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Metamorphosis

Think globally, eat locally at Piatti Locali.

There are not many (if any) other chain restaurants importing Calabrian chiles for a mussel appetizer -- then presenting the shellfish simply in a fragrant broth of white wine, garlic, parsley, chiles and lemon juice -- or for a dish of Italian greens or a contorni of cappellini and sardines. And few Colorado restaurants, much less a Colorado outlet of a chain, would combine perfectly frenched Colorado lamb chops, stewed Palizzi Farms cherries and Haystack Mountain goat cheese in a luxuriantly oily, demi-shot pan sauce with a single roasted Yukon Gold potato. This plate alone -- and it was a fantastic plate -- said more about the power of locality and seasonality than a hundred press releases, speaking eloquently of a kitchen totally revitalized by the freedom to go its own way.

That's a lesson other chain restaurants could stand to learn, the kind of thing that could bring a lot of places back from the brink. Maybe one of these days I'll get my wish and see every Olive Garden replaced with a restaurant as good as Piatti.

Local heroes: Piatti Locali is part of a chain, but it 
takes its inspiration from Denver.
Mark Manger
Local heroes: Piatti Locali is part of a chain, but it takes its inspiration from Denver.

Location Info

Map

Piatti Ristorante & Bar

190 St. Paul St.
Denver, CO 80206

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Central Denver

Details

190 St. Paul Street, 303-321-1919, www.piatti.com. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily

Grilled polenta: $9.50
Mussels: $8.50
Sweetbreads: $10
Pappardelle: $17.95
Ravioli: $15.25
Cavatappi: $16
Gnocchi: $17
Salmon: $18.25
Lamb: $25< br>Stuffed chicken: $16.50

Then I'll be able to eat sweetbreads whenever I want. And wherever I want.

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