Tequila Joe’s, which was voted Best Mexican Restaurant and Best Margarita by the Parker Chronicle, serves up authentic Mexican eats, all accompanied by an extensive collection of spirited tequilas. Whet an appetite with the roasted jalapeños ($7) before diving into more traditional Mexican fare including burritos, chimichangas, or the highly revered chimichanga burrito. Tequila Joe’s innovative specialties include the Margarita Shrimp, served with spring vegetables ($15), and the Steak Ranchero, accompanied by beans and rice ($13).
Hickory House Ribs is named for its signature racks of baby-back ribs, a combination of high-grade meat imported from Denmark and specialty sauce made in-house. The ribs have claimed numerous awards and accolades for their succulent flavor, which begins with pork ribs from hogs fed all-natural and lean diets. The ribs then spend hours slow-smoking in a combination of hickory and oak. Once they get to Hickory House Ribs, chefs coat them in thick housemade sauce, made from scratch. The restaurant also serves up other classic barbecue fare, from certified Angus steaks to smoked pork shoulder. Each kind of barbecued meat is seasoned and smoked daily, and served with baked beans and coleslaw each made fresh every day.
At Bistro on the Peak, chefs blend Mediterranean dishes with American sensibilities. They season Colorado Black Angus steaks with pancetta and gorgonzola, for instance, and top olive-oil-glazed pizza with barbecued bison and pineapple. Diners can enjoy these and other meals inside, or head outside and eat beneath the trees and bright blue umbrellas that grow on the secluded side-street patio. In the evenings, a full bar and live music invite patrons to venture downstairs to the underground sports bar and nightclub.
Nestled within the Cottonwood Plaza Shopping Center, Tonti's Pizza fashions award-winning New York–style pies within classic pizzeria digs. Cooks slather homemade East Coast tomato sauce on myriad Italian dishes, adding dollops to crowd-pleasing calzones and mozzarella sticks. Tonti's cheese has been extolled in Westword for its astonishing stretchiness, which helps pizzas hold fast even as lunching executives pull from each end to get a bigger share of the last slice.
At Portofino Pizza & Pasta, the owner and head chef conjures a menu of classic Italian cuisine. Diners round up appetites with garlic knots ($3.99/dozen), which sidle up next to marinara for dipping or finger painting. Hefty calzones enfold a triumvirate of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses, and hot hero sandwiches pile rolls high with stacks of meatballs or eggplant ($7.49). Pizza professionals toss specialty pies such as the Portofino pizza ($18.99), which is speckled in spinach, sun-dried tomato, and black olives in an attempt to camouflage itself from fingers, and fetuccine alfredo ($8.99) twirls itself around fork tines to sneak into mouths to ambush unsuspecting taste buds.