Luigi's Bent Noodle
Hunter Stevens
The menu at Luigi's Bent Noodle issues a challenge: "If this isn't the best minestrone recipe you've ever tasted, we want your recipe." Hey, we surrender -- we know we don't have any-

thing to beat this minestrone, and we doubt anyone else this side of Italy does, either. Luigi's minestrone is a thick, hearty tomato-based stew of vegetables, super-soft beans, melt-in-your-mouth bits of pasta, and sausage that's just spicy enough to bring it all together, but not so spicy that it takes over. This bewitching brew is available by the cup, the bowl and the really big bowl. Bigger is better.

The menu at Luigi's Bent Noodle issues a challenge: "If this isn't the best minestrone recipe you've ever tasted, we want your recipe." Hey, we surrender -- we know we don't have any-

thing to beat this minestrone, and we doubt anyone else this side of Italy does, either. Luigi's minestrone is a thick, hearty tomato-based stew of vegetables, super-soft beans, melt-in-your-mouth bits of pasta, and sausage that's just spicy enough to bring it all together, but not so spicy that it takes over. This bewitching brew is available by the cup, the bowl and the really big bowl. Bigger is better.

Busara deserves praise for its dedication to authentic, spicy food. But it should also be commended for its open-mindedness when it comes to more personal matters. This trendy Thai restaurant in LoDo features three privies -- one for men, one for women, and one for men and/or women. So if you're part of a couple that enjoys doing everything together, or you can't wait, or you simply can't decide whether to sit or stand, Busara has the loo for you.

Busara deserves praise for its dedication to authentic, spicy food. But it should also be commended for its open-mindedness when it comes to more personal matters. This trendy Thai restaurant in LoDo features three privies -- one for men, one for women, and one for men and/or women. So if you're part of a couple that enjoys doing everything together, or you can't wait, or you simply can't decide whether to sit or stand, Busara has the loo for you.

Although the career waiter has gone the way of the Studebaker and the eight-track, that sad fact doesn't slow John Carl one bit. After fifteen years as the most graceful, attentive server at one of the town's most graceful, attentive restaurants, Carl still loves his job at Tante Louise. "It's not what I went to college for," admits the Iowa native, whose first job in Denver was at Top of the Rockies in the early '70s. "But I do like to say I'm in the business of marketing escargot." First, though, he sizes up the mood and sensibilities of the diners at a table, then suggests just the right dishes -- escargot or no. After that, he goes about serving the meal with seamless, invisible efficiency; items appear and disappear from the table with barely a movement of air. You won't realize that Carl's at work unless you make it a point to watch him -- and then you'll be rewarded with quite a show. Watch Carl handle a difficult table with the greatest of ease. Watch Carl float like a butterfly without stinging like a bee. He's pure poetry in motion. "I was pretty green when I got to Tante Louise," Carl admits. "So I guess I've come a long way." And how, baby.
Although the career waiter has gone the way of the Studebaker and the eight-track, that sad fact doesn't slow John Carl one bit. After fifteen years as the most graceful, attentive server at one of the town's most graceful, attentive restaurants, Carl still loves his job at Tante Louise. "It's not what I went to college for," admits the Iowa native, whose first job in Denver was at Top of the Rockies in the early '70s. "But I do like to say I'm in the business of marketing escargot." First, though, he sizes up the mood and sensibilities of the diners at a table, then suggests just the right dishes -- escargot or no. After that, he goes about serving the meal with seamless, invisible efficiency; items appear and disappear from the table with barely a movement of air. You won't realize that Carl's at work unless you make it a point to watch him -- and then you'll be rewarded with quite a show. Watch Carl handle a difficult table with the greatest of ease. Watch Carl float like a butterfly without stinging like a bee. He's pure poetry in motion. "I was pretty green when I got to Tante Louise," Carl admits. "So I guess I've come a long way." And how, baby.
Flagstaff House Restaurant
Mark Antonation
The Flagstaff House has been a special-occasion destination for three decades now, and its coffee service goes the extra distance for diners who've made it up the mountain -- and must still find their way back down. Rather than the usual stuffy coffee presentation, the Flagstaff offers a fun "Sugar Tray," its compartments filled with colorful, squeal-inducing tidbits used to flavor a cup of java that tasted pretty good to start with. Choose from licorice or mint "lentils"; butterscotch, chocolate or white-chocolate chips; raw, regular or brown sugar (loose or cubed); and orange-flavored sugar and candied limes. Then top it off with a blob of unsweetened whipped cream. We guarantee one cup will be a stirring experience.

The Flagstaff House has been a special-occasion destination for three decades now, and its coffee service goes the extra distance for diners who've made it up the mountain -- and must still find their way back down. Rather than the usual stuffy coffee presentation, the Flagstaff offers a fun "Sugar Tray," its compartments filled with colorful, squeal-inducing tidbits used to flavor a cup of java that tasted pretty good to start with. Choose from licorice or mint "lentils"; butterscotch, chocolate or white-chocolate chips; raw, regular or brown sugar (loose or cubed); and orange-flavored sugar and candied limes. Then top it off with a blob of unsweetened whipped cream. We guarantee one cup will be a stirring experience.

Hey -- nice buns! John Stamper, owner of Full Measures, has the bottom line on baking. He knows how to pack all the butter and sugar that will fit into a ball of dough, then makes it even sweeter and richer by coating the outside with butter and sugar, too. The result is the sugar addict's drug of choice, a chewy, super-sweet bun that'll have you licking your fingers long after the last bite.

Hey -- nice buns! John Stamper, owner of Full Measures, has the bottom line on baking. He knows how to pack all the butter and sugar that will fit into a ball of dough, then makes it even sweeter and richer by coating the outside with butter and sugar, too. The result is the sugar addict's drug of choice, a chewy, super-sweet bun that'll have you licking your fingers long after the last bite.

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