When I first took my seat at Amerigo Delicatus I was tired—tired of overpriced entrées and craft cocktails. But one glance at the chalkboard menu at this six-month-old Ballpark restaurant offered immediate relief. Seven dollars for freshly made Burrata with crostini? Yes, please. I kept scanning: $6 cocktails, $13 for tender strands of linguine with house-made sausage. The kicker: $4 desserts.
A bottle of wine, which was accompanied by sturdy tumblers, and the friendly service hinted at an unfussy evening. Chef-owner Iain Chisholm, who is stationed in the open kitchen each evening, cooks a modest, ever-changing menu of Italian basics: fresh pastas, gnocchi, sausages, and cheeses. (Amerigo also serves a pared-down lunch menu of deli sandwiches coupled with terrific, from-scratch kettle chips.)
Dishes find focus through restraint—Chisholm weaves together ingredients that enhance, not overpower, one another. The tender, well seasoned beef shoulder arrived thickly sliced atop a tangle of hand-cut pappardelle dressed with olive oil and a shave of pecorino. A crown of fresh arugula added peppery punch and a splash of needed color. Simple, accessible, and $16. Another standout: the gnocchi with salty prosciutto and barely blanched broccoli rabe.
Moderate prices teamed with reasonable portions encourage diners to take part in multiple courses without worrying about the check. But it wasn’t just Amerigo’s friendly prices that won me over—it was the restaurant’s sincere service, focus on high-quality ingredients, and the sense of value. I was a regular before I even walked out the door. 2449 Larimer St., 303-862-9850, amerigodelicatus.com
Beef shoulder with pasta $16
Capocollo, ricotta, and greens sandwich $7.50
Caprese sandwich $7.50