When the Eastbridge Town Center opened in the spring of this year, along with it came almost instant recognition in the local foodie world. Experienced chefs and restaurateurs, some of whom are Stapleton residents, opened their restaurants, feeling both that there was a need for additional dining options and that they could attract guests from all over the metro area who are interested in chef-driven concepts.
Concourse Restaurant Moderne, helmed by Chef Lon Symensma and Chef Luke Bergman serving New American cuisine, and Cattivella, an Italian restaurant owned by first-time restaurant owner Chef Elise Wiggins, were recently included in 5280 Magazine’s “25 Best Restaurants.” For the first time, the list did not rank restaurants numerically but instead included them based on the type of experience diners can have. Ranked or not, inclusion in the list provides a lot of clout.
Also on 5280’s list was The Stanley Marketplace restaurant, Annette, owned by another first-time restaurateur, Caroline Glover. The Aurora restaurant located just outside of the Stapleton neighborhood, which serves scratch-to-table and wood-fired food, was also featured as one of the best new restaurants in 2017 in the August issue of Bon Appétit magazine.
Such recognition is helping to put northeast Denver on the map of restaurant destinations, joining the ranks of RiNo, Highlands, Cherry Creek North and other neighborhoods known for their thriving restaurant scenes. For residents in NE Denver, the new dining options cut a long swath stretching south to include The Stanley Marketplace and north to include new restaurants in Stapleton north of I-70. With the Shops at Northfield being purchased by QIC, an Australian investment firm whose vision is to “provide a vibrant destination offering lifestyle, entertainment and dining experiences,” even more dining options may arrive in the not-too-distant future.
While the flurry of newer restaurants brings excitement to the area, and likely does draw diners from other parts of town as the restaurateurs hoped, they may also bring attention to other restaurants in the area, including a variety of ethnic eateries along Colfax and Quebec that have been staples of the locals for years. With the addition of these newer restaurants, NE Denver has become an eating destination for the full range of options from street tacos to elegant bistros.