Talk about vroom service: Perched beside a major commuter airport, the Perfect Landing offers an unbroken view of the Rockies, from Pikes Peak to Longs Peak -- unbroken, that is, except for the private jets that take off and land every few minutes. Although you can see all the action from the big picture windows, a seat on the second-floor patio puts you in the thick of things. In the morning, watch the sun hit the mountains as you dig into a four-egg omelette; come back in the late afternoon for a plate of chiles rellenos that are almost as ogle-worthy as the sunset. The scene is so impressive that even the pilots who just flew through it drop by for a look and a cocktail (post-flight, of course).
Ignore the grape-friendly name and the odd strip-mall location: The Wine Company boasts the city's best boutique beer selection, and its coolers hold treasures that aren't sold anywhere else in Colorado. The hundreds of American and imported craft and microbrews available here are kept under refrigeration and tended by savvy staffers who drink what they sell. And if by chance they don't have that dream beer you're craving, they'll track it down for you.
Ignore the grape-friendly name and the odd strip-mall location: The Wine Company boasts the city's best boutique beer selection, and its coolers hold treasures that aren't sold anywhere else in Colorado. The hundreds of American and imported craft and microbrews available here are kept under refrigeration and tended by savvy staffers who drink what they sell. And if by chance they don't have that dream beer you're craving, they'll track it down for you.
Call it New American, call it contemporary, call it fusion. Whatever you choose to call it, the food at Mel's Bar and Grill is undeniably delicious. Owners Mel and Janey Masters juggle international ingredients with domestic tastes, and somehow their dishes all work. Looking for an upscale meatloaf? Try the buffalo. Looking for an Asian fish dish? Try the seared ahi with soba noodles. And if you're looking for anything from around the Mediterranean, Mel's your man, offering everything from rabbit risotto and grilled eggplant polenta to fennel sausage tagliatelle and grilled lamb. Pair your meal with wines that make sense -- check out the ever-changing "Mel's Special Wine Picks" for the real bargains -- and relax in the quirky but comfy atmosphere of this Cherry Creek institution (the happenin' bar area is also an option). Still don't know what to call it? Doesn't matter. Eat at Mel's.
Call it New American, call it contemporary, call it fusion. Whatever you choose to call it, the food at Mel's Bar and Grill is undeniably delicious. Owners Mel and Janey Masters juggle international ingredients with domestic tastes, and somehow their dishes all work. Looking for an upscale meatloaf? Try the buffalo. Looking for an Asian fish dish? Try the seared ahi with soba noodles. And if you're looking for anything from around the Mediterranean, Mel's your man, offering everything from rabbit risotto and grilled eggplant polenta to fennel sausage tagliatelle and grilled lamb. Pair your meal with wines that make sense -- check out the ever-changing "Mel's Special Wine Picks" for the real bargains -- and relax in the quirky but comfy atmosphere of this Cherry Creek institution (the happenin' bar area is also an option). Still don't know what to call it? Doesn't matter. Eat at Mel's.
The Cliff House at Pikes Peak
If it was good enough for Clark Gable, the 128-year-old Cliff House is good enough for us -- but we don't know what Clark would make of that @ that's been added to the name. Never mind; such pesky thoughts will disappear the minute you step into the cream puff of a dining room, all Victorian splendor with its custard colors and pillowy-soft furnishings. The Cliff House's expert staff takes such good care of you that the service also seems to date from that gilded era, and the food makes it clear that your entire time at this meal, in this intimate room, in this delightful era, is intended to accentuate the sensual. (You hope she'll love you as much as she does the lobster-topped wild mushroom risotto.) But as gorgeous as the newly restored dining room looks -- particularly with that nineteenth-century stone fireplace -- it's nothing compared to the stunning, panoramic views of the Rockies outside. After dinner and star-gazing, slip into one of the Cliff House's plush suites and make plans for breakfast, which should include the kitchen's sumptuous steak -- that's filet mignon, of course -- and eggs, and for a post-prandial stop at one of the local hot springs. Frankly, my dear, you won't give a damn if you ever make it

If it was good enough for Clark Gable, the 128-year-old Cliff House is good enough for us -- but we don't know what Clark would make of that @ that's been added to the name. Never mind; such pesky thoughts will disappear the minute you step into the cream puff of a dining room, all Victorian splendor with its custard colors and pillowy-soft furnishings. The Cliff House's expert staff takes such good care of you that the service also seems to date from that gilded era, and the food makes it clear that your entire time at this meal, in this intimate room, in this delightful era, is intended to accentuate the sensual. (You hope she'll love you as much as she does the lobster-topped wild mushroom risotto.) But as gorgeous as the newly restored dining room looks -- particularly with that nineteenth-century stone fireplace -- it's nothing compared to the stunning, panoramic views of the Rockies outside. After dinner and star-gazing, slip into one of the Cliff House's plush suites and make plans for breakfast, which should include the kitchen's sumptuous steak -- that's filet mignon, of course -- and eggs, and for a post-prandial stop at one of the local hot springs. Frankly, my dear, you won't give a damn if you ever make it

Although Vesta Dipping Grill digs deep to create some of the most flavorful meat and fish dishes in town, we like to dive into the three salads on the menu at this groovy hangout. Like every other course here, the salads show how paying close attention to details can result in big taste dividends. And so a Thai-beef version features seared slips of tenderloin soaked with a ginger-cilantro vinaigrette over red oak-leaf greens, and a Bibb lettuce salad with Gorgonzola and candied walnuts comes tossed in a roasted-pear vinaigrette, topped by red onions that have been marinated in some sort of nutmeggy liquid. But our favorite, greens down, is the baby arugula with roasted-fig vinaigrette, shaved Romano, and a brilliant grind of fresh black pepper that brings out the fig's sweetness and echoes the peppery greens.

Although Vesta Dipping Grill digs deep to create some of the most flavorful meat and fish dishes in town, we like to dive into the three salads on the menu at this groovy hangout. Like every other course here, the salads show how paying close attention to details can result in big taste dividends. And so a Thai-beef version features seared slips of tenderloin soaked with a ginger-cilantro vinaigrette over red oak-leaf greens, and a Bibb lettuce salad with Gorgonzola and candied walnuts comes tossed in a roasted-pear vinaigrette, topped by red onions that have been marinated in some sort of nutmeggy liquid. But our favorite, greens down, is the baby arugula with roasted-fig vinaigrette, shaved Romano, and a brilliant grind of fresh black pepper that brings out the fig's sweetness and echoes the peppery greens.

Patsy's
Think metro Denver has a growth problem? Over the past decade, a certain appetizer has sprawled across menus from Castle Rock to Longmont, clogging major arteries with gluey, mayo-heavy artichoke goo. But Patsy's, a venerable red-sauce joint in the heart of northwest Denver, promotes smart growth with its artichoke-and-ricotta dip, a sweeter, lighter version of the ubiquitous starter.

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