interview with Amanda Faison, clip from Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, “The Chef”

Something like 300 new restaurants, diners, and pubs opened in metro Denver in 2014, “a dizzying array,” writes 5280 Magazine’s food editor Amanda Faison in the March 2015 cover story.  We met at one of the “Best 10,” Cart-Driver in Denver’s RiNo neighborhood, and shared the conversation on “First Take with Lando and Chavis.”

“All new restaurants are not perfect.  Very few restaurants are perfect in general,” said Faison, who had the ridiculous task of narrowing down those 300 openings to 36 finalists, and then just 10 winners (in no particular order).  ”They’re still figuring a few things out, but we think that all ten of these places have tremendous potential.”

If there’s a theme this year, it’s that small is good:

Cart-Driver: “They do so much with so little.”

Stoic & Genuine at Union Station (one of many with an ampersand or plus sign): “(Chef Jennifer) Jasinski kept it really small, really intimate, and gorgeous.”

To The Wind Bistro on Colfax: “Tiny.  You go early or you go late, or you don’t get in. Chef Royce Oliveira cooks from his heart every night.”

Bistro Barbes in North Park Hill: “French undertones with Moroccan and Spanish and African influences.  Neighborhoody.”  (Yes, she can make up words if she wants.)

The full list is at  The interview above is mouth-watering.

Closing music is “The Chef” by Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis with the Tommy Flanagan Trio from the CD That’s All.

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