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Chefs Alex Figura and Spencer White (both of the defunct Lower48 Kitchen) will open their pasta-focused Italian eatery, Dio Mio, in RiNo this fall. But before then, they’re throwing a pair of pop-up dinners with a little help from their friends—mainly, fellow Denver chef Tommy Lee. Starting this weekend, the Dio Mio crew will set up shop for an evening at Lee’s restaurants, Uncle and Hop Alley, to give future Dio Mio customers a sneak peek of the upcoming spot.
Although Figura and White are still in the developmental stages of restaurant-planning, they do have one thing figured out: Dio Mio’s menu will highlight their passion for dough, whether it takes the form of bread, pasta or pastry. Both have a rich background in Italian cooking, and share a vision for creating a casual, approachable destination for high-quality, hand-made food.
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When it came time to begin promoting the upcoming opening, Figura looked to long-time friend and fellow cook Tommy Lee for help. “We all try to stay in contact and help each other out,” Figura says. ”It’s always good to do events with each other, and there has been a lot of support as far as new restaurants opening.”
Hosting the pop-up dinners is good for more than just publicity. Uncle’s causal space is very similar to Figura’s vision for Dio Mio and it holds the exact same number of customers, so it’ll give both the chefs and the prospective guests an idea of what to expect. “We are trying to get our name out a little bit and make people aware of what we are trying to create,” Figura says. “Really, we just want to have fun.”
The first dinner is happening at Uncle this Sunday, July 31; the second takes place at Hop Alley on August 28. Each pop-up will include a three-course meal, and while Figura isn’t quite sure what they’ll be serving yet, we’re betting there will be pasta involved.
To purchase tickets ($30 per person) click here. Come October, look for Dio Mio to open at 3264 Larimer Street.