Cuba Cuba Cafe & Bar
One of our proudest possessions is a smeared napkin that survived a very long night at Monarck. In a space that once held a crunchy coffeehouse, Francois Safieddine put the smoothest of upscale clubs, whose specialty cocktails include the mojito. While the mojito has become so ubiquitous in recent years that there's bound to be a Mojitos R Us store opening any day, Monarck does mojitos right. And we have scientific proof, tallied on a napkin as a cranky member of our crew went through Monarck's half-dozen-strong -- emphasis on strong -- mojito list and emerged with a great love for everyone in the land. There's magic in these mojitos...but might we suggest you limit yourself to no more than you can count on one hand?

One of our proudest possessions is a smeared napkin that survived a very long night at Monarck. In a space that once held a crunchy coffeehouse, Francois Safieddine put the smoothest of upscale clubs, whose specialty cocktails include the mojito. While the mojito has become so ubiquitous in recent years that there's bound to be a Mojitos R Us store opening any day, Monarck does mojitos right. And we have scientific proof, tallied on a napkin as a cranky member of our crew went through Monarck's half-dozen-strong -- emphasis on strong -- mojito list and emerged with a great love for everyone in the land. There's magic in these mojitos...but might we suggest you limit yourself to no more than you can count on one hand?


Morton's the Steakhouse
Courtesy of Morton's
In honor of its 25th birthday last year, Morton's made the best even better: It came up with a cure for the common cold. By pouring its already splendid martinis into stainless-steel martini glasses, Morton's guaranteed that martini-lovers would be shaken, if not stirred. But the vessel surrounding your drink isn't the only surrounding that's important when you're drinking a martini (and frankly, Morton's martinis taste just fine out of regular glasses, too). You need an understanding bartender who'll stuff olives with blue cheese at the drop of a cocktail napkin. You need a clubby, comfortable bar to enjoy the drink in. And you need to know that just outside that bar, a dining room is ready to serve you one of the best steaks in town.

In honor of its 25th birthday last year, Morton's made the best even better: It came up with a cure for the common cold. By pouring its already splendid martinis into stainless-steel martini glasses, Morton's guaranteed that martini-lovers would be shaken, if not stirred. But the vessel surrounding your drink isn't the only surrounding that's important when you're drinking a martini (and frankly, Morton's martinis taste just fine out of regular glasses, too). You need an understanding bartender who'll stuff olives with blue cheese at the drop of a cocktail napkin. You need a clubby, comfortable bar to enjoy the drink in. And you need to know that just outside that bar, a dining room is ready to serve you one of the best steaks in town.


Paris on the Platte has long reigned as one of the city's funkiest and most popular coffee shops. Now there's even more reason to like it: Platte's owners recently expanded their empire by converting the shop's adjoining bookstore into a classy, understated wine bar. With a well-chosen list of whites, reds and rosés, as well as a menu of grape-enhancing cheese and fruit plates, Paris Wine Bar feels like the grown-up version of its caffeinated sibling -- stylish, understated and totally free of pretension. The staff is happy to talk vintage, whether you're a novice or an enthusiast, and the bar's tasting flights are a great, inexpensive way to begin searching for that one perfect bottle. Remember, Denver, we'll always have Paris.

Paris on the Platte has long reigned as one of the city's funkiest and most popular coffee shops. Now there's even more reason to like it: Platte's owners recently expanded their empire by converting the shop's adjoining bookstore into a classy, understated wine bar. With a well-chosen list of whites, reds and rosés, as well as a menu of grape-enhancing cheese and fruit plates, Paris Wine Bar feels like the grown-up version of its caffeinated sibling -- stylish, understated and totally free of pretension. The staff is happy to talk vintage, whether you're a novice or an enthusiast, and the bar's tasting flights are a great, inexpensive way to begin searching for that one perfect bottle. Remember, Denver, we'll always have Paris.

When it comes to a great wine list, there's just no beating the selection at Adega. Not as long as the restaurant keeps stocking bottles like its '98 Haut-Brion white Bordeaux, and those Spanish pinots, and those killer German and Austrian whites, and that bottle of '93 Leroy Clos de La Roche, and that roster of Latours and Mouton-Rothschilds that's surprising not because of the high end of $1,400 for a bottle of '53 Mouton, but because of how many of those classic Bordeaux come in under $300.

When it comes to a great wine list, there's just no beating the selection at Adega. Not as long as the restaurant keeps stocking bottles like its '98 Haut-Brion white Bordeaux, and those Spanish pinots, and those killer German and Austrian whites, and that bottle of '93 Leroy Clos de La Roche, and that roster of Latours and Mouton-Rothschilds that's surprising not because of the high end of $1,400 for a bottle of '53 Mouton, but because of how many of those classic Bordeaux come in under $300.

There's no doubt that Brian Klinginsmith knows his grapes. At Solera, he assembled a cellar that perfectly matched the simple, ingredient-driven menus assembled by chef Goose Sorenson, with a back stock of excellent bottles held out for special occasions or for those who'd come more for the booze than the grub. Although Klinginsmith has moved to California, his collectible legacy is resting easy in the hands of Tim Daughter, who has a wonderful stock to build on as he slowly starts to make the Solera cellars -- and the Solera servers who've always been excellent guides through the house's list -- his own.

There's no doubt that Brian Klinginsmith knows his grapes. At Solera, he assembled a cellar that perfectly matched the simple, ingredient-driven menus assembled by chef Goose Sorenson, with a back stock of excellent bottles held out for special occasions or for those who'd come more for the booze than the grub. Although Klinginsmith has moved to California, his collectible legacy is resting easy in the hands of Tim Daughter, who has a wonderful stock to build on as he slowly starts to make the Solera cellars -- and the Solera servers who've always been excellent guides through the house's list -- his own.


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