I was in France a few months ago, and just about choked when I discovered the cocktail I'd ordered cost $40. At that moment, I decided that I would not go back to Europe until the dollar is significantly stronger against the euro. Fortunately, we're lucky to have a little slice of Paris right here in Denver: Z Cuisine À Côté, the wine bar that Patrick Dupays opened two doors down from his original Z Cuisine. The space is adorable — chandeliers made of glass beads, the movie Amélie playing on the wall — and usually filled with a crowd that seems very European, complete with smoldering men with long, dirty blond hair brushed straight back from their temples and striking women with that thrown-together look that requires a certain type of beauty to pull off. And there's always lots and lots of kissing on both cheeks, as if it were the key to opening the door to a separate reality. I'm immediately transported there by La Vie en Rose ($10), a refreshing cocktail made with homemade grapefruit-and-Grey Goose vodka granité and Rose Champagne. My manly friend Brian goes for the Manly Manhattan ($10), made with Knob Creek bourbon, bitters, Lillet and macerated cherries that have been soaked in brandy. If you can't travel to Europe this summer, a trip here is the next best thing. Enchanté, À Côté!
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