Happy Place: Forest Room 5, 2532 Fifteenth Street, 303-433-7001
The Hours: Monday through Saturday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The Deals: $2-3 beer; $5 wine and sangria; $5-6 specialty cocktails; $5-8 appetizers.
Were we happy? Flip the page to find out.
The Digs: We hate to admit it, but it seems like we always forget about Forest Room 5. When we want to stuff our gullets in that neighborhood, our minds wander to the French onion soup at A Coté or smearing vats of chicken liver mousse over grilled bread at the Squeaky Bean. When we want to get inebriated, we head to Lola for happy hour boozing or we sip pints of Guinness at My Brother's Bar. But poor little Forest Room 5 seldom makes the list of places that come to mind -- until now.
Located in the Platte River Valley, among other great restaurants and bars, Forest Room 5 has held court for more than eight years -- and its moniker holds true: The room is decorated in earthy hues and boasts tree trunk stools and rustic wood accents. Logs are suspended from the ceiling, and a large projection screen plays nature movies while an urban creek flows through the back patio. If Beatrice and Woodsley is a romantic mountain chalet, Forest Room 5 is the family cabin where you drink moonshine, play endless rounds of gin rummy, and don't shower for days.
The Verdict: Forest Room 5 is a relaxing oasis in a lovely neighborhood with decent food and strong drinks. After staring quizzically at the cocktail selections, our server recommended the spiced pear martini as a grizzly bear trudged through a raging river on the screen behind her. The cocktail, made with pear vodka, St. Germain, and lime juice, had subtle hints of warm spices and citrus. Before we knew it, we were on our third round of those scrumptious little suckers.
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The happy hour eats at Forest Room 5 aren't gourmet, but we could consume epic quantities of the truffled French fries. The long, thick-cut, golden-fried potato planks, tossed with truffle oil, shaved chunks of salty Parmesan, and fresh rosemary sprigs, are complete heaven. The beef and bison chili, topped with sour cream and a generous serving of cheddar cheese, was enough to feed all three of us. That said, we'd pass on the cheese plate and the scallops, both of which were underwhelming. Before long, the entire room was buzzing with young professionals and people enjoying their day off. Happy chatter mingled with the clinking of glasses, while baby mountain goats frolicked through tall grass, making us forget, at least for a second, that we were in the middle of the city.
Overall Grade: B+