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Ambiance and More   Leave a comment

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Creekside dining at The Wines of Colorado provides a relaxing location; the fact that it was once a convenience store somehow adds to the experience.

One of my friends joked that The Wines should get an award for the best re-use of a 7-Eleven; she’s right. It takes a strong memory, or good imagination, to envision the space as a one-time Slurpee dispenser. The several additions – including a deck and the creekside patio – hide the past well. The restaurant is part wine shop featuring Colorado wines, what else? Since I didn’t have any, I’ll keep my opinion about that to myself.

The food, though, is inventive and surprising. I ordered a portabella stuffed with spinach, diced tomato, feta, herbs, and served with hummus and pita bread on the side. Feta isn’t one of my favorite cheeses, but its slight tanginess and gooey consistency when melted provided a palette-pleasing contrast to the mushroom’s texture. It’s hard to go wrong with smooth, earthy hummus, although I did run out of pita.

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My friends ordered the salmon Cesar and the ravioli salads. The smoky, flakey salmon made the Romaine appear superfluous. The latter salad featured large raviolis on a bed of greens, which was a successful combination.

Since it was such a pleasant setting after a hot morning hike, we shared the Carrot Cake for Four. Chock-full of nuts, raisins and flecks of carrots, the rich, thick frosting was like a blanket no one needed.

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Oh thank heaven for, well, Wines of Colorado.

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The Wines of Colorado
Three-and-half Plates
8045 W. Highway 24
Cascade, Colo.

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