BEST STRIP-MALL ITALIAN Denver 2006 - Patsy's
Readers' Choice: Luigi's Italian Restaurant
Technically, Patsy's isn't in a strip mall -- but it's tucked into a strip of co-op galleries in northwest Denver and embodies all that's great about the strip-mall-Italian experience. First and foremost, it's a neighborhood joint and knows how to take care of its regulars. And some of those regulars have been coming a long time. Patsy's has been making history -- and wonderful homemade pasta -- since 1921, when Chubby Aiello opened the place, named it after one of his daughters and ran it like a clubhouse for his friends and neighbors from across the city. The family dining tradition is so strong here that it survived a change of ownership ten years ago, when Patsy's was sold to Bill Taylor and Cindy Knippel. The new owners wisely kept their meddling to a minimum, making a few changes to the menu and giving the joint a little polish. But today Patsy's looks and feels much as it did in the '20s: The service is friendly, the vibe comfortable, and the meatballs gigantic.