Five great dishes for fighting the winter chill

It's been a warm week in the Mile High City, but we're dropping below freezing every night as the days inch toward winter. As I noted in my review of Pho Duy this week, the drop in temperature makes me crave pho, a hot noodle soup perfect for fighting the cold. But that's just one of our five favorite go-to dishes when we want to chase away winter's chill.

Pork Udon: Bones, 701 Grant Street Unable to warm up after watching the Broncos lose at Invesco Field at Mile High a few weeks ago, we made a beeline from the playing field to Frank Bonanno's noodle shop, where we slurped a big bowl of steaming, savory broth filled with thick, chewy noodles and tender chunks of pork and topped with a yolky poached egg. Moments later, we were shedding layers of clothing, settling contentedly into our seats.

Cassoulet: Z Cuisine, 2239 West 30th Avenue Z Cuisine serves this hearty blend of succulent duck confit, tender braised pork shoulder, housemade sausage and earthy white beans year-round, but we don't really crave it until the winter months, when we're apt to feast on the slow-cooked homey concoction until we burst. Or fall into a food coma, thanks to the cozy lull of Z Cuisine's dining room.

Beef Noodle Soup: Lao Wang Noodle House, 945 South Federal Boulevard As I noted in my review of Lao Wang Noodle House, some spicy beef noodle soup -- rich with long rice noodles and chunks of braised beef and enlivened with plenty of five-spice -- would be the ideal remedy to nurse a cold. But pho, because it's so fortifying, is the perfect cure-all to any winter illness.

Mac-n-Cheese, Argyll, 2700 East 3rd Avenue We go through a macaroni-and-cheese bingefest each year, embracing the simple, decadent dish for its comforting qualities. And at least once during that time period, we head to Argyll, where the mac-n-cheese -- rigatoni studded with bacon, peas and shrimp, doused in a rich sauce made from five cheeses, then topped with breadcrumbs and baked -- is a full meal extravaganza, The basement digs of the pub are where we'd opt to wait out a storm, too, sipping beers at the dark bar.

Other favorites? Add them in the comments section.

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