Bon Appétit released the list of 50 finalists for its annual guide to America’s Best New Restaurants, and Denver and Aurora can both boast a spot.
Denver Central Market and Annette made the cut for the Southwest region, along with two restaurants in Austin.
Denver Central Market is an interesting choice since … well, it’s right in the name. It’s more market than restaurant, with a host of familiar local brands offering coffee, fish, meat, cheese, produce, baked goods, ice cream, Italian food, Israeli dishes and more.
Here’s our look inside Central Market from when it opened in September.
And here’s some of what Bon Appétit had to say:
GO HERE: when no one can make a decision. The sweet tooth can snag an ice cream sandwich at High Point Creamery, and the health nut can sip her charcoal lemonade at Green Seed, all while you hit your dozen Kumamoto oysters with some mignonette at Silva’s Fish Market. No matter what shot you shoot, it’s a good one.
THE VIBE IS: cool. Super cool, actually. DCM is smack in the middle of RiNo (River North), Denver’s artsy-industrial neighborhood. You’ll be Instagramming from the dark wood tables next to young chefs, punk rockers, brewers, and start-up geniuses that run nearby businesses.
I can feel you cringing at that last bit, but let’s power through.
Central Market has been so successful in its first year, that Denver International Airport wants to build a replica of it inside Concourse A. You might also remember that it was at the center of some neighborhood controversy earlier this summer.
Bon Appétit also has a lot of love for Annette, which opened up inside Stanley Marketplace under the direction of chef Caroline Glover, former sous chef at Acorn in Denver and The Spotted Pig in New York, early this year.
I loved it, too, when I went back in February. The menu has changed some since then, but here’s our guide to dining there.
And here’s Bon Appétit on Annette:
GO HERE: for sophisticated, ingredient-driven Mediterranean-inspired cooking from breakout chef Caroline Glover. An alum of Denver’s beloved Acorn, Glover executes everything from whole-roasted fish to golden-edged, pillowy gnocchi with ease. But what makes Annette exciting are her unexpected, just-slightly-whimsical flavor combinations, like the power duo of crispy octopus and even crispier patatas bravas over a swoosh of roasted-garlic aioli.
THE VIBE IS: bright, airy, and more intimate than you’d expect from the restaurant’s location in Stanley Marketplace (a former factory just outside Denver that’s been refurbished into a hub for independent businesses from beer bars to yoga studios — yes, several). A large wall of windows lets in lots of light, but it also looks out on the less-pretty parking lot, so direct your attention toward Glover and her crew of mostly-women cooks manning the wood-burning grill in the open kitchen.
I know my iPhone photo above doesn’t reflect that description, but I can confirm it is that lovely in the daytime.
Both Stanley Marketplace and Denver Central Market earned shoutouts for their contributions to the dining scene back in December, when Zagat named Denver the third hottest food city in 2016.