Colfax & Downing

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Tag: Italian

Postino Denver LoHi

Postino LoHi

In a town drowning in beer offerings, Postino sticks out as the Denver wine bar.

The bright, mid-century modern restaurant was the first to open in the renovated Denver Book Bindery building. With stunning views of downtown Denver that rival neighbor Avanti Food & Beverage, Postino features bruschetta, panini, salad, and other small, shareable bites.

Postino LoHi BooksWalking into Postino on Friday night with our friends Maggie and Kevin, I realized I was entering into a mix between a hip new book bar (a nod to the building’s past), a liquor store (wine is seriously everywhere), and a trippy Chihuly fanboys wet dream.

Nothing inside Postino screams, I am Italian. Arrivederci!

However, there is a certain steadfast confidence in the minimal menu options that remind me of a few Italians I met while traveling. It’s a statement of, “This is who I am. Take it or leave it,” and I respect that.

Postino Denver Butcher Block

Our group started with the Butcher Block. A mix of of dried meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, and pickles. It’s an impressive platter that I’d recommend sharing with three others. The peppered salami was the standout for me.

Postino LoHi Autostrada

After such a great start, I followed up with the Autostrada. A panini combination of sopresatta, Italian ham, cappicola, mortadella, and other fun Italian words. The star of the show by far was the bread, baked daily by the folks at City Bakery.

Something not to overlook if you go are the deals to be had at Postino. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, you can get $5 glasses of wine and $5 pitchers of any beer (that’s right….ANY beer that they have). Every Monday and Tuesday night, you can order four kinds of bruschetta and a bottle of wine for $20. Not. Bad.

Be sure to keep up with Postino on:

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Carmine's on Penn Neon Sign

Carmine’s on Penn

Carmine's on Penn Negroni Cocktail

We had heard murmurs of the greatness that is Carmine’s on Penn and when my cousin Ariana proposed it for a birthday dinner for her dad / my uncle a few months ago, we were in. Having driven past it a few dozen times, it had become one of the few restaurants on our mental list that we would kick ourselves over forgetting we brainstormed a date night. “Carmine’s! MOTHER OF GOD.”

Fun side fact: I waited tables at a northern Italian restaurant during my college years with a mustachioed guy named Carmine. He was (and is) the best.

Carmine's on Penn Caesar Salad

If you were to build a specific menu for my husband’s birthday, it would absolutely include a Negroni and linguine al frutti di mare. Take anything you can find in the ocean and pile it on top of linguine and he is a happy camper. He started his feast with a caesar salad and anchovies.

Carmine's on Penn Sausage Vodka Sauce

As the meals are served family-style, Ariana and Drew ordered the linguine and shared. Uncle Wayne had sausage and peppers over spaghetti and I ordered the penne alla vodka*, one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. We passed the plates around to share. No. Carb. Left. Behind.

Carmine's on Penn frutti di mare

Uncle Wayne had to have his arm twisted to agree to a well-deserved birthday dessert: caramel cheesecake and chocolate covered strawberries. His mama (Grandma Rose! Mentioned here too) was a talented pastry and wedding baker and cheesecake is basically a religion in our family.

Carmine's on Penn Cheesecake

Our server made the night really special, bringing us crayons for the butcher paper tablecloth, remembering our orders without scribbling them down and telling us how much she loves working at this family-owned establishment. It’s not unusual for employees to work more than five years at Carmine’s and I can see why. It felt like home. Ariana is full of great ideas. Remind me to keep her.

Go here if: you’re hungry as all get-out.

Carmine's on Penn Denver Menu

I can’t say whether it’s a new development, but a quick visit to their website revealed Little Carmine’s, an Italian sandwich menu offered during lunch hours. This would be a great time to test out the goods!

Follow Carmine’s on Penn is on Facebook and le Twitter.

*Before my ruder friends point out that penne alla vodka has heavy cream in it (and they would), we ate here in July, before I had gone from vegetarian to vegan. 

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