Il Posto’s patio—there’s hardly a better outdoor space in all of Denver. The energy from Andrea Frizzi‘s modern Italian restaurant spills out of the garage doors and mingles with the spirited crowd of intellectuals and hipsters populating Chada Thai, the Thin Man, and St. Mark’s Coffee House. Nab one of Il Posto’s coveted outdoor tables and you’re at the center of Uptown.

The food has a similar vivacity—lively, seasonal, and beautiful. On a recent evening, the springy farfalle (pictured) was the menu highlight. While a handful of other dishes suffered from underseasoning, this Sicilian-inspired pasta was perfect. It arrived al dente and tossed with quartered baby artichokes, olives, white anchovy, basil, asparagus, and bread crumbs. As Frizzi explains it, “artichokes are in season and the olives give all the acidity necessary to wrap the flavors around.” But go quickly, Il Posto’s menu changes—at least in some capacity—nearly everyday. A dish you love one evening might be gone (or reimagined) the next.

Bonus: The anchovy is a magical ingredient that adds depth and savoriness to dishes without fishiness. Intrigued? Make this New Orleans inspired shrimp bagna cauda from Food & Wine.

2011 E. 17th Ave., 303-394-0100

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Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.