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Coperta co-owners Paul and Aileen Reilly. Photo by Matt Nager.

Coperta

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There are more Italian restaurants in Denver right now than you can shake a grissini at, and year-old Coperta is one of the best. Co-owners Paul and Aileen Reilly (of Beast & Bottle renown) thoughtfully keep the scope tight, with a laser focus on the food and drink of Rome and Southern Italy. Which, in Coperta’s case, translates to success on just about every plate. Whatever comfort you seek—“coperta” means blanket in Italian, after all—you’ll find it. Go traditional with a bowl of carbonara or Bolognese, or venture into welcome new territory via dishes such as tagliolini with a bright, creamy lemon sauce and sweet shrimp. Chile fanatics adore the spicy pollo alla diavolo, and Paul’s meat skills shine through on plates like the “griglia mista,” or mixed grill, which takes you on a savory tour via tender lamb shoulder, local pork spare ribs, and snappy garlic-and-pecorino sausage. Mangia bene, indeed. 400 E. 20th Ave., 720-749-4666

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