One of those rare restaurants that can pull off elk-antler chandeliers without seeming gimmicky, Geronimo occupies an atmospheric 1756 adobe hacienda on gallery-lined Canyon Road. Chef Charles Thompson’s globally inspired southwestern cuisine can be brazen at times; he’s known to pair unlikely flavors. The menu changes often, but on a good night you might discover Colorado beef tenderloin served with country ham, field-foraged mushrooms, succotash, and foie gras "nuggets"; or red-hot Vietnamese-chile-and-honey-grilled Mexican white prawns with almond jasmine cakes, red-onion frisee salad, and a yuzu-basil aioli. In contrast to the bold cuisine, the dining room is a study in calm restraint, all white wood and white-painted adobe (and of course, those antlers). The service here is attentive, methodically choreographed, and relaxed—a good thing, since any meal here is worth lingering over.
Tip: Though it’s one of the priciest restaurants in the state, Geronimo’s remarkably generous platter of five memorable artisanal cheeses—along with fresh fruit, balsamic syrup, and warm bread—is a steal (or even a light meal) at $15.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.