Chef Mark Gordon, late of Coos Bay and Mo-dena, has fine-tuned his adventurous menu at Ambrosia, a handsome east Denver bistro featuring a lovely patio. But he has made no changes in his matchless rendition of osso buco, the classic Italian dish of sautéed veal shanks, veal stock, white wine, a touch of tomato, vegetables and herbs. Simmered for five hours, Gordon's masterpiece is fragrant with mingled scents of red pepper and orange zest, and it all but falls from the bone at the touch of a fork. To find a better version, you'll have to go to Italy.
Chef Mark Gordon, late of Coos Bay and Mo-dena, has fine-tuned his adventurous menu at Ambrosia, a handsome east Denver bistro featuring a lovely patio. But he has made no changes in his matchless rendition of osso buco, the classic Italian dish of sautéed veal shanks, veal stock, white wine, a touch of tomato, vegetables and herbs. Simmered for five hours, Gordon's masterpiece is fragrant with mingled scents of red pepper and orange zest, and it all but falls from the bone at the touch of a fork. To find a better version, you'll have to go to Italy.
Campo de Fiori, a recent Italian transplant from Aspen and Vail, makes a lot of things from scratch, but it's the thought of Campo's super-sweet, lemon-blendy Lemoncello that really gets our mouths watering. To make this intoxicating elixir, the staff fills a vat with 100-proof liquor -- vodka, grappa, whatever's lying around -- chokes it with lemon peels and then lets everything sit for about a month, until the rinds have softened, sweetened and started to ferment. After a good straining, the lemoncello is sent to the freezer. When it's nice and cold, it's doled out in little grappa glasses. Trust us: That's all you'll need.

Campo de Fiori, a recent Italian transplant from Aspen and Vail, makes a lot of things from scratch, but it's the thought of Campo's super-sweet, lemon-blendy Lemoncello that really gets our mouths watering. To make this intoxicating elixir, the staff fills a vat with 100-proof liquor -- vodka, grappa, whatever's lying around -- chokes it with lemon peels and then lets everything sit for about a month, until the rinds have softened, sweetened and started to ferment. After a good straining, the lemoncello is sent to the freezer. When it's nice and cold, it's doled out in little grappa glasses. Trust us: That's all you'll need.

Next stop, Kansas! But before you leave the state, stop off at Rip Griffin's and refuel with "The Fill-up," a giant omelette stuffed with chopped chicken-fried steak and American cheese that's glued together with white gravy -- the same white gravy that's poured all over the top. That should hold you till Topeka.
Next stop, Kansas! But before you leave the state, stop off at Rip Griffin's and refuel with "The Fill-up," a giant omelette stuffed with chopped chicken-fried steak and American cheese that's glued together with white gravy -- the same white gravy that's poured all over the top. That should hold you till Topeka.
The third time's a charm for the margaritas served at Dixons, Racines and Goodfriends, a trio of local eateries owned by Lee Goodfriend, David Racine and Dixon Staples. Try as we might, and we've tried them all (it's a dirty job but we're urp to the task), we have yet to find a better margarita. The devilishly good drink is in the details: For the hand-shaken house margarita, an icy, twelve-ounce shaker is filled with Sauza Gold, blue agave, lime and triple sec (so austere, so sincere); the Greyhound adds a grapefruit bite for more adventurous drinkers. Or pair your favorite mixers with one of their dozens of tequilas. Conveniently, it just so happens that these elixirs go remarkably well with the Southwestern food at Dixons, the upscale sandwiches at Racines, and the just-in-for-a-quick-bite snacks at Goodfriends. Too many of these potions, though, and you'll need more than the hair of the dog to recover the next morning. Might we suggest a hearty breakfast at Racines or Dixons?
The third time's a charm for the margaritas served at Dixons, Racines and Goodfriends, a trio of local eateries owned by Lee Goodfriend, David Racine and Dixon Staples. Try as we might, and we've tried them all (it's a dirty job but we're urp to the task), we have yet to find a better margarita. The devilishly good drink is in the details: For the hand-shaken house margarita, an icy, twelve-ounce shaker is filled with Sauza Gold, blue agave, lime and triple sec (so austere, so sincere); the Greyhound adds a grapefruit bite for more adventurous drinkers. Or pair your favorite mixers with one of their dozens of tequilas. Conveniently, it just so happens that these elixirs go remarkably well with the Southwestern food at Dixons, the upscale sandwiches at Racines, and the just-in-for-a-quick-bite snacks at Goodfriends. Too many of these potions, though, and you'll need more than the hair of the dog to recover the next morning. Might we suggest a hearty breakfast at Racines or Dixons?
After a brief, dark period during which it dropped its burritos and went upscale, Barricuda's -- formerly the Ogden Cafe -- is back in the swim. Its breakfast burrito is still a killer: stuffed with scrambled eggs, salty home-fried spuds and your choice of ham, sausage or bacon, and smothered in a gringo green chile of the gods. (Despite its name, it's also offered all day.) At $3.95, this isn't the cheapest breakfast burrito in town, but it's large enough to get you through the day. Wash it down with a darned good two-buck Bloody Mary or two, and you may not have much of a day left to get through. Good morning to you, too.

Barricuda's
After a brief, dark period during which it dropped its burritos and went upscale, Barricuda's -- formerly the Ogden Cafe -- is back in the swim. Its breakfast burrito is still a killer: stuffed with scrambled eggs, salty home-fried spuds and your choice of ham, sausage or bacon, and smothered in a gringo green chile of the gods. (Despite its name, it's also offered all day.) At $3.95, this isn't the cheapest breakfast burrito in town, but it's large enough to get you through the day. Wash it down with a darned good two-buck Bloody Mary or two, and you may not have much of a day left to get through. Good morning to you, too.

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