I've always been curious about the Chinook Tavern, which is named for the gentle westerly winds that warm the Front Range each winter. So after an early evening of shopping in Cherry Creek, we popped in for a much-needed cocktail. Although Chinook is known for its German food -- as well as the dozen or so Belgian and German beers on tap -- the most popular drink at this airy, garden-level restaurant is the French Martini. Made with Skyy Vodka, Chambord and fresh-squeezed lemon and lime juices, this bright-red cocktail ($8.50) was shaken and stirred to perfection -- and it was exactly what I was in the mood to sip on at that moment. And Chinook was just the place to do it. With its light pine rafters and bright contemporary art, the eight-year-old tavern is definitely upscale but not the least bit snooty: The group of older single men lining the large, horseshoe-shaped bar made us feel more than welcome, so much that I'm definitely going back for one of the $20 wine-and-appetizer tastings that Chinook is offering on Thursday nights through August. While sautéed calf's liver and wiener schnitzel aren't quite my style, Chinook's comfortable atmosphere unquestionably is. Add this one to the "keeper" list.
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