What do you get when you combine a NYC Italian-American steak house with a stylish AvroKO-designed space and creative fare from two talented chefs? You get Quality Italian inside the Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek, which opened for dinner this week.

Transplant restaurant concepts abound on Columbine Street, from California’s Baja-Mexican Sol Cocina to Portland’s Departure (also located in the Halcyon); Quality Italian projects a similar high-end vibe. But the tempting menu and inviting space tell a unique story, one we’re pretty excited to welcome to town.

Quality Italian’s baked lasagna for two.

There’s dark wood and leather; antique meat hooks, picture frames, and fireplaces; a drop Italian palazzo-style ceiling framed in steel. The menu is equally intriguing, offering unexpected steak house fare: think dry-aged, bone-in sirloin served with steak sauce that’s made tableside, as are spicy lobster rigatoni (a mash-up of fra diavolo and alla vodka) and cannolis. Or chicken parmesan for two, shaped like a pizza, blanketed in a melted blend of three cheeses, and cut into wedges for serving. Or the Denver-exclusive filet mignon meatball-studded lasagna (also for two), a dish turned sideways with from-scratch swirls of pasta, pesto, tomato sauce, and Robiola cheese.

Nitro Negroni, anyone?

The robust bar program delivers its own style of fun via innovative twists to classics, such as batched Negronis made ultra-smooth with a nitrogen-CO2 infusion. Consider also the Palisade Sour, which marries local Peach Street brandy, bourbon, lemon, and a tannic Barolo float. It’s a keeper, and we anticipate that Quality Italian will be, too.

241 Columbine St., 303-532-8888, qualityitalian.com

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.