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. Now, Guard does the same for chef Jeff Osaka of Twelve.
It's tough to pick one favorite place in Denver but I really love Twelve, the restaurant owned by chef Jeff Osaka. I also love Jeff, which made my selection easier. A lot of people talk about their passion for farm to table cuisine but Jeff is one of a handful of chefs in town who really put that idea into practice on every menu. Jeff draws his inspiration from the seasons and what he's interested in or excited about every 30 days, so you find things like croissant soup with a sous vide egg nest, or pan-roasted frog legs, or squab - prepared perfectly. I love that Twelve is so unassuming on the outside, and when you step inside the restaurant is so warm and inviting. It feels like you're discovering the place for the first time, every time. With his small dining room, impeccable service and menu that changes every month, Twelve is an ideal spot for a romantic dinner. Jeff is a chef's chef and a major contributor to the Denver community. Not only does he give his time generously, he puts extra effort into connecting people in the restaurant world and he never says no when he's asked to help.
Every day, the recipient of the praises will have a chance to pass the love around. Come back tomorrow to hear what restaurant chef Osaka 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]
· The Mammoth Guide to Valentine's Day: 56 Ways To Celebrate [EDen]
· Happy Hour Heatmap: Where To Get The Best Deals [EDen]
Jeff Osaka [Photo: Facebook]