Denver’s Latest Culinary Conquests That Will Become Your Roman Empire

Ever heard of the phrase, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus?” Or been asked, “How often do you think about the Roman Empire?” If you were alive in the ’90s or anywhere near the internet in August 2023, you might be familiar with these entertaining dichotomies of thought that seized popular culture, like Rome’s military expansion.

The latter version of these took the internet by storm this past summer as females armed with cameras approached the males in their lives to see who took high school history class a little too seriously. The frequency at which they responded “often” sent the internet into a frenzy of amusement and confusion about the gender-specific question, which became a paradoxical obsession.

Whether you think about the Roman Empire every day or not at all, these new dishes in Denver will surely have you mulling over them until the next Roman Empire trend comes about.

Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar

Photo Courtesy of Tupelo Honey

Where: 1650 Wewatta St #104, Denver

When: Sunday 9 a.m.- 8 p.m., Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 3 p.m.- 6 p.m.

The Lowdown: Originally from Asheville, NC, Tupelo Honey started as a late-night farm-to-table restaurant and has continued its legacy in 14 states as a scratch kitchen by utilizing responsibly sourced ingredients, partnering with local vendors and reflecting the rich history of Southern cooking. Some of its most popular menu items – fried chicken & waffles, fried green tomatoes and 20-year-old banana pudding – reflect this sentiment. Tupelo also offers a brunch service on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Happy Hour every weekday from 3 to 6 p.m. for limited menu items. Indulge in the comfort of Southern cuisine with its new Bistro Filet & Loaded Potatoes with peperonata, scallions and broccolini, or choose your own variation of the new Braised Beef Barbacoa, available as a po’boy sandwich served with avocado, red onion, radish, cilantro and lime crema or served over goat cheese grits topped with red onion, cilantro and lime crema.

Misfit Snack Bar

Lechon Kawali Skewers. Photo courtesy of Misfit Snack Bar.

Where: 3401 E Colfax Ave, Denver

When: Sunday 4 p.m.- 10 p.m., Monday-Thursday  4 p.m.- 12 a.m., Friday-Saturday 4 p.m.- 2 a.m.

The Lowdown: Located within Middleman Cocktail Bar lies Misfit Snack Bar – an eclectic kitchen serving up unexpected twists on bar food classics. Curated by Chef Bo Porytko and Chef Dylan Rigolini, Misfit opened in 2019 and has been innovating small plates ever since. To commemorate its three-plus years of running, the team curated a “best of” menu that brings back some of its most popular dishes. While these menu items may not be brand new for everyone, they sure will have you thinking about them over and over again. Take, for example, the Butternut Squash Tamale – a butternut squash infused masa stuffed with butternut squash, butternut squash mole, pepita brittle and chayote slaw – or the Lechon Kawali Skewer with braised & binchotan grilled pork belly, sweet soy glaze, macadamia nuts and Asian giardinara.

READ: Misfit Snack Bar Owner Opens Ukrainian Restaurant and New Chef Takes Over Menu at Misfit

Dio Mio

Gargenelli. Photo Courtesy of Dio Mio

Where: 3264 Larimer St, Denver

When: Sunday-Thursday 4 p.m.- 9 p.m., Friday-Saturday 4 p.m.-10 p.m.

The Lowdown: Among one of the thirty restaurants that received the “Recommended” designation by the Michelin Star guide, Dio Mio is known for its freshly-made pasta and innovative dishes. With a constantly rotating menu, Dio Mio is consistently mixing traditional Italian cuisine with experimental contemporary food fostered by a deep emphasis on sourcing seasonal ingredients. Make your tastebuds exclaim, “Dio Mio!” with these two new exciting dishes – Garganelli Pasta paired with beef cheek ragu, wasabi whipped cream and wasabi peas, or the Porchetta topped with tomatillo chowchow, arugula and herb salad.

The Greenwich

Sourdough Dumplings. Photo Courtesy of The Greenwich

Where: 3258 Larimer St, Denver

When: Sunday 4 p.m.- 9:30 p.m., Monday-Wednesday 5 p.m.- 9:30 p.m., Thursday-Saturday 5 p.m.- 10 p.m.; Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 5 p.m.- 6 p.m.

The Lowdown: Reminiscent of the iconic New York neighborhood, The Greenwich brings New American and Mediterranean cuisine to RiNo inspired by the rebellious, creative fervor of the creators, intellectuals and trendsetters that make up the landscape. They focus on fresh, in-season ingredients and family-style plating to further foster an inclusive, collaborative eating experience. Delve into its Sourdough Dumplings with five-spice broth, sunchoke chips and dill, or savor a Pesto and Burrata Pizza with roasted squash, pine nut and chili flake, both made with chef Justin Freeman’s magic six-year sourdough starter recipe that’s definitely “Roman Empire” worthy.

Wild Taco Denver

Photo courtesy of Wild Taco on Facebook

Where: 215 E 7th Ave, Denver

When: Sunday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 10 p.m.; Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3 p.m.- 6 p.m.

The Lowdown: For a sweet treat, head over to Wild Taco Denver for its taco-of-the-month – the Pumpkin Pie Taco with pumpkin cream cheese filling and whipped cream, encased in a cinnamon sugar mini taco shell. This is only available at the Governor’s Park location and pairs well with its Tamarind Margarita for the ultimate taste of fall. Wild Taco is a culmination of cultures from its owners that combines classic fare from Chihuahua, Mexico, mixed with Korean food that inspires the menu’s vibrant, unorthodox combinations of meats and toppings. Other menu items include Carne Asada Yuca Fries and Bulgogi Tacos.