For eight years, diners have sidled up to the counter at RiNo’s Dio Mio to order some of Denver’s most affordable handmade pasta and other fine-without-the-fuss Italian eats. Approachability is a mission to which chef-owners Alex Figura and Spencer White are still faithful, but after a month of renovations in early 2024, the industrial-chic restaurant reopened to reveal a fresh menu and an aesthetic face-lift—courtesy of Regular Architecture’s Kevin Nguyen, who has designed hot spots such as Brutø and Point Easy—that added 15 seats and expanded the bar section.

For a taste of the transformation, ask for the Italian gin and tonic spiked with yuzu curaçao. Then dive into the upgraded small plates lineup, which includes options such as crispy-onion-topped charred cabbage and butter-marinated artichoke hearts. Longtime devotees need not fret, however; Figura and White have preserved beloved entrées such as the cacio e pepe. And if you were a fan of the blistered focaccia before? Make your reunion with it even more special by choosing one of the new bread accompaniments: citrus-infused black butter, balsamic-drizzled prosciutto, or house stracciatella with warm Castelvetrano olives and breadcrumb gremolata.

Read more: Where to Find Denver’s Best Italian Food

This article was originally published in 5280 May 2024.
Ethan Pan
Ethan Pan
Ethan Pan is 5280’s associate food editor, writing and editing for the print magazine and Follow his dining/cooking Instagram @ethans_pan.