As is the tradition at Eater, we polled restaurant experts to sum up the Denver dining scene in 2013 in one word, we asked them to talk about their most memorable meals of 2013, and we asked what their favorite dining neighborhoods were. Now onto the next question: What were your 2013 restaurant standbys?
Bill Porter, Denver Post restaurant critic - Beast + Bottle in the Uptown neighborhood has been a terrific addition, thanks to the sibling team of Paul and Aileen Reilly. Although it sounds like a carnivore emporium, it has a lovely hand with produce and fish, too. Favorites included grilled sweetbreads with a root vegetable hash and an English pea soufflé.
Brittany Werges, 303 Magazine Food & Booze Editor - Sushi Den will always have my heart. Their sushi is simple and always satisfying. These two qualities become really important when your job is to eat out. Plus, if I could have the Unagi Nigiri everyday, I would.
Jeremy Kossler, Denver Burger Battle founder - Linger.
Lori Midson, Westword food editor - I wish I could say that I have restaurant standbys, but the honest answer is that there are just too many restaurants and too little time! That said, I did spend countless hours at Devil's Food, because it's two blocks from my house, and it feels like my home away from home. Beyond that, I had several meals at Vietnam Grill (RIP), El Taco de Mexico, twelve, China Jade, Thai Street Food, Masterpiece Deli, Land of Sushi, Bones and Café Brazil.
Elaine St. Louis, Colorado Homes & Lifestyle art editor - Park Burger. We love to walk the few blocks over on a Sunday afternoon for delish burgers and truffle fries.
Amanda Faison, 5280 Magazine food editor - I don't really have a restaurant standby, but I do have staple dishes: the Mediterranean platter at Cafe Max, the chopped salad at the Kitchen, the fresh juices from Ace Eat Serve, the Bianca from Pizzeria Locale Denver, and the French (rosemary ham, Brie, greens) from Curtis Park Deli. I eat many of these weekly. Oh, and if I could get there often enough, I'd make the cauliflower-parsnip gratinee at the Plimoth a regular dish.
Andra Zeppelin, Eater Denver editor - Uncle, Spuntino, El Taco de Mexico, Acorn, Pizzeria Locale Denver.
Pat Miller, the Gabby Gourmet - Shells and Sauce.
Adam Larkey, Eater Denver photographer - I have found myself at St. Ellie an average of twice per weekend since they opened. Between the exceptional cocktails and all the industry folks enjoying them, it has become a new favorite place of mine. Rootdown, ACE, Spuntino and The Source would also be on my short list.
Emily Hutto, Eater Denver contributor and author of Colorado's Top Brewers: Sassafras American Eatery, Cafebar, Jerusalem Restaurant, Lucille's, The Ale House at Amato's, Freshcraft, Euclid Hall, and Root Down.
Megan Barber, 303 Magazine contributor, Curbed Ski editor - Spuntino.
Grace Boyle, Eater Contributor, author at Grace(full) Plate- I live in Boulder, so I feel like I can never go wrong with Zoe Ma Ma, Pizzeria Locale, The Kitchen trifecta (Upstairs and Next Door) and Arabesque.
Tucker Shaw, Denver Post features editor- Pizzeria Locale in Denver. Cheap, easy, reliable, always (always) good. Did I mention cheap?
Penny Parker, Black Tie Colorado - Racines (no apostrophe) because it's in my neighborhood and it's the place where we go when we have no idea what we want to eat for dinner. We order take-out more than eat in.
Jessica Hunter, Eater Denver contributor - Beast + Bottle (thanks for coming back Reillys), Colt & Gray/Ste. Ellie's, Comida, Acorn, Table 6, The Squeaky Bean, Fuel Café, twelve, Zoe Ma Ma, Pizzeria Locale, and the Dark Horse (sorry, not sorry).
PJ Hoberman, Denver Off The Wagon - Euclid Hall.
Daliah Singer, 5280 Magazine associate writer - I can always rely on Amerigo and Pho79.
Laura Saffioti, Eater Denver contributor - I've had a lot of great nights at The Squeaky Bean. I love having oysters at The Kitchen Denver. I live in Longmont and am forever hooked on Georgia Boys BBQ and El Taquito.