The Gulch outpost of the Texas-based chain brings fresh ingredients and urban polish to the roster of Mexican favorites, with a few unexpected signatures thrown in. With $13 quesadillas, this is not your cheap-and-cheerful south-of-the-border fare, but the service and atmosphere merit the premium. Grab a seat at the gleaming curved bar, snag an umbrella on the sidewalk or settle into a table in the sleek blond-wood dining rooms and sit back and enjoy the ride of fresh flavors. A palette of lime, cilantro, jalapeño and poblano showcases a repertoire of beef, chicken and seafood, with warm salsas and sizzling desserts. As Mexican as apple pie? Who knows. But when brandy butter, caramel and cinnamon ice cream meet on a sizzling platter, who really cares? — Carrington Fox
In an atmosphere that is an understated blend of horse country and big city,
chef Jason McConnell delivers a menu that is skillful in its simplicity while intriguing in its worldliness. One
block off Franklin's charming historic town square, Red Pony dishes up the nouvelle likes of king crab lettuce wraps, kobe beef tacos and panzanella with salmon and artichokes to a low-key and moneyed suburban clientele.