Best Bites - Il Posto’s Gnocchi
Just what is it that makes Chef Andrea Frizzi’s gnocchi so irresistible? Could be that each day Frizzi, who hails from Milan, Italy, changes Il Posto’s menu to reflect the freshest ingredients available. Might be his ode to simplicity—his favorite way of eating gnocchi is his mother’s recipe with San Marzano tomatoes, one clove of garlic, and basil. Or perhaps it’s because he makes the dough just 45 minutes before Il Posto’s doors open for the evening. Most likely the unbearably light dumplings—which use only the tiniest amount of flour—are the result of all three factors. Whatever it is, order the dish, share it around the table, and you’ll agree with the customer who told Frizzi that sampling this dish was “like eating clouds.”
Il Posto 2011 E. 17th Ave., 303-394-0100 www.ilpostodenver.com
1. BB’s on Pearl
By Carol W. Maybach
(out of 4 stars)
1475 S. Pearl St., 303-777-3463
Comforting American cuisine served in a handsome space with live music nightly.
Music can get a bit loud, and the salads disappoint.
The starter platter, prawn and scallop Parmesan, baked potato soup, New York strip, and flaming lava cake.
Grilled portobello and polenta, mushroom ravioli, vegetable pasta of the day.
2. Back for More... Vesta Dipping Grill
By Gabrielle Devenish
(out of 4 stars)
1822 Blake St., 303-296-1970
Must-Try New Dishes
Coastal ceviche ($12).
Vesta roll ($12).
Chef Matt Selby and owner Josh Wolkon opened Vesta Dipping Grill in 1997, a time when LoDo was just beginning to come into the dining scene. In a sea of sports bars, Vesta was one of the first restaurants to serve fine food while catering to the young and hip. Selby was only 22 when Vesta opened, and he used his creativity to turn dipping into an art form. Vesta’s signature was an array of 30 different dipping sauces—from savory to sweet to spicy—and the menu, mainly skewers, was made for the sauces instead of the other way around. When 5280 critic Greg Moody dined at Vesta in 1998, he praised the contemporary decor, the various skewers, and the excellent service, giving the restaurant an overall rating of B+. Now, nine years later, LoDo has grown up and so have Selby and Wolkon, who recently opened Steuben’s on 17th Avenue. More than a decade since the restaurant opened its doors, we returned to see if Vesta should remain a LoDo favorite.
When you walk in the door of Vesta, you sense a different kind of cool. Attractive servers and hostesses float around, attending to diners and chatting with regulars (of which there are many), as bartenders push glasses of wine and cocktails across the bar. The dim interior is swanky, with swooping booths, icicle-shaped hanging lamps, and papered lights snaking up the brick walls. Fashionable couples sit at the curvy bar, sipping martinis and sharing small plates, and the hum of conversation pleasantly fills the room. In the back, a line chef stands at an open grill, where flames occasionally light up the space and wonderful aromas originate. The food matches the atmosphere: modern and fun... (Continued)