Recipes handed down from an Italian grandmother; handmade butternut squash ravioli with butter-sage citrus sauce; house-made ricotta; fresh amaretto cookies; hand-rolled pumpkin pappardelle topped with Italian sausage ragu…which part of this menu has not captured your attention? I find it impossible not to be charmed by DiFranco’s, the tiny, unpretentious counter-service restaurant in the Beauvallon.

Since chef-owner Ryan DiFranco opened the eatery in 2012, I’ve been so smitten by the pasta that I never bothered to try the signature sandwiches. This was an oversight. Take the meatball sandwich: The tender meatballs (made from freshly ground Colorado Natural Homestead Beef and Cone Ranch local Berkshire pork) are ladled with Grandma DiFranco’s garlicky red sauce and topped with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and fresh basil leaves. All of this is tucked into warm, crusty fresh-baked bread.

The chicken Parmesan with red sauce, fresh mozzarella, onions, and Italian parsley and the Italian sausage with spicy local sausage, sautéed onions, and hot, red peppers are equally satisfying.

Can’t decide between the options? Then go for date night on Wednesdays, where you can choose two entrées, two salads, two cannoli, and a bottle of wine for $40.

955 Lincoln St., 720-253-1244