BEST GARDEN GNOMES 2006 | Mile-Hi Statuary | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Saints and pigs, gargoyles and gMile-Hi Statuary 5048 Morrison Rd. 303-934-3244reyhounds, dragons and geese, lions and tigers and bears -- oh, my! Mile-Hi's amazing selection of fountains and yard ornaments outpaces that of the garden stores, many of which offer similar products at a higher price. Another advantage to shopping here: You can request your rabbit, gnome or Elvis in colored cement -- charcoal, white, blue, green, even buff -- at no extra chare.
Not much has changed in the world of the Tooth Fairy since you were a kid, except maybe the rate of exchange -- and the packaging. Kristi Howard crafts Tooth Fairy pillows for her store, Starlet, sewing them in bunny-soft chenille with pockets just the right size for a bitty tooth, quarter or folded bill and personal note, and ribbons to hang them from a doorknob or bed frame. Sweet dreams.
Walking into Bella Sera Baby, there is no doubt that owner Courtney Lupe is the kind of mother who marches to a different drummer. It shows in every detail of her sweet baby bedding and accessories, which she sews mostly by herself. Lupe, who was originally a wholesaler, recently went retail with a limited-hours store so that shoppers could see and touch her wares, including cute bibs and burpies, baby slings, chenille and double-sided satin blankies. Your baby never had it so good.
Give the newly fledged little man or woman in your life the gift of the Jewish Community Center. Cards are available in any denomination and can be used toward any of the services offered at the JCC, from a free back float to tennis camp. Today you are a mensch!
Kids are a pain in the ass. They demand to be fed, and they take all your shoe money. Thank goodness for Family Flex, where parents can drop the youngsters off and spend a worry-free night on the town. Family Flex's daycare program has been wait-listed for much of the year since Marie Hueston opened the facility, but her drop-in evening care is available to anyone in town with a child under age twelve. Send the little demons over anytime between 5 and 11 p.m., and she'll feed and entertain them -- in an educational manner, of course -- for just $30 for five hours. All that, and it won't break the Choo and Lucchese budget.
What self-respecting desperate housewife would be able to resist a delivery boy dressed in a kilt? Those cute kneesocks are to die for! Keith Warner of Highland Water knew you'd feel that way, which is why he sends his boys on their water-delivery rounds wearing kilts. It worked for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Warner says they recently called him to switch to Highland Water as their drinking-water supplier. Now the only question is, what's under those kilts?


The Wine Seller and Spirits Too

The Wine Seller and Spirits Too is staffed with quirky, friendly, knowledgeable liberal-arts-major clerks who are intimately familiar with the store's impressive selection of wines (from swill to swank), respectable stock of beers (both micro and industrial), and expansive liquor cabinet. What draws people in, however, is the Wine Seller's outdoor sign, which it shares with the neighboring dry cleaner. Together they put up clever offerings that are sometimes sports-related, sometimes famous quotes from Homer Simpson and other respected luminaries, and sometimes just things that make ya go "Huh?"
At $24 a bottle, the intense, complex syrah made (in small quantities) by the family-owned Balistreri Vineyards is no everyday pour. But it might be Colorado's biggest, richest red wine. The grapes are grown in the Horse Mountain Vineyard on the Western Slope, and the final product is vinted right here in John Balistreri's boutique winery on 66th Avenue -- one of just two such facilities in the Mile High City. Redolent of mixed berries and black pepper, the 2004 Colorado Syrah is an extravagant red that will age well for years. Available at Applejack Liquors, Argonaut and a few other major liquor and wine stores (as well as the winery's tasting room), it is one of sixteen unfiltered, sulfite-free wines produced at Balistreri.
Not versed in the language of Sideways? Rest easy when shopping at Corks: Any decision by the knowledgeable staff will be a good one. The intimate shop doesn't overwhelm customers with selection, and the global offerings are labeled in categories that could describe what you'd like the evening to be: "sensuous," "sassy," "crisp" or "voluptuous." All bottles are priced at $15 or less, which beats a nasty sixer of Bud any day of the week.
We're a wine-crazy society, all sniffing and swirling and sipping our way through dinner. That's why Sheryl Czipott took a chance on Wine Complements, a wine-accoutrements store conveniently located next to Corks. Czipott carries everything from stylish wine racks to hors d'oeuvre accompaniments such as dipping oils and tapenades. There's also the de rigueur Riedel glassware and selection of imported cheeses. All you need to supply are the wines.

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