Continuing eastward in our foodie road trip across the United States, this week we bring you an essential guide to dining in Denver, Colorado, from Chef Alex Seidel!
Alex moved to Denver in 2002 from Wisconsin by way of Portland, OR and Pebble Beach, CA. He’s been in the culinary industry since age 14 and has experience in some of the country’s top kitchens. And now he owns two top-rated Zagat restaurants, Fruition and Mercantile, had been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Southwest” honor numerous times, and works on his sheep farm to produce his award-winning ricotta cheese.
WHY VISIT DENVER
The restaurant scene in Denver has continued to boom over the past few years. The central and growing city is drawing many top chefs to open diverse restaurants here. And as such, the maturing the food culture is earning a lot of attention! With a restaurant scene as adventurous as the outdoor recreation, Denver is the place to go for local-inspired food that shows a true connection to place.
CHEF ALEX’S RESTAURANTS
“Fruition has been consistently listed as one of the top 10 most influential restaurants in the last decade. We purchased Fruition Farms in 2009 and Fruition set a standard to be farm-to-table long before it was cool.
photo credit: McCall Burau
The restaurant concept at Mercantile is a little bit different than Fruition, however it is the same as Fruition in terms of the approachability of food that we want to offer to our guests and the quality that we shoot for on a daily basis.”
photo credit: McCall Burau
For a taste of California, try the Olives and Almonds at Mercantile. Marcona Almonds, Castelvetrano and Kalamata Olives, Charred Citrus, Rosemary, California Olive Ranch Olive Oil.
WHERE ELSE TO EAT
Why Go: The reason Sushi Den stands out for me is because it has set the standard for quality by sourcing its seafood from the best sources around the globe and has set the standard for Denver for the last 40 years.
What He Orders: “My favorite thing to order there is the Yakika.”
Why Go: Chef Lon was one of the first chefs to come to Denver that created a restaurant menu that delivered quality, flavorful dishes and he brought it to the table consistently, more so than I have ever experienced in Denver from a restaurant.
Why Go: Old Major was a restaurant that really jumped out to me as creating a concept that didn’t fit into a box, or a concept that wasn’t just like everyone else’s. It brought something different, a different approach to animals and animal husbandry, and really became the first place to create high quality meat products (charcuterie) in the city of Denver.
What He Orders: “I like the charcuterie board at Old Major.”
We hope you can fit in Denver to your summer travel plans. If you do, let us know your favorite spots to eat!