Remember, back in October, when I first reported the news that chef Frank Bonanno was opening Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria? Well, the restaurant—Bonanno's first outside of Denver city limits—officially opens Saturday evening at the Vistas at Park Meadows.
If you've eaten at Osteria Marco, the chef's ode to casual Italian on Larimer Square, you understand the eatery's framework. The emphasis is on wood-fired pies but the offerings go way beyond cheese and pepperoni: Take the rabe pizza, for example, and find it topped with bitter broccoli rabe, garlic butter, sausage, fontina, and ricotta. Or the $23 lobster fra diavolo, a crust crowned with poached lobster, San Marzano tomatoes, chiles, and ricotta. (Bonanno is obsessed with lobster; note Mizuna's lobster mac and cheese and Bones' lobster ramen, and see a pattern emerge.)
The menu, which David Lindberg (formerly a pasta chef at Luca d'Italia) oversees, is deep. House-made salumi and cheeses buttress a selection of crudo (I can't wait to try the octopus with white bean vinaigrette), salads, panini, and fried nibbles like the best fried mozzarella (called "mozzarella encorozza"), pictured, you'll ever taste. Time will tell how items such as the crudo and the lobster pizza (and its price) are received by the suburban crowd.
But that's just the thing, you don't feel like you're dining at the mall. Bonanno Brothers' decor is inspired by the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, Italy. Note the striped floors, the buffered panels of lights overhead, and the mock train schedule on the wall. What could come off as kitschy is presented elegantly. Between the menu and the space, Bonanno Brothers toes a comfortable line of modern and accommodating. The pizzeria will begin serving lunch and dinner beginning on Monday.
8439 Park Meadows Center Drive, Lone Tree, 303-799-8900