Best Contemporary Cocktail - 2009
Readers' Choice: The Corner Office
Root Down's bar may be located in an old service station, but Justin Cucci's new restaurant is completely contemporary, from its "field-to-fork" mentality reflected in a menu full of locally sourced ingredients to its streamlined dining room (with amazing views of downtown). But we keep returning to the bar, where Root Down's adventurous spirit is reflected in original cocktails featuring those same fresh ingredients, from the Thyme Gin Rickey (fresh muddled thyme, lemon and lime juices and gin) to the Pepper Blossom (St. Germain elderflower liqueur, Prairie organic vodka, muddled fresh basil, lemon, jalapeño and agave nectar). Happy hour runs from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, but this bar is hopping at all hours. And if you don't spot something you like on the specialty cocktail list, the resident mixologists are always happy to create something for you. We can't wait to see what they come up with after the first harvest of Root Down's two gardens.