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THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Mel's Restaurant & Bar Restaurant Review: From the moment it opened in 1996, Mels has been praised as a Denver hot spot. Because of its friendly atmosphere and good food, it remains a favorite hang-out for the Cherry Creek crowd. To see and be seen, sit at one of the brasserie-style tables or at the bar. For privacy, request one of the booths---a niche with an arched opening, comfortable banquettes and poster-lined walls. On a recent visit, we started with perfectly seared foie gras (accompanied by a not-too-sweet apple pecan compote) and crab cakes with mango-curry butter. The penne pasta with sea bass, roasted squash, tomatoes, goat cheese and kalamata olives makes a nice light meal or an appetizer to share. Entrées change frequently and can include old-fashioned favorites like rack of lamb with herb-roasted potatoes or grilled beef tenderloin with rosemary bread pudding. But theres always something entirely new, like pan-seared diver scallops with black truffle risotto or sautéed Chilean sea bass with blue crab and ginger sauce. Always save room for the freshly made desserts. We unreservedly recommend the caramel apple pie with praline ice cream, baked-to-order chocolate fondant cake and lavender-honey cheesecake. The extensive, award-winning and well-priced wine list includes owner Mel Masters own Tortoise Creek Merlot. Despite its many awards, the restaurant still feels like a neighborhood joint. If youve eaten here more than once, Mel and his staff will likely greet you by name and remember where you like to sit and what you like to eat.