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May 10, 2011

THE place to eat in Denver

by Geoff Grant

If you have just one meal to share while you’re in Denver, head to Vesta Dipping Grill in LoDo. Trust me. It’s hard to believe that Vesta has been in business nearly 14 years now. It still feels as hip and new as the day it opened in 1997. I kept them in business for nearly four years while I lived in Colorado and have been back a handful of times since then and it’s never disappointed. Never.

Its schtick are dips, as its name implies. It has 37 dipping sauces on its current menu. Most rock. Start with the sauce sampler, which are pitas with your choice of five sauces. Get two and share the 10 sauces. Likewise, entrees and the other appetizers also come with recommended dipping sauces. But mix and match whatever sounds good.

To focus on just the sauces does an injustice to the food and menu created by Matt Selby, who was hired as Vesta’s chef when he was just 21. The food is seriously good — the seared tuna and sea scallops are two of my favorites — and should appeal to vegetarians and beefeaters alike.

The only real disappointment is that you can no longer get Fat Tire on tap (or bottle). Of course, with 30 other brews listed, including a $30 bottle of Delerium ‘Tremens’ Belgian Tripel from Huyghe Brewery in Belgium, it’s hard to complain. And yes, the wine list is good, too.

Vesta seats 135, but on most nights you’ll need and want a reservation. Give them a call. Tell ’em Geoff with a G sent you.

Vesta is Denver’s Restaurant Unstoppable {DenverPost.com}

Matt Selby {Denver Health Foundation}

Diner’s Choice Winner {Open Table}

No. 3 on TripAdvisor {TripAdvisor}

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