Desserts that make you say, “Oh my god” — that’s what we’re after here, and that’s what we’ve found at the Cooper Lounge, the swanky cocktail bar on the third floor of Union Station. The choices change a bit seasonally, but if bananas Foster ($15) is one of them (and especially if you’ve just ingested one of the sativa-heavy strains that make you crave sweets, instead of one that doesn’t), order two and settle into one of the elegant couches for a true treat. Flanked by vintage suitcases with glass tables between, the soft, sink-into-it seats offer unparalleled views up 17th Street through the 28-foot-high windows as well as the Union Station lobby over the balcony wall.
The dessert is made to order right there in the middle of the lounge, using liquid nitrogen to flash-freeze fresh cream tinged with Saigon cinnamon. The cinnamon flavor is more intense than the classic version created by Paul Blangé at Brennan’s in New Orleans in 1951, and that’s a good thing if you like cinnamon. The rest of the flavors in this over-the-top concoction offer a well-melded mixture of brown sugar, butter and rum. When the ice cream starts to melt into this sweet goo, well, oh my god. When peaches are in season, the Palisade peach flambé ($15) is a variation, with the peaches caramelizing in their own sugar atop vanilla ice cream.
You can get up to the Coop only via the Grand Staircase by the Terminal Bar; a desk at the base is guarded by a hostess who is not kidding that you can’t just check it out without reservations (which can be made up to 2 weeks in advance), because this also is access to the Crawford Hotel, and they don’t want folks just mucking around in the hallways. Better to stick to the bananas Foster and a pour from the extensive wine and cocktails list, which arrives on an iPad.
Convenient to: All of Union Station’s offerings and everything LoDo.
Info: Cooper Lounge, 1701 Wynkoop St., 720-460-3738 Click here for details