On the bayou…Who needs New Orleans when we’ve got Storyville Creole Café in Longmont? The owner, Louisiana native David Johnson, has one heck of a claim to fame: His grandmother’s first cousin was Louis Armstrong. So it’s fitting that the five-week-old restaurant’s name refers to the birthplace of jazz (Storyville, once a legal red-light district and the neighborhood adjacent to the French Quarter). Count on Creole-marinated pork chops, red beans and rice, and crabmeat-stuffed shrimp to whisk you away to the Southwithout the humidity. 246 Main St., Longmont, 303-651-1127.
Have wine will travel…Strings Restaurant has carved out a niche with its monthly Baby Grapes wine series. For just $35, guests “travel” the world and taste wine and cuisine from a featured country. Price includes a passport (for stamping), dinner, dessert, all the wine you can drink, and rubbing elbows with wine experts who will answer any questions. The next dinner is July 20 (Italy), followed by Aug. 17 (Chile), and a tequila-tasting dinner on Sept. 15. Get your reservations nowto date all dinners have sold out. 1700 Humboldt St., 303-831-7310, www.stringsrestaurant.com.
The happiest of hours…Troy Guard‘s new restaurant Nine75 just added happy hour. Monday through Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m., say cheers with $3.95 specialty drinks, $3 wells, $2 Coors Light, and $3.95 house wine. The specialty drinks range from old-school (check out the Tang Tini made with Absolut vodka, DeKuyper Triple Sec, Tang, and Sprite) to more genteel classics (sip on a mint julep spiked with Jim Beam Black and sweetened with simple syrup). The bonus: All cocktails come with an order of Nine75’s signature French fries. 975 Lincoln, 303-975-0975.
Cool licks…Maggie Moo‘s mixes up one heck of an ice cream. The National Ice Cream Retailers Association recently awarded the chain multiple Blue Ribbon Awards of Excellence, giving nods to the chocolate, dark chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and vanilla bean flavors. Though it didn’t nab any awards, word is the Better Batter flavor is not to be missed. Get a cone (or a cup) at any of the metro-area locations, including the Colorado Mills Mall. 14500 W. Colfax Ave., Lakewood, 303-590-1990, www.maggiemoos.com.