Best Downtown Dining

Barrio Grill

135 S. Sixth Ave.

STAFF PICK: With a cool, Cheers-like ambiance and an inventive menu, Barrio has become one of the hottest spots to gather anywhere in town. Whether it's the allure of the chic bar (with an impressive menu of tequilas) or the promise of a meal redolent with flavor, originality and style, submit to Barrio's siren call at the end of a hard day. We recall with nothing short of love a luscious slice of pork loin served with a magnificent chutney of mango, crystallized ginger and currant berries. Seafood specials are consummately fresh, and an agreeable medium for Chef Jeff Glomski's creative flare. Fish tacos may sound pedestrian for a classy venue like Barrio, but the variation served here is anything but: flaky chunks of grilled white fish, shredded cabbage, finely chopped tomatoes and onions wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with lots of sliced limes and salsa. For dessert lovers, chocolate is a Glomski forte, and something deliciously decadent is always offered. A dense, bittersweet chocolate custard with caramel sauce is a dream, but we've also had the pleasure of indulging in dark chocolate truffles, made on the premises and served with fragrant vanilla crème anglaise. That vanilla crème has also made its way into a parfait of seasonal berries...and who knows what Glomski will have on hand the next time we visit. Barrio is simply terrific.