The Place: Cucina Colore, 3041 East Third Avenue, 303-393-6917
The Hours: Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.
The Deals: $3.50 draft beers; $5 select wines and cocktails; $4-7 snacks
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The Digs: A lovely corner eatery in Cherry Creek North, Cucina Colore is a bright space where groups of tables are dispersed into small nooks throughout the restaurant. For those of you still enjoying the summer weather, there are two patios: a smaller, private scape on the south end of the restaurant, and a larger, open patio on the east end. The foot traffic is tame and the neighborhood greenery makes for a peaceful experience.
The Verdict: What's best about Cucina's happy hour? The Bellinitini. Its fruity deliciousness packs a peachy, boozy punch that's normally lacking in frou-frou martinis. The crostinis, offered in three different guises, are fantastic accompaniments to a glass of vino: the tomato and mozzarella bruschetta is fresh and herbaceous, but try the truffled egg and asparagus salad with prosciutto ($6) before anything else. Yes -- it's that good. Not so good is the gnocchi ($5), a heap of horrifically pasty nuggets coated in an overwhelming gloss of pesto crema. It needs work, and while the service is accommodating, it, too, could have been better, especially on a recent Monday afternoon when the tempo was slow.
Overall Grade: B+