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A Critic Wants Santo to Stick to New Mexican Cuisine

Plus, Atelier by Radex is a welcome dining throwback

Red chile posole at Santo in Boulder
Jonathan Phillips/Eater

“Top Chef” season five winner Hosea Rosenberg’s restaurant Santo drew in a two-star rating from 5280 Magazine’s restaurant critic Scott Mowbray. He found Rosenberg’s ode to his New Mexican roots and its notorious chile-slathered cuisine successful in the dishes that paid true homage to their heritage, though he felt that many dishes were diluted by “international flair.” Mowbray notes that several menu items — a wagyu skirt steak topped with porcini butter, the braised lamb neck with cumin yogurt and carrot purée, and even the sope topped with duck confit — wander into other global culinary genres. He most enjoyed the sopaipillas with the accompanying two types of wildflower honey and a side of warm posole — a rich yin-yang of red and green Hatch chiles and hominy.

Westword’s Gretchen Kurtz finds decadence, fantasy, and nostalgia in her meals at Radek Cerny’s Atelier by Radex. The restaurant, situated in the original home of Il Posto in City Park West, is a love letter to his “decades that paved the way for today’s earnest food scene.” White tablecloths, candle-lit tables, and whimsically served entrees are all a part of the draw of Cerny’s latest endeavor. A “conversation-stopping” lobster ravioli, “TV dinners” in the form of creamy citrus-tinged risottos, “lobster tail and shrimp scampi bobbing in butter,” and delicately dressed salads all make their appearance. One of Atelier’s more notable items is “the most expensive dessert you’ve likely ordered” and an opportunity to see Cerny’s creativity run free — a $25 dish consisting of two chocolate-cast ducks filled with a lemon curd and served with fresh fruit, ice cream, Chantilly, and crème anglaise. Kurtz hopes Cerny will pull from his decades of experience to bring even more to the table.

Cheery staff, fast service, and large, well-priced menu items make Chuy’s a good spot to fill up, according to food writer Daliah Singer of The Denver Post. But underwhelming taste and under-seasoned dishes make this joint not a top Tex-Mex choice, coming in at a rating of 1.5 stars. Dishes like the ground sirloin chile relleno came up barely fried and “begging for salt and heat,” and entrees like the chicken tomatillo enchiladas — although wrapped in the “lovely surprise” of a classic blue corn tortilla — fell short with a substantial lack of seasoning. Singer found more success with items like the “crispy but light” battered shrimp and the “chicka-chicka boom-boom” enchiladas. She recommends the Chuy gooey — a layered dip with refried beans, queso, guac, and various other toppings — and a fluffy, indulgent tres leches cake that is “the proper way to finish a meal at this over-the-top-eatery.”

Correction: A Previous version of this article misstated the season of Top Chef that Hosea Rosenberg won. It was season five.

Atelier by Radex

2011 East 17th Avenue, , CO 80206 (720) 379-5556 Visit Website

Santo

3998 Hillsboro Pike, , TN 37215 (615) 336-3426 Visit Website

Chuy's

499 South Vance Street, , CO 80226 (720) 460-9840 Visit Website

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