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Updating The Eater Heatmap, February 2013

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It's still cold outside but Denver's dining and bar scene keeps getting hotter. New restaurants and bars that attract the crowds and make diners wait in line and get excited for great experiences open at a fast pace around the metro area. Often Eater gets this question: Where should I go for a drink right now? Where should I dine this week? What's new, what's hot, where do the crowds flock to? That is what the March Heat Map is about - this dining and drinking moment in time.

IN: Corner House, Slotted Spoon
OUT: Tom's Urban 24, the Kitchen Denver

Have any suggestions? Any vital omissions? Leave 'em in the comments or send 'em down the tipline.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Uncle

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2215 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
This Highlands Asian-fusion spot dishes out outstanding ramen dishes, noodles bowls, and a spectacular kimchi stew. In a modern decor with friendly service, Uncle is a great choice for a casual dinner packed with Momofuku-inspired flavors.

2. The Squeaky Bean

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1500 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 623.2665
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The rebirth of The Squeaky Bean is without a doubt one of the hottest openings of the year, and Johnny Ballen, chef Max MacKissock and bartender Sean Kenyon are showing Denver a playful and sophisticated way to dine. MacKissock's menu is inspired by the season, and much of the produce is coming from Squeaky Acre farm. Drop in for meal, or perch at the bar for one of Kenyon's pop culture-inspired cocktails.

3. Spuntino

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2639 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 433-0949
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This may be Denver's best kept secret right now. Chef John Broening and pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom (James Beard semi-finalist for multiple years) work the line at this small eatery putting out simple but creative dishes that attract neighbors and those in the know from food critics to Denver's best chefs.

4. OAK at fourteenth

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1400 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302
(303) 444-3622
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Oak at Fourteenth reignited as a better version of itself over the last few months. Between the insane bar and cocktail program that Bryan Dayton is leading, complete with ice carved on premises and house-bottled sodas, and the daring dishes fired by Steven Redzikowski in the wood-fired oven, Oak at Fourteenth is the hot spot in Boulder.

5. Corner House

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2240 Clay St Ste 1
Denver, CO 80211
(720) 287-1895
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This new Jefferson Park eatery, led by chef Matt Selby, is magic in both the casual and comfortable feel and the selection of food. Neither outrageous nor extensive: just the right kind and number of dishes prepared with care and attention to detail.

6. Vesper Lounge

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233 E. 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
(720) 328-0314
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Frank Bonanno's new neighborhood bar, occupying the former Lancer Lounge space, is casual and comfortable but with elevated food and a killer bar program. Don't miss the Vesper, the house cocktail and give the crafted cocktails on tap a try.

7. The Populist

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(720) 432-3163
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The RiNo restaurant from Noah Price, owner of Crema Coffeehouse and chef Jonathan Power has opened with a splash in November. Try the fish rilletes and the braised beef cheeks and don't overlook the small but smart wine list.

8. Slotted Spoon

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2730 S Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80222
(303) 756-3072
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Meatball lovers rejoiced when chef Jensen Cummings announced that he was opening a fast-casual restaurant focused on meatballs. Now all can enjoy the Slotted Spoon goodness in many different combinations at its location in the University Hills Shopping Center.
501 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 800-7705
Visit Website
Ace, a monster ping pong hall and Asian eatery from restaurateur Josh Wolkon, is one of the hottest restaurants to bounce onto the Denver dining scene. Everything from the sprawling outdoor patio to the unique Asian-inspired kitchen and bar program makes Ace the place to be scene.

10. Central Bistro and Bar

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1691 Central St
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 477-4582
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Only six months old, this LoHi eatery has become a HOT spot and a neighborhood favorite where American cuisine is served without the pretense in a casual yet vibrant setting. Don't miss the fried chicken.

11. Williams & Graham

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3160 Tejon St
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 997-8886
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Williams & Graham, Sean Kenyon's LoHi speakeasy joint hidden behind a bookshelf, is one of the harder places to get a table these days, and no wonder. Between Kenyon's cocktails and chef David Bumgardner's food, it's rightfully a desirable place to visit.

12. Punch Bowl Social Food & Drink

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65 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 765-2695
Visit Website
A gigantic space with three large bars, many lanes for bowling, a diner-like eating area, and a variety of games. Punch Bowl Social kicked the entertainment levels up to South Broadway and the lines outside the door on a Friday night are only the first sign of this spot's hotness.

