Most bars are so five minutes ago. While I love trying the trendy/beautiful-people spots, my attention span is shorter than the dresses on Dancing With the Stars. After I've experienced the shlock of the new, I'm usually on to the Next Big Thing or retreating to an old standby for some refueling. Which is why I'm shocked that I've never been bored by Zengo. Five years after it opened, Zengo is still all about being hip and trendy and so very Riverfront, a spot for the "we're too cool for LoDo" crowd. Actually, there's one thing at Zengo that's tiresome: the waitstaff's excruciating description of the restaurant's concept, about how "Zengo is Japanese for give and take, which explains the menu, blah, blah, blah." Perhaps there are still a few people in the world unfamiliar with the notion of a one-from-column-A, one-from-column-B Chinese menu, but those people aren't coming to Zengo. Still, I'm willing to endure this mind-numbingly repetitive recital just to reach the cocktail-ordering portion of the evening. I've always believed that talking about a favorite drink is comparable to a parent revealing which of his children he loves best, so let me just say that Zengo's Mojito Cuzco ($9) is my beautiful, charming, tall, thin, valedictorian of cocktails, made with Bacardi rum, Midori, mint, cucumber, granulated sugar, fresh sour (fresh lime, lemon and OJ) and a splash of club soda. The bartenders muddle this mix with such aplomb that it brings tears to my eyes. And with one sip, I'm reminded that a beautiful, trendy place doesn't have to slip its hip as it ages.
Use this map to see where Nancy Levine's been drinking.
View Larger Map
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.