Milk-fed pork, huckleberry, summer bean and 36-month Parmigiano-Reggiano. Seasoned pollock roe, lemon, kewpie, shiso, furikake, and fried garlic with an option to add an egg. Heart of palm ceviche, pink lady apple and leche de tigre. These are just a taste of the complex and delicious menu items at the recently awarded Michelin restaurants in Colorado. This is the first year Michelin has been present in Colorado, with acknowledgment of restaurants in Denver, Boulder, as well as the mountain regions. Beckon (Denver), Bosq (Aspen), Brutø (Denver), Frasca Food and Wine (Boulder) and The Wolf’s Tailor (Denver) rose to the top as the five restaurants to receive a star for Michelin’s Colorado debut. In addition to the coveted Michelin star, 44 restaurants were recognized overall ranging from pre-fixe full-course menus to more affordable options with the Bib Gourmand distinction.
The origin of the Michelin guidebook was a creative execution by the French founders of Michelin tires to get more motorists on the road. The original guidebook was similar to a pre-internet MapQuest with information on how to change a tire, where to stop for gas as well as a list of the best places to eat or stay overnight on the road. While we no longer need convincing to jump in the car, the Michelin guide has remained aspirational and spans across three continents.
Colorado residents and restaurateurs alike have been anxiously awaiting to have Michelin review Colorado restaurants, and as they touched down this year, the food community was electrified. Founder of Frasca Food and Wine, Bobby Stuckey, underscored the excitement that Michelin has brought to Colorado, “Michelin's presence in Colorado is an incredible thing for the whole state - I look forward to seeing where this takes us all. We feel so honored to be one of the five restaurants to earn a star in the inaugural year - it's a tremendous starting line for us.”
The Ginger Pig, located in the Berkley area in Denver, received the Bib Gourmand designation along with eight other Colorado restaurants which highlights meals worth a distinction at a more friendly price tag. Natascha Hess, chef and owner of The Ginger Pig, incorporates her own experiences into the menu which highlights Asian street food and features, “….several dishes inspired by her recent travels to Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Korea, and Malaysia." The Ginger Pig started out as a food truck in Boulder and is soon returning to its roots. "We're putting the final few touches on the space and will be opening the window before the end of the month." manager Ward Bedsole confirmed.
Another facet of the Michelin guide is the Green Star, which highlights restaurants that are leaders in sustainability. Brutø and The Wolf’s Tailor received a Michelin star as well as a Green Star, alongside two other recipients Blackbelly Market (Boulder) and Bramble and Hare (Boulder). This award proves them to be both innovative in culinary skills as well as sustainable practices.
Frasca Food and Wine received the only star distinction in Boulder which their founder, Bobby Stuckey, is proud to represent. “Even before Michelin, I always felt so proud to be a nationally recognized restaurant representing our incredible community. We love this city and work hard to be an advocate and representative of Boulder.”
Be sure to add these restaurants as stops on your next road trip or night out on the town, just as the original Michelin guide intended.