April 12 2006, 8:28 PM
Lately, every time I go to Larimer Square it seems like there's a new restaurant, bar, or store that's just opened. Last night I checked out Cru, the new wine bar at 1442 Larimer next door to the Capital Grille. It's a cute space, open and airy, with a small outdoor patio and large windows on the street. Inside, it offers a fairly spacious bar -- considering the smallish size of the spot -- and a scattering of tables in the main dining area. A back staircase leads down to a basement lounge, dark and quiet with a small private room for special events or dinner parties. The wine list offers over 300 selections, and the food menu consists of small plates and upscale bistro fare. We loved the three-cheese pizza with white truffle oil and fresh greens, but the cheese fondue my friend Susan ordered was both runny and lumpy. Hopefully the kitchen will work out the kinks soon, because it does seem to have potential (as does Wes, the cute executive chef with a charmingly twangy Texas accent who my two girlfriends fawned over blatantly.) The only thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the bartender's first suggestion -- a cabernet he recommended (and practically pushed on us) that was the most expensive on the list at $25 per glass. I laughed it off and ordered an $8 pinot noir that tasted just fine to me. Call it a pet peeve, but this is the second time in the past month or so that this has happened, and I'm sure I'm not the only person in town who finds it annoying. Still, it's a cute new spot and the little lounge looks to be a great spot for small, intimate gatherings. I'll be back.