1889 16th St.
Denver, Colorado 80202
Critics' Pick
Tavernetta +

Danielle Lirette

Standing in front of Tavernetta, the new Italian restaurant from Frasca Food and Wine owners Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, you almost wouldn't guess you were in Denver — despite being only a stone's throw from Union Station. New hotels and apartment buildings crowd in around the stone facade of the eatery (as if peering down to see what's on the menu), and a train platform stretches off into the distance. Surely this is the transportation hub of some major East Coast or European city, not our quaint Denver, where only a few years ago weeds and chain-link fences sprouted from a dirt lot where Tavernetta now stands. Visionary forces are at work in this sector of downtown, and Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson are now a part of that. The food of various Italian regions is the theme of the menu, from well-known ports of call like Venice to hidden gems such as Trapani, on Sicily's far shore. Chef Ian Wortham has taken time to travel through these regions in search of unique and interesting flavors, adapting them as needed for Denver tastes and available ingredients. The result is magnificent, bustling to the point just shy of chaos, and almost overwhelming with its brand of hospitality that makes you feel as if every one of the dozens of staffers on hand are there just for you.

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