- $17 for $30 worth of Spanish tapas
The 9th Door
In the 1960s, in the Costa del Sol region of Spain, there was a bar where writers and poets would gather to share their creative endeavors as they indulged in wine and food. There was no sign bearing the bar's name, just a single number—nine—carved into the door. Today, thousands of miles away in Colorado, The 9th Door seeks to recreate the culture of that artists' haven.
Around a communal table built from Spanish doors that go back nearly three centuries, groups engage in what Westword magazine once called "a sexy flood of booze and tapas." As with traditional tapas recipes, the menu seeks to integrate Spanish, African, Arabian, and Mediterranean flavors. There are fire-roasted piquillos stuffed with fresh goat cheese; pears and Idiazabal cheese rolled in Serrano ham; and Spanish meatballs in Moorish mint-almond sauce, to name a few.
The wine list is equally diverse, marrying dozens of European and South American varietals. Bartenders embrace classic Latin spirits, mixing up caipirinhas and pouring glasses of aged Spanish brandy. As a shout-out to James Michener, one of the expatriate writers who spent time in Costa del Sol, there's a drink called The Drifter—whiskey, herbal and orange liqueurs, and a splash of bitters. Sip one while listening to some live flamenco guitar or your own heartbeat, if your neck can bend down that far.