Michelin Handed Out Stars in Colorado for the First Time—and Only 5 Restaurants Made the Cut

Colorado is now one of the few American states with a Michelin Guide, but the French tire company has bestowed just a handful of stars on the Centennial State.

On Tuesday night, Michelin revealed the five restaurants across Colorado that are now the proud recipients of a Michelin star: Beckon, Bosq, Frasca Food and Wine, Brutø, and the Wolf’s Tailor. All five were awarded just one star, meaning that the state has no two-star or three-star establishments—at least not yet. And among those named Michelin one-star restaurants, most were in Denver, with one each in Boulder and Aspen.

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The guide arrived in the state with a little help from tourism boards, according to new reporting by The New York Times. The state tourism board is paying Michelin $100,000 a year for three years while local boards (Denver, Boulder, Aspen, and Vail) and two resort companies (Beaver Creek and Snowmass) each gave the guide $70,000 to $100,000.

While all five restaurants are distinct, four were described by Michelin as serving “contemporary” cuisine. One is Italian focused, while another was noted as serving a mix of Mexican and contemporary food.

A dish from Brutø
A dish from Brutø

“This is a proud moment for Colorado and for the Michelin Guide, with five Michelin-Starred restaurants highlighting the state’s debut selection of restaurants,” Gwendal Poullennec, the international director of the Michelin Guides, said in a statement. “It’s a very exciting time for the culinary community here, and we feel the momentum growing.”

Beckon, an 18-seat chef’s counter led by Duncan Holmes, was lauded for its rotating tasting menu inspired by the seasons. The Michelin inspectors particularly loved dishes like seared quail breast and confit leg accompanied by creamed kale made with sunflower seeds and a quail reduction. At Bosq, meanwhile, the chef Barclay Dodge was given props for his seasonal cooking that spotlights foraging, fermenting, and local farms.

The Wolf’s Tailor, yet another contemporary restaurant, received accolades for the chef Taylor Stark’s cuisine, which draws from Nordic, Italian, and East Asian influences. While that could seem all over the place, the Michelin inspectors noted that the menu feels “focused and cohesive.” And at Brutø, the chef Michael Diaz de Leon is churning out dishes with a strong Mexican flavor: Of note, lamb prepared two ways—in street-style tacos and in a ground lamb leg kushiyaki. (The restaurant also mills or nixtamalizes its grains in-house.)

A dish from the Wolf's Tailor
A plate you may get at the Wolf’s Tailor.

The one outlier—Frasca Food and Wine, founded by chef Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson and legendary sommelier Bobby Stuckey—is focused on the northeast Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia, with some Slavic and Alpine influences as well. Coloradan ingredients, however, are spotlighted in Ian Palazzola’s plates like cjalson, fresh spinach pasta filled with an English pea and potato purée.

In all, five Michelin-starred restaurants may not seem like very many. But it does make it easier for diners to say they’ve eaten at every acclaimed establishment in Colorado.

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