Dave Query (Big Red F Restaurant Group) has always had a knack for knowing what his customers want. His wildly popular Bitter Bar is no exception: Since the day it opened, the Boulder spot been a favorite of cocktail connoisseurs. Recently, Query shifted the focus by expanding Bitter Bar into the (now-closed) Happy noodle house space. This finally places the bar where it should be: at center stage, instead of hidden in a restaurant.

The food, too, is a better mix, with booze-friendly dishes such as potato and delicata gnocchi with Brussels sprouts, walnuts, and ricotta (try it with a French Connection). Or, as Query recommends, pair the pan-fried razor clams with pimento tartar sauce and arugula with a glass of Berger Grüner Veltliner.

Bonus: Don’t miss the creamy lobster risotto special (pictured) on Thursdays or the chicken dinner available nightly.

835 Walnut St., Boulder, 303-442-3050