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Wow! What a whirlwind of calories, wine and cocktails I have had the honor of savoring in 2009.

A Few of My Favorites…

I have to say this masterpiece of halibut poached in tomato confit with lobster from Opus‘ Michael Long is one of my favorites.

This off the menu creation was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever enjoyed – and I’ve eaten at a lot great restaurants – I have the credit card bills to prove it.

Opus is a restaurant in downtown Littleton that has to fight for the spotlight it so deserves.

The list of my favorite Denver restaurants go on; Fruition‘s chef/owner Alex Seidel leads an extremely talented team of chefs; Blake, Jimmy, Matt, Kona, Josh, to name a few. Alex is often referred to as a perfectionist and the food loving public definitely comes out the winner with his take on comfort classics. I’m not so patiently waiting for the sheep’s milk cheese he is going to produce with the purchase of his farm.

Matt Selby of Vesta Dipping Grill & Steuben’s continuously steers his chefs Wade Kirwan & Brandon Biderman, respectively, to consistently great food – the ribs at Steuben’s – delish! Not to mention that Matt is very generous with his time to charity, as you constantly see Vesta & Steuben’s participating in charity events.

One place I always love to go to is Z Cuisine. This restaurant and absinthe bar always transports me to another place where time doesn’t matter. Owner Patrick Dupays and executive chef Pete Ryan put out the best french country fare in the city.

I love new comer’s Colt & Gray, Sketch Wine Bar and the newest kid to the block is Sushi Den’s third venture – Den Deli. The list goes on and on and this blog post would be 20 pages long if I mentioned all of my favorite restaurants.

And what about the gourmet markets? There are some great markets in Denver with more opening every quarter it seems. Take Wen Chocolates, Savory Spice and one of Denver’s newest spots, EVOO Marketplace. We are blessed with Ed & Kristi Janos’ Cook’s Fresh Market.

We have people who move here to follow their food passion, we have magazines dedicated to food, Edible Frontrange, ethnic markets, like Jerusalem Market (that’s me pictured with Faraj), that offer a trip to another land just by walking into the store.

Colorado has about 8% of the country’s Master Sommelier’s, James Beard winner’s, chef’s who are published in national magazines like Bon Appetit and Certified Master Chefs.

Colorado is so much more than the Rocky Mountains, the sports teams and skiing; we have a great culinary scene and it’s only growing. So, my fellow food lovers, thank you for a great year of exploring the many great culinary places Colorado has to offer.