Where Should I Dine If...All year long we field phone calls and e-mails from readers seeking dining help. Here, a few of our favorites.
>> My wife and I got engaged in Paris and our first wedding anniversary is coming up. Where's a good place for dinner and reminiscing? Enjoy the rustic mushroom soup or the savory mussels at Uptown's romantic AIX (719 E. 17th Ave., 303-831-1296). Bonus: If you don't want a full meal, have a glass of bubbly at the intimate bar.
>> My friends and I are planning a dinner for 20; where should we go? We've never been disappointed with Panzano's (909 17th St., 303-296-3525) private wine cellar or the upstairs dining room (complete with fireplace and a bay window) at Highland's Garden Café (3927 W. 32nd Ave., 303-458-5920).
>> Many restaurants have dining deals on certain nights of the weekwhich do you recommend? It's hard to beat Sunday nights at Black Pearl (1529 S. Pearl St., 303-777-0500) in Platt Park, where your entire checkdinner, wine, and dessertrings up at half price. (May we recommend the mussels with Pernod broth and frites?)
>> I'm new to town and looking for a great piece of pizza. For fold-in-half New York-style slices we turn to the downtown location of Anthony's Pizza & Pasta (1550 California St., 303-573-6236), but for a more gourmet take, the garlicky Pontiff pie at Proto's Pizzeria Napoletana (2401 15th St., 720-855-9400) tops our list.
>> I'm hosting a birthday party for a friend and I want a delicious and pretty, but reasonably priced, cake. Can you recommend a bakery? We regularly order cakes from eat dessert first (1179 S. Monroe St., 303-282-4954), and we've always been wowed by the creations and the prices. The strawberry shortcake flavorvanilla white chocolate cake layered with whipped cream and strawberriesis one of our favorites.
>> We'd like to go out to a nice dinner and take our six-year-old along with us. Where can we go that'll oblige a young child and still feel like a night out? Not only does Strings (1700 Humboldt St., 303-831-7310) have an impressive kids' menuthink roasted red pepper and tomato bisque or capellini rusticabut owner Noel Cunningham brings children into the kitchen to help make dessert.
>> I crave breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles, but I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. Does anyplace serve alternative breakfast goods? WaterCourse Foods (837 E. 17th Ave., 303-832-7313) bakes up gluten-free sweet-potato cinnamon rolls, muffins, coffee cake, and scones, and the Original Pancake House (5900 S. University Blvd., Greenwood Village, 303-795-0573) recently added gluten-free pancakes to its menu.
>> I'd like to gather my friends for happy hour at a bar or restaurant that's off the beaten path. Limón (1618 E. 17th Ave., 303-322-0898), a sleek restaurant serving eclectic Peruvian cuisine, offers a terrific happy hour with drink specials and fresh ceviche and fried plantains. Bonus: There's ample street parking.
>> We love doing tasting menus, where's the best of the lot? At Black Cat Bistro (1964 13th St., Boulder, 303-444-5500), chef Eric Skokan's farm-to-table cuisine shines in his sumptuous tasting menus. His five- or seven-course dinners pair fine wines and often feature produce grown in Skokan's own garden.
>> Can you recommend a great Chinese restaurant? Run, don't walk, to Super Star Asian Cuisine (2200 W. Alameda Ave., 303-727- 9889) for the best dim sum in town. You'll be dazzled by every item on the menuline up early and note the Asian crowd, the best endorsement of all.
>> We're looking for great Latin food that isn't Mexican. Make a reservation at Café Brazil (4408 Lowell Blvd., 303-480-1877) for South American eats that are rich in Brazilian and Argentinean influences. Order the pernambuco, a scallops dish with coconut curry sauce.
>> I love Japanese food but not necessarily sushiwhere do you recommend? Escape to Domo Restaurant (1365 Osage St., 303-595-3666), where they offer traditional country-style dishes in a stunning environment. Don't miss a springtime visit to the restaurant's amazing Japanese garden.
>> I've got family coming to town, and it's their first time to Denver. I'd like to show them a slice of history. The magnificent setting and early American traditions of the Fort (19192 Highway 8, Morrison, 303-697-4771) make it a must-stop for out-of-towners. For more casual dining, try the Buckhorn Exchange (1000 Osage St., 303-534- 9505) for great prime rib and a room filled with Wild West nostalgia.
>> Where's the best spot to eat at Boulder's new Twenty Ninth Street Mall? The family-run Laudisio (1710 29th St., Boulder, 303-442-1300) Italian restaurant is tops. Try the fettuccine funghi with mushrooms, shallots, cream, and truffle butter.