You're in Denver on business, and you know that your boss, Mr. Dipstick, is a hardass when it comes to expensing meals out. He doesn't care what the circumstances are: If you're not entertaining a client at a business dinner, then you ought to be staying close to your room and snacking off Tic Tacs and pocket lint. But how can he argue when you're eating breakfast at the restaurant right inside your hotel? At Mirepoix, the fancy restaurant in the fancy new JW Marriott, you can order anything from a simple spread of breakfast pastries to beef-cheek hash with ginger-molasses ketchup topped by a single perfect duck's egg, thanks to chef Bryan Moscatello, who brought his Adega sensibilities to Cherry Creek. And the Mirepoix kitchen delivers, which means you can have French toast, freshly squeezed orange juice and a couple cups of hot coffee brought up while you sit around in your underwear watching pay-per-view porn on TV. For foodies, though, there's no better fantasy than thinking about sitting down to a Moscatello meal. Just don't tell Mr. Dipstick.


The power brokers at Racines can be tough to spot, because they look just like everyone else. But they're right there -- elbows on the tables, with green chile on their khakis and their sleeves rolled up -- having breakfast just like the neighbors, the college kids, the pols and the yuppies who surround them every morning at this funky, easygoing bastion of good taste and big plates. Racines offered the top power breakfast for decades until it had to leave its old home on Bannock; it's amazing anything got done in this town during the many months it was gone. But last spring it came back with a powerful vengeance, in a spot that feels like the old space but looks ready for the next twenty years. When business gets done at Racines -- and more serious business gets done here than at any other address in town, except, perhaps, for Dixons, its downtown sibling -- it's of the million-dollar-handshake variety. Casual and chummy, with futures decided over plates of huevos and contracts signed and sealed with coffee rings on the cover sheets.

The power brokers at Racines can be tough to spot, because they look just like everyone else. But they're right there -- elbows on the tables, with green chile on their khakis and their sleeves rolled up -- having breakfast just like the neighbors, the college kids, the pols and the yuppies who surround them every morning at this funky, easygoing bastion of good taste and big plates. Racines offered the top power breakfast for decades until it had to leave its old home on Bannock; it's amazing anything got done in this town during the many months it was gone. But last spring it came back with a powerful vengeance, in a spot that feels like the old space but looks ready for the next twenty years. When business gets done at Racines -- and more serious business gets done here than at any other address in town, except, perhaps, for Dixons, its downtown sibling -- it's of the million-dollar-handshake variety. Casual and chummy, with futures decided over plates of huevos and contracts signed and sealed with coffee rings on the cover sheets.


Power breakfasts -- power anything, really -- have become a cliche in this post-crash recession era that we're struggling through. Gone are the days when businesspeople were flying so high on their own liquid assets and hubris that wasting an hour for breakfast meant wasting an hour that could've otherwise been used for making money. But that doesn't mean the power breakfast has gone the way of the 2000 Nasdaq -- just that the power has moved to other locations, and in the process redefined itself. These days, the real power breakfast is the Sunday brunch served at Ristorante Amore, Greg Goldfogel's small bistro where Cherry Creek's true elite -- the survivors of today's harsh business climate -- meet to eat. Doctors, lawyers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and neighbors of every stripe crowd Amore, drawn by its casual ambience and high-grade grub served as though every table were occupied by a captain of industry or a close, personal friend of the house. And while no one is coming here to show off, Amore is the kind of place where business just happens -- between friends and over some of the best eggs Benny in town.

Power breakfasts -- power anything, really -- have become a cliche in this post-crash recession era that we're struggling through. Gone are the days when businesspeople were flying so high on their own liquid assets and hubris that wasting an hour for breakfast meant wasting an hour that could've otherwise been used for making money. But that doesn't mean the power breakfast has gone the way of the 2000 Nasdaq -- just that the power has moved to other locations, and in the process redefined itself. These days, the real power breakfast is the Sunday brunch served at Ristorante Amore, Greg Goldfogel's small bistro where Cherry Creek's true elite -- the survivors of today's harsh business climate -- meet to eat. Doctors, lawyers, restaurateurs, entrepreneurs and neighbors of every stripe crowd Amore, drawn by its casual ambience and high-grade grub served as though every table were occupied by a captain of industry or a close, personal friend of the house. And while no one is coming here to show off, Amore is the kind of place where business just happens -- between friends and over some of the best eggs Benny in town.

