I've never quite known what it is about Mel's that makes me feel so at home. More than any other spot in the city, Mel's just feels like a restaurant -- the kind of place where you know you're going to be well cared for and well fed, then leave feeling utterly satisfied. The menu -- which has gone through many permutations under the watch of chef Tyler Wiard -- is currently showcasing the mussels "La Cagouille," steak frites and classic Continental preparations that have sustained Mel's through almost two decades of service, as well as more modern interpretations encompassing Spanish cuisine, careful New American fusion and a DIY, craft-style, culinary choose-your-own-adventure board with proteins, starches and vegetables. Unlike some of Denver's other venerable hot spots, Mel's is not a fashion show or an art gallery or a precious throwback to the days of top-hat dining; owners Mel and Jane Master clearly understand that change, innovation and risk are the three best ways to stave off the dustiness of aging fast in an upstart industry. The scene is chummy rather than clubby, welcoming to all, and whether you're down for a full-flight, multi-course dining experience or just dropping in at the bar for a beer and a burger, there's no room in town quite as warm and welcoming as Mel's.