forgotten: Josephina's, Lafitte, Bratskellar, Magic Pan, Daddy Bruce's (great story http://epworthfoundation.org/DaddyBruce.html ) , White Spot, Denver Drumstick,

And last but not least a trip back in time to Casa Bonita or Old Spaghetti Factory!!!! LOL!

Colorado
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for Colorado
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2. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

How many years? As Casa said the dining scene in Denver is much different, thankfully!

Some favorites, Linger, any of Frank Bonanno's restaurants http://www.frankbonanno.com, Root Down, Tag, Rioja

The food truck scene is growing in Denver. Pinche Tacos is now a restaurant that grew out of a food truck. Fantastic!!! http://pinchetacos.com

Many/all of the breweries, that are breweries not brew pups, have food trucks they partner with. They are doing some pretty creative things out of those trucks!

http://greatdivide.com/age/?ref=/

http://www.prostbrewing.com/

http://denverbeerco.com/

To name just a few. You may not know that we now have one of the largest bike share programs in the nation. Great way to tour our craft beer industry.

thebeerdrifter.com/complete-list-of-colorado…

http://denver.bcycle.com

providence
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3. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

It's been 8 years. Things were already changing (mostly for the better) even then. Thanks for the info especially the brew pubs as I will be on my own quite a bit of the time since my wife will be at a conference for five days. Brew pub tour on a bike sounds like a good time to me, especially on a warm October day!:-)

Colorado
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for Colorado
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4. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

Hopefully it will be warm!

providence
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5. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

I'm going to hope for the best and plan for the worst!

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

Since you're a "chef so we are kind of picky but very brave" I suggest Charcoal Restaurant near downtown. It was voted Best New Restaurant in 2012. They serve Northern European cuisine. Their chef is Swedish, so the menu has a unique Swedish flair combined with Bincho-style grilling - pretty innovative! I've had several dishes and they've all been excellent. Great but affordable place that foodies should check out!

Denver, Colorado USA
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7. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

I second Linger. It's quite unique. Book well ahead tho.

Lakewood
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8. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

If you were considering the brewery tour on bikes, Zengo is next to Commons Park, so it would be close to your route if you were going to Denver Beer and Prost and don't want to eat off a truck. Great Latin-Asian fusion restaurant.

If you are going to be downtown, I would recommend 1515 restaurant, at 15th and Market. Euclid Hall is good, and I second the recommendation for Rioja.

Worldwide
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9. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

Beyond specific choices might be a general pattern..

Probably not news for you, but one trend may be some places outsourcing components of meals - e.g. from outfits like Cisco (or from "corporate central"). Not a new trend, perhaps, but one which seems to be picking up in some quarters.

Of course, a more upbeat trend is also there - toward more careful sourcing of raw ingredients, and on-site preparation.

Some rather upmarket-seeming places seem bitten by the Cisco bug, while certain more modest places seem to still source ingredients carefully and prepare most stuff onsite... It's not always clear from a place's marketing or reputation, or by TA or Yelp reviews, what is happening at which place.

As a chef I'm sure you have your query routine worked out long ago - to ascertain what is prepared on-site, and what components might be sourced from Cisco or one of its "siblings".

Colorado seems to be no exception to such trends. A friendly query or two to your server might help you to get more of the upbeat trend, and less of the downbeat one.

providence
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10. Re: New (and old!) hotspots to eat?

The food scene in Denver has definitely shifted gears since I was there! I am looking forward to some good food. Is there a similar food scene in the high country?