When you want to really tie one on with a little distinction, head for Ellyngton's. This restaurant in the corner of the Brown Palace is all old-world swank, old-school class and jacket-and-tie top-hat dining, and the champagne brunch on Sundays is particularly glam. The linens are soft, the silverware comfortingly heavy, and the whole room seems to drip gold when things are in full swing. From the tiered champagnes (Domaine Chandon, Mot & Chandon and Dom Perignon) and seafood nestled in ice to the white-hats on the carving stations, this is a brunch like your parents and your grandparents would have saved for very special occasions: elegant, reserved, booze-soaked and, of course, expensive.

When you want to really tie one on with a little distinction, head for Ellyngton's. This restaurant in the corner of the Brown Palace is all old-world swank, old-school class and jacket-and-tie top-hat dining, and the champagne brunch on Sundays is particularly glam. The linens are soft, the silverware comfortingly heavy, and the whole room seems to drip gold when things are in full swing. From the tiered champagnes (Domaine Chandon, Mot & Chandon and Dom Perignon) and seafood nestled in ice to the white-hats on the carving stations, this is a brunch like your parents and your grandparents would have saved for very special occasions: elegant, reserved, booze-soaked and, of course, expensive.


Saturday night may not have been all right, but Sunday brunch will make everything better -- as long as you eat it at Lola. Seven nights a week, chef Jamey Fader serves up sublime coastal Mexican fare at this South Pearl hot spot, and the margaritas coming out of the bar only add fuel to the fire. But on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lola mellows out a bit, making it a great place to gather with friends or just gather strength for the week ahead. The fortification starts with a killer Bloody Mary or Maria, with an assortment of add-ins you choose off a dim sum-like menu. And talk about killer: The chicken-fried steak is amazing, a huge slab of tender meat deep-fried in a crispy batter, slathered with chorizo gravy and resting on a three-bean chile. This may also be the first house capable of making fusion French toast: The "Mexi-Toast" is a Nuevo Latino/Southwestern comfort-food collision of griddled bread stuffed with banana-canela cream cheese and fresh berries and topped with vanilla syrup. More delicate fare includes pork enchiladas, tacos and a simple plate of bacon and eggs. But in Lola's festive, friendly environment, even that's a reason to celebrate.

Saturday night may not have been all right, but Sunday brunch will make everything better -- as long as you eat it at Lola. Seven nights a week, chef Jamey Fader serves up sublime coastal Mexican fare at this South Pearl hot spot, and the margaritas coming out of the bar only add fuel to the fire. But on Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lola mellows out a bit, making it a great place to gather with friends or just gather strength for the week ahead. The fortification starts with a killer Bloody Mary or Maria, with an assortment of add-ins you choose off a dim sum-like menu. And talk about killer: The chicken-fried steak is amazing, a huge slab of tender meat deep-fried in a crispy batter, slathered with chorizo gravy and resting on a three-bean chile. This may also be the first house capable of making fusion French toast: The "Mexi-Toast" is a Nuevo Latino/Southwestern comfort-food collision of griddled bread stuffed with banana-canela cream cheese and fresh berries and topped with vanilla syrup. More delicate fare includes pork enchiladas, tacos and a simple plate of bacon and eggs. But in Lola's festive, friendly environment, even that's a reason to celebrate.

When you can't get away from your desk but just can't stomach another vending-machine lunch, call the Lemon Sisters. For a $10 minimum order, owner Claire Griffin, aka Joy Lemon (there is no sister), will speed over with one of her fresh-made sandwiches, soups or salads. The sandwich menu is solid deli fare, and the soups -- particularly the Thai Pumpkin -- and salads are so special that they more than justify the cost. And if you can escape the office for an hour, a visit to Lemon Sisters is a refreshing break that lets you smell the scones, lemon bars and other treats baking in the oven and enjoy your lunch sitting at one of the tables in the sunny shop.

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