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2017 Recap: Top Denver Restaurants that Opened This Year

Sorry I've been a stranger! Days have been going by like minutes and I've completely lost track of time. It's already almost 2018! This year has been full of so much delicious food, so I'd like to share my top picks for my readers. Below I will go through a list of my favorite spots and why they're my favorite. Please note these are in no specific order.

1) Bamboo Sushi

Bamboo opened their brick and mortar restaurant next to Postino and Recess Beer Garden in November 2017. Bamboo is unlike any other sushi restaurant in Denver, not only for the uniqueness of their dishes, but also because of the way they source their food. They promise their fish is sustainably caught, humanely raised, and naturally grown. Bamboo came to us from Portland, where back in 2008 they were named the world's first certified sustainable sushi restaurant.

Not only is their fish of the highest quality, but so is their hospitality and service. Bamboo has one of the most attentive and hospitable staff in Denver. The dining experience at Bamboo is part of the overall appeal. The sushi bar is a fast-paced environment where you can sit back and watch the beauty of sushi making. You can also put your order in directly at the sushi bar.

I recommend the Green Machine (pictured above). This is a vegetarian roll that is EXTREMELY delicious. The roll is made from tempura fried long bean and onion and is topped with avocado. It's then drizzled with a cilantro sweet chile aioli that is to die for. Pro tip: add crab to the Green Machine

2. Bird Call

Something you should know is that I love anything fried. Fried food is a pleasure that I am 100% guilty of partaking in. If you haven't already tried Birdcall, you're truly missing out on one of Denver's best fried chicken experiences. The first location opened up in Five Points in July 2017 and they've been spreading like wildfire ever since. Two new locations - one in Whole Foods Union Station and one (coming soon) to the DU area.

The Birdcall experience features bright yellow custom built kiosks that run a point of sale system where you can order & pay for your food all by yourself. Their goal by implementing this unique ordering system is to "change the restaurant paradigm though technology, food, architecture and art". That's pretty badass and so is their food.

I recommend the Nashville Hot Sandwich (pictured above). This sandwich was an instant classic for me. The pickles, soft and toasted bun, and the crispy fried chicken, tossed in their Nashville Hot sauce. You have the choice to get this sandwich "Extra Hot", as if that should ever be a choice. Pro tip: they also serve breakfast!

3. Urban Egg - Belleview Station

The family owned and operated "Urban Egg" just opened their first location in Denver proper off of I-25 and Belleview in June 2017. The family that runs Urban Egg has a long-standing history here in Denver operating restaurants. They have locations in Highlands Ranch and Fort Collins.

The new location is bright and welcoming, with an outdoor seating area and plenty of parking. There is plenty of space, so the wait is not grueling like some of Denver's other brunch spots. The service, food, and drinks - they're all on point. The menu is full of brunch classics and it can be somewhat difficult to decide between all of it, since all of it sounds so good.

I would recommend trying one of their Eggs Benedict dishes, the Tuscan Benedict was particularly delicious. The Tuscan features prosciutto, tomato, and fresh basil on a toasted English Muffin, then topped with hollandaise and balsamic drizzle. You really can't go wrong with anything on their menu. Pro tip: craving sweet and savory? Order a pancake flight for the table to share.

4. Whiskey Biscuit

This Englewood neighborhood gem was an instant hit in my book. This corner spot opened in March 2017 and is right next to the Gothic theater off of South Broadway. They serve home-style food with a unique twist. The environment is nice and comfortable. Their beer and drink selection is extensive for all kinds of drinkers.

The Whiskey Biscuit was created by three former Wynkoop Brewing Co. bartenders and a chef from Euclid Hall. With that line up, you know it has to be good.

The menu is bursting with flavorful options to chose from, but I highly recommend the PB&J tots (pictured above). Their house-made tots are smothered in a peanut butter glaze and then topped with freshly chopped jalapenos to give the dish quite a kick. Pro tip: their brunch menu is definitely worth checking out.

5. Marcella's

I've been searching for an Italian cafe where the prices are reasonable and the food is authentic. Thankfully, Marcella's expanded into Colorado in September 2017. This Ohio-based restaurant is set up to look like a European, specifically Italian, market or cafe. It's located in the LoHi neighborhood of Denver.

The menu features classic Italian dishes, including: antipasto, cured meats, pasta, pizza, and specialty dishes. They have a large selection of wine to chose from as well.

I've always been a huge fan of gnocchi, so I highly recommend the Gnocchi Con Bolognese (pictured above). I'm not always a huge fan of lamb, but the pillowy potato gnocchi goes so well with the braised lamb.

6. Citizen Rail

Citizen Rail is located in Lodo, near Union Station, and just opened in August 2017. I visited Citizen Rail 2 weeks after the opening and it was already packed - that's how good it is. Chef Christian Graves chose to have an open kitchen and a wood fired grill at the heart of the restaurant. You will also find a dry-aging room where all of the protein is custom-aged to perfection.

Their Charcuterie selection is one of the best in town, featuring meats that are cured in-house. The photo above is a sampling of their Charcuterie, which I found the cured sausage, grilled bread and truffled cheese all to be quite delicious. I would also recommend trying their Crispy Artichokes & Dungeness Crab. Pro Tip: their drinks are crafted to total perfection - make sure you check out their Happy Hour.

So there we have it, my list of the best NEW Denver restaurants for 2017. Can't wait to see all the delicious food that 2018 brings to Denver. Cheers!

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