I like a bar where the person on the stool to my right peruses the Wall Street Journal while the person on my left is entranced by a best-selling mystery. For cocktails in such a literate setting, book yourself into the Fourth Story Restaurant, on the fourth floor (of course) of the Tattered Cover Book Store in Cherry Creek. After wandering up through three floors of words, we were ready to relax at the busy yet congenial bar, poring over our purchases as we poured ourselves into a Cherry Martini Royale. A red cocktail as dark and powerful as an Edgar Allan Poe poem, the Cherry Martini Royale ($8) consists of cherry-infused vodka -- which has been soaking up the fruit's flavor for over a year -- garnished with a splash of champagne and a drunken cherry. "It may sound like a frou-frou drink," said my friend, "but it'll put hair on your chest." For the less hirsute in the crowd, the Fourth Story's drink menu also features dozens of wines by the glass and ten more martini options, all served by friendly, well-read bartenders. With fabulous Front Range and high-fashion views, an evening of drinking at the Fourth Story can be pricey, but the check doesn't sting nearly as much when it arrives tucked inside a volume of classic literature.
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