James Mazzio, best known for his 1999 nod as one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs, recently traded his French toque at Denver’s Le Chateau for a crisp white apron at Pickles Deli in Littleton, and he’s ecstatic about the move. “It’s not just the gourmet comfort food I get to put out at the deli,” he explains. “It’s the chance to open my own neighborhood restaurant next door that gets me excited.”

As executive chef, Mazzio recently reopened Pickles, a New York-style deli (co-owned by Donna Levine and Freid Zarie) in the massive 87,000-square-foot Tipsy’s Liquor World just off West Bowles Avenue and C-470. Across Tipsy’s patio, Mazzio plans to open his own restaurant, Olive Oil, in “three or four months” after he gets his own liquor license. “It will be rustic Italian comfort food with homemade pastas and sauces and Neopolitan pizzas with ingredients I plan to grow in my own greenhouse. It’s a place I hope the neighborhood can call their own.”

In the meantime, Pickles is busy turning out some of the best sandwiches on the west side of town. From stellar, pressed Cubano sandwiches, piled high with house-cured charcuterie and juicy pulled pork, to build-your-own breakfast sandwiches served all day, this is a must-try for sandwich lovers.

5869 S. Alkire St., Littleton, 303-551-7070