A Year In Eater continues, this time polling our survey of friends, industry types, bloggers, and readers about which restaurant openings made the biggest splashes this year, and who we expect to stay in the scene. Who are the top newcomers of 2013?
Kris Browning-Blas, Denver Post food editor - Acorn.
Amanda Faison, 5280 Magazine food editor - I love OAK at Fourteenth in Boulder, so I was thrilled when Bryan Dayton and Steven Redzikowski opened Acorn. The restaurant is casual, accessible, and fun but the food is still very beautiful and thoughtfully executed.
Penny Parker, Black Tie Colorado - Old Major, hands down.
Emily Hutto, Denver Eater contributor and author of Colorado's Top Brewers: In town, Session Kitchen— the unique plating, the impeccable cocktails by libation genius Michael Cerretani, and the ambiance in general. It doesn't get better than that. Slightly out of town, Root Down at DIA— I'll never be late for the airport again.
Bill Porter, Denver Post restaurant critic - That's a tough one. Not to waffle, but I'd say it's almost a three-way tie between Beast + Bottle, Old Major and Acorn.
Lori Midson, Westword food editor - I have hot, mad, crazy love for Beast + Bottle. Paul Reilly and his kitchen crusaders — Wade Kirwan and James Rugile — are having the time of their lives in that kitchen, and their enthusiasm and passion comes across in every dish they make. I also have to give major props to Old Major (especially its spectacular bread and dessert programs) and Acorn, which is definitely going to make a mark on the Denver dining scene. Chef Steve Redzikowski is superbly talented. So, too, is Justin Brunson, chef of Old Major. No one knows his way around a pig like Justin. And then there's the Populist, which makes me wish I lived next door. Love everything about it, and every time I eat there, I look forward to going back.
Megan Barber, 303 Magazine contributor, Curbed Ski editor: Acorn.
Daliah Singer, 5280 Magazine associate writer - I haven't been able to make repeat visits to most of these places (yet)—and still have quite a few to check out—but stellar additions to our food scene include the revamped Izakaya Den, Session Kitchen, Old Major, and Beast + Bottle.
Grace Boyle, Eater Denver contributor, author at Grace(full) Plate- I really love what Session Kitchen is doing from the funky, artistic ambiance to their sessions-style unique food and elevated beverage program. Old Major and Beast + Bottle both are highly respectable in my book with their "whole animal" butchering and menu diversity. Since I travel a good amount for work I'm highly impressed with Root Down at DIA. The food is high quality, healthy and probably the most delicious airport food DIA has. In Boulder, I love what BRU is up to!
PJ Hoberman, Denver Off The Wagon - Everything at the Source.
Jeremy Kossler, Denver Burger Battle founder- the Populist.
Laura Saffioti, Eater Denver contributor - This is a tough question. Maybe because it's freshest in my mind, but Sugarmill is putting out incredible desserts. Denver is lucky to have Noah French.
Adam Larkey, Eater Denver photographer - Acorn.
Tucker Shaw, Denver Post features editor- It took me an embarrassingly long time to get there, but Beast + Bottle. Paul Reilly has such a humane, mature touch.
Brittany Werges, 303 Magazine food & booze editor - Session Kitchen was our pick for best new restaurant in 2013. Its gorgeously graphic interior matched with a creative menu and a killer cocktail list makes Session a must do. It's not just a restaurant but an experience that is distinctly Denver. Anytime I have friends in from out of town, I take them here.
Jessica Hunter, Eater Denver contributor - Acorn. I just can't get over them. It's like Bryan and Steve (+ silent partners) KNEW what I wanted for Christmas – and my Christmas present came 3 months early. While I do miss my monthly dining trek up to Boulder to indulge at OAK at Fourteenth, I'm so tickled to have their baby counterpart in my neighborhood. Their food, their cocktails, their hospitality, their everything—I wish I could have Acorn food every night of the week, but then I wouldn't be able to walk through the door frame even if I wore my Thanksgiving pants.
Elaine St. Louis, Colorado Homes & Lifestyle art editor - Uno Mas. Even closer than Park Burger, with simple, elegant tacos a la carte. And the tortas are amazing.
Pat Miller, the Gabby Gourmet - Old Major.
Ruth Tobias, Zagat Denver editor - The Source is, well, a hell of a source. It was one thing to read about but a whole other thing to experience. Seeing so many fantastic products and dishes coming out of one single place has been really inspiring, and I can only hope its success bodes well for the future of local marketplaces.