1. Uncle

2215 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
This Highlands Asian-fusion spot dishes out outstanding ramen dishes, noodles bowls, and a spectacular kimchi stew. In a modern decor with friendly service, Uncle is a great choice for a casual dinner packed with Momofuku-inspired flavors.
2215 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

2. The Squeaky Bean

1500 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
The rebirth of The Squeaky Bean is without a doubt one of the hottest openings of the year, and Johnny Ballen, chef Max MacKissock and bartender Sean Kenyon are showing Denver a playful and sophisticated way to dine. MacKissock's menu is inspired by the season, and much of the produce is coming from Squeaky Acre farm. Drop in for meal, or perch at the bar for one of Kenyon's pop culture-inspired cocktails.
1500 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202

3. Spuntino

2639 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
This may be Denver's best kept secret right now. Chef John Broening and pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom (James Beard semi-finalist for multiple years) work the line at this small eatery putting out simple but creative dishes that attract neighbors and those in the know from food critics to Denver's best chefs.
2639 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

4. OAK at fourteenth

1400 Pearl St., Boulder, CO 80302
Oak at Fourteenth reignited as a better version of itself over the last few months. Between the insane bar and cocktail program that Bryan Dayton is leading, complete with ice carved on premises and house-bottled sodas, and the daring dishes fired by Steven Redzikowski in the wood-fired oven, Oak at Fourteenth is the hot spot in Boulder.
1400 Pearl St.
Boulder, CO 80302

5. Corner House

2240 Clay St Ste 1, Denver, CO 80211
This new Jefferson Park eatery, led by chef Matt Selby, is magic in both the casual and comfortable feel and the selection of food. Neither outrageous nor extensive: just the right kind and number of dishes prepared with care and attention to detail.
2240 Clay St Ste 1
Denver, CO 80211

6. Vesper Lounge

233 E. 7th Ave., Denver, CO 80203
Frank Bonanno's new neighborhood bar, occupying the former Lancer Lounge space, is casual and comfortable but with elevated food and a killer bar program. Don't miss the Vesper, the house cocktail and give the crafted cocktails on tap a try.
233 E. 7th Ave.
Denver, CO 80203

7. The Populist

Denver, CO 80205
The RiNo restaurant from Noah Price, owner of Crema Coffeehouse and chef Jonathan Power has opened with a splash in November. Try the fish rilletes and the braised beef cheeks and don't overlook the small but smart wine list.

8. Slotted Spoon

2730 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80222
Meatball lovers rejoiced when chef Jensen Cummings announced that he was opening a fast-casual restaurant focused on meatballs. Now all can enjoy the Slotted Spoon goodness in many different combinations at its location in the University Hills Shopping Center.
2730 S Colorado Blvd
Denver, CO 80222

9. Ace

501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Ace, a monster ping pong hall and Asian eatery from restaurateur Josh Wolkon, is one of the hottest restaurants to bounce onto the Denver dining scene. Everything from the sprawling outdoor patio to the unique Asian-inspired kitchen and bar program makes Ace the place to be scene.
501 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203

10. Central Bistro and Bar

1691 Central St, Denver, CO 80211
Only six months old, this LoHi eatery has become a HOT spot and a neighborhood favorite where American cuisine is served without the pretense in a casual yet vibrant setting. Don't miss the fried chicken.
1691 Central St
Denver, CO 80211

11. Williams & Graham

3160 Tejon St, Denver, CO 80211
Williams & Graham, Sean Kenyon's LoHi speakeasy joint hidden behind a bookshelf, is one of the harder places to get a table these days, and no wonder. Between Kenyon's cocktails and chef David Bumgardner's food, it's rightfully a desirable place to visit.
3160 Tejon St
Denver, CO 80211

12. Punch Bowl Social Food & Drink

65 Broadway, Denver, CO 80203
A gigantic space with three large bars, many lanes for bowling, a diner-like eating area, and a variety of games. Punch Bowl Social kicked the entertainment levels up to South Broadway and the lines outside the door on a Friday night are only the first sign of this spot's hotness.
65 Broadway
Denver, CO 80203

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