Root Down, 1600 W. 33rd Ave., Denver, and at DIA, Concourse C, rootdowndenver.com
Much like Brussels sprouts, beets have become quite the food craze in recent years. No longer relegated to the pickled variety served for Sunday lunch at Grandma’s or in the school cafeteria, these deep magenta root vegetables are finding their way into dishes across the board, not least of which are craft cocktails. At Denver’s eminent Root Down restaurants, the Beet Down combines gin, Canton, Aperol, beet, lemon and mint into a surprisingly refreshing and sippable cocktail. The earthiness of the beet and Aperol paired well with the juniper in the gin and ginger of the Canton. Even if you can’t bring yourself to start eating beets, this cocktail will make you love drinking them. $12.
Chicky Chicky Parm Parm Pizza
Boss Lady Pizza, 1129 13th St., Boulder, bossladypizza.com
Boss Lady Pizza is really, really good. If you went once, you likely became a regular. If you haven’t been, then you’re missing out on some of the best East Coast, NY-style pizza you can get in Colorado. It starts with the hand-tossed dough. It’s got a perfectly crisp exterior and a satisfying chew to go along with oven-baked, soul-satisfying flavor. Atop that crust, the options are many, from the Tot Guy (buffalo tater tots and ranch) to the Mac (crème fraîche and macaroni) to the Chicky Chicky Parm Parm (house-breaded chicken, mozzarella, marinara, asiago cheese and parsley). But Boss Lady isn’t just great because of its novelty offerings, it executes. It’s that last one we had on a recent visit, and we’d be ashamed at how quickly we downed the massive pie if it hadn’t been so darn good. $13-$24.
Dry Glider Cider
Colorado Cider Company, Available throughout Boulder County, coloradocider.com
Cider’s making a big push in Colorado (and nationwide), and we’re glad craft producers are replacing the saccharine, cloying, fake apple ciders of old with crisp styles that span a variety of flavors. We like Colorado Cider Company’s Dry Glider Cider, which feels and tastes a bit like Champagne and finishes with a satisfying dryness. It’s 6.5 percent alcohol by volume and quite refreshing. Prices vary.
Chicken Tikka Masala and Saag Combo
Tibet’s Restaurant and Bar food truck, Mobile, Boulder County, tibetsrestaurant.com
Little is more welcome on a cold Colorado evening than a plate of hot food by a sizzling fire. One recent night at Rayback Collective, we ordered the chicken tikka masala and saag combo from one of the food trucks parked outside: Tibet’s Restaurant and Bar. While seated around the Collective’s fire pit, we dove straight into the warm and creamy tandoori roasted chicken drenched in a mild yet flavorful tomato sauce. The accompanying saag had hints of cilantro and garlic, and the rice was a delectable fluffy companion. $11.