Don’t be fooled by the downhome nickname: Picture 11the Ellie, as Denverites call the home of Opera Colorado and the Colorado Ballet, is a world-class venue through and through. The crown jewel in the Denver Performing Arts Complex spans four levels from orchestra to balcony, ringed by a soaring foyer spangled with modern art (including a spectacular Dale Chihuly chandelier). And while the main attractions occur inside the lyric auditorium—from Tosca and La Bohème to Romeo and Juliet and the annual run of The Nutcracker—pre-theater dining at Kevin Taylor’s downstairs makes for a sumptuous sideshow.