...since Clint said mean things about me in the Politics forum.
Craftwood Inn is at the top of my fine dining list. Every meal I've had there gives me the feeling of being in the presence of GREATNESS. Their chef is a true genius. And I love the Arts & Crafts era architecture. Had one bad experience with a really inattentive waiter there and complained. The guy got fired and my wife and I got a generous gift certificate and a handwritten letter from the owner. Otherwise the service has been exceptional--no wonder! Now that I have a mortgage and am house-poor it may be a while before I get back to the Craftwood. sigh
To be honest, Adams Mountain Cafe is overrated, IMO. I like the cozy atmosphere and appreciate the fact that the chef is making an effort to do creative things with great ingredients, but the dishes I've had have always seemed to be missing something or just not quite right. I've only been twice and maybe just had bad luck.
At the other end of the dining spectrum (and I think just outside the city limits, so maybe it doesn't count) is my favorite guilty pleasure (forget the name exactly): the Vienna Hot Dog place on W. Colorado Ave. It's hard to beat their polish sausage with some kraut and a little brown mustard. And I like the people who work there--they all seem to be having a good time. My wife and I take our dogs up to the G-o-t-G overlook on Ridge Rd (the one that had a camera obscura when I was a kid) and we munch them while surveying our domain.
For a coffee hangout, Steve's right that the Spice Boys have the only game in town for me. I'm especially fond of their soups. Add coffee and a newspaper to the bagel and lox with capers and paper-thin onion slices on a Sunday morning and you have one of life's great simple pleasures. Though, I've got to get back with Doug to finish a conversation about the Spa building. He's on the wrong side of that issue
Gotta love their fridge magnet collection!
By the way, for those who are looking for the best coffee beans in the Pikes Peak area, look no farther than Manitou Natural. Wayne gets his beans from a roaster in Boulder every week and they are head and shoulders above anything else I can find. Better than anything I could find in Houston or Washington, DC, in fact. My favorite is the Java Joey blend. Wayne used to be a roaster himself and says he's thinking of opening a coffee roastery in the Manitou Shops when they open (economy permitting).
Still can't get that idea out of my head of having a micro-brewery downtown! I'm going to try to get John Hickenlooper on the horn today and find out what he's thinking. (Back to town politics again...oh well, I tried)