The restaurants, dishes, and drinks on our dining radar as we enter 2017.
Enjoy Latin dishes such as “calabacitas rellenos” (zucchini stuffed with rice and asadero cheese) while supporting aspiring women entrepreneurs at Comal
—Photo by Sarah Boyum
Those who frequented the original Carbone’s Italian Sausage Deli at the intersection of 38th Avenue and Lipan Street will remember the corner shop fondly. There, Nick and Rosa Lonardo made gigantic sandwiches to order while bottles of olive oil and posters of Rome, Jesus Christ, and the mother country (not to mention a never-ending line of hungry patrons) looked on. The deli closed in 2013, but happily, Carbone’s has popped up inside the Monkey Barrel at 44th Avenue and Tejon Street. The spot may have lost its familial vibe, but go for a stacked Italian sandwich and you’ll leave more than satisfied. Order the No. 2 with prosciutto, soppressata, mortadella, and provolone, and hunker down for a meaty meal. While you wait, sip a beer (we like Good River’s Fu Fighter Belgian Ale) and play old-school video games at Monkey Barrel’s tables. 4401 Tejon St., 720-638-3655
APRES HANDCRAFTED LIBATIONS
Winter brings with it the season’s (second) most important activity: après-ski. And perhaps the best part is that you don’t even have to partake in snowsports to enjoy the afternoon pleasure of quaffing a tall beer or a stiff cocktail. At Après Handcrafted Libations on Main Street in Breckenridge, fans clamor for 30 rotating taps (the ever-changing choices are written on the chalkboard to the right of the bar), nearly 100 whiskeys, and craft cocktails made with top-shelf spirits. Check Après’ seasonal cocktail menu for of-the-moment sips, or rely on classics like the perfectly made Vieux Carré. The spot doesn’t serve much food (aside from bags of kettle corn and charcuterie), but all are encouraged to bring munchies from home or to order in. The point is to kick back and stay awhile. 130 S. Main St., Breckenridge, 970-423-6700
“Comal” is the name of the griddle used to cook tortillas throughout Mexico and Central America. But the term is also a signifier of Latin tradition and culture—which is what this three-month-old restaurant in the old Fuel Cafe space is aiming for. The lunchtime eatery serves as an incubator for women in the Globeville and Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods; the hope is that through gaining business and language skills, as well as culinary training (the program is run in partnership with the nonprofit Focus Points Family Resource Center), many will open their own businesses. Go Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the small, rotating menu of Mexican, El Salvadoran, and Peruvian foods prepared from recipes passed from generation to generation. Dishes such as “tacos dorados de pollo” (rolled tacos) or “estofado de puerco rojo” (braised pork with guajillo chiles) are fresh and satisfying. Taxi, 3455 Ringsby Court, 303-292-0770, ext. 125