The elegant Panzano, on the bottom floor of the Hotel Monaco, has a menu inspired by Northern Italy but made with locally-sourced ingredients and contemporary appeal. The stylish remodel has brought the streets of Florence and terracotta roofs to Denver. Popular menu items include the Hazel Dell mushroom with donduta sauce and white truffle oil, or the gnocchi with dunk confit. Be sure to try their huge list of wines, several of which have been given ‘three glasses’ from Gambero Rosso, the highly-recommended guide that rates Italian wines.
Panzano, 909 17th St Denver, CO 80202 303-296-3525
Osteria Marco is part of the Bonnano family restaurants that includes another great fine dining restaurant, Luca d’Italia. However, Osteria stands out because of their handmade cheeses and house-cured meats, and is much more affordable. Diners can find a range of dishes from paninis to pizza, but unique options like short rib or the fig pizza with goat cheese create a mouth-watering experience. A must-try is Chef Frank Bonnano’s house-made burrata, along with their salamis cured in wine.
Osteria Marco, 1453 Larimer St Denver, Co 80202 303-534-5855
Offering Piemontese Italian food for three decades, Barolo Grill has long been a gold standard in fine Italian dining. Their creative dishes retain their appeal with the knowledgeable expertise of the staff who visit Italy yearly. On the menu you can find Tuscan flavors mixed with U.S. pairings and preparation, giving it a nice mix of home and the different, exotic regions of Italy. Also, check out their wine list, with selections from France, Spain and South America as well as Italy, and also ask about their chef’s menu.
Barolo Grill, 3030 East Sixth Avenue Denver, CO 303-393-1040
Marco’s Coal Fired Pizzeria
Marco’s is a casual, moderately priced Italian joint with delicious coal fired Neapolitan pizzas. Their pizza is certified by the coveted Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, meaning their brick ovens were imported from Naples. During lunch happy hour every Monday-Friday from 11AM-2PM, you can get a nine inch personal margherita pie for $5 with sweet marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella. Their large list of different pizzas are perfect for sharing, plus they also serve gluten-free options. One of the best restaurants in the city that won’t break the bank, Marco’s authentic pizza is a must-try.
Marco’s Coal Fired Pizzeria, 2129 Larimer St Denver, CO 80205 303-296-7000
Odyssey Italian Restaurant
Located in the Southwest neighborhood, Odyssey Italian Restaurant offers satisfying, but approachable Italian dining. Pasta dishes are of course available, but you can also find a slew of Sicilian specialities created by their chef, Jgnazia Mulei. The intimate restaurant, with inside and outdoor seating and excellent service, is a favorite of Denver locals, and the large portions that come with house bread and a Caesar salad are perfect for a date night. Odyssey is a journey for the tastebuds, and the mix of classic presentation and gourmet flavoring makes this one of the best Italian restaurants in Denver.
Odyssey Italian Restaurant, 603 E 6th Ave Denver, CO 80203 303-318-0102
Run by a husband and wife duo, Spuntino is a welcoming and refined Italian restaurant situated in the Highlands neighborhood where many Italian immigrants made a home in the 19th century. The inspired Italian menu stays true to the authentic Italian philosophy of using local, fresh ingredients. The menu is seasonal and they have a variety of creative items, like housemade rabbit rillettes to sweet corn and goat cheese bruschetta. Be sure to try the dessert menu, especially the cherry tart or house made gelato. There is also a happy hour daily from 5PM-6:30PM with discouts off all beer and cut price house wines and select cocktails, among with a few appetizer choices.
Spuntino, 2639 W 32nd Ave Denver, CO 80211 303-777-6443