February is dominated by Valentine's Day and we are about to spread a special kind of chain love starting right now: the love for our local restaurants and chefs. Earlier this week, restaurant critic Stacey Brugeman of 5280 Magazine launched the month-long spread the love series with praises for chef Mary Nguyen and her new café, Olive & Finch. Nguyen passed along some love to chef Mark Dym of Marco's Coal Fired Pizza who, in turn, praised chef Troy Guard's TAG. Guard did the same for chef Jeff Osaka of Twelve and now Osaka shares his love for Beast + Bottle.
As it was for Troy, it is difficult to pick just one restaurant/chef. We have James Beard Foundation award winners, FOOD & WINE Best New Chefs, and so much more. It's an exciting time for us in the Denver restaurant community, and it's only a sample of what to expect in the years to come!
I've been here for just over five years and have witnessed the restaurant scene change right before my eyes. Restaurants have come and gone -- and even reappeared in a different form or location. One of those restaurants is Beast+Bottle where chef Paul Reilly and his sister Aileen have created something truly special.
Paul and I the share the same philosophy and our cooking styles are quite similar; his dishes are technically correct without being fussy. He brings in whole animals and utilizes different cuts throughout his menu. One month you might get lamb belly bacon on a flatbread, or a ragù of lamb with fresh pasta, or maybe porcini crusted lamb accompanied with perfectly cooked vegetables. Beast+Bottle is also very kid-friendly. My wife and I bring our 2 1/2 year old everywhere we go, we want to expose her to different types of food, and rather than the usual chicken fingers or mac 'n cheese most restaurants have to offer, she had the fresh housemade pappardelle with beautiful english peas. The only complaint I have about Beast+Bottle? I can't dine there as often as I'd like.
Every day, the recipient of the praises will have a chance to pass the love around. Come back tomorrow to hear what restaurant chef Reilly is obsessing over this month.
· February Love: Restaurant Critic Stacey Brugeman on Olive & Finch [EDen]
· Chef Mary Nguyen on Marco's Coal Fired Pizza [EDen]
· February Is For Lovers: Chef Mark Dym on TAG [EDen]
· Chef Troy Guard on Twelve Restaurant and Jeff Osaka [EDen]
· The Mammoth Guide to Valentine's Day: 56 Ways To Celebrate [EDen]
· Happy Hour Heatmap: Where To Get The Best Deals [EDen]