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Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

"Yeah, it's been stressful, and there was a point where I felt like I was going to throw up," confesses Frank Bonanno, who's clinging to a glass of red wine while sitting at the bar of Lou's Food Bar, his newest restaurant that opened last night at 1851 West 38th Avenue. "But now -- now it feels really good, and I've got the best people in the world around me to make this thing work" -- people like executive chef Mike Peshek, who spent five years commanding the line at Luca D'Italia, Bonanno's Italian restaurant at 711 Grant Street.

Lou's, an American comfort food den with an affinity for market-driven French influences, trumpets our favorite kind of board: portly housemade sausages that dribble fatty juices; a formidable charcuterie lineup pimping everything from duck rillettes and duck liver mousse to duck pâté and a salumi plate, paved with various manifestations of pig, including copa, prosciutto and Virginia ham; escargot bobbing in butter; and main dishes that draw from Bonanno's repertoire of pleasurable, classical comfort foods -- spaghetti with mozzarella-stuffed meatballs, enchiladas plumped with carnitas, duck confit a l'orange, hanger steak and a magnificent heap of fried chicken.

"I want this to be a great neighborhood place, and I think it's different from everything else in this neighborhood, but it's also a big departure for me and a risk, because I own the building," explains Bonanno.

But this is Frank Bonanno we're talking about, and as with everything Bonanno touches, Lou's is poised to become another irresistible -- and successful -- restaurant in his growing culinary kingdom.

We sat in on the soft opening of Lou's earlier this week, and we've brought back a bundle of photos to give you a taste of what you have to look forward to.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Melted Gruyère over escargot pooled in butter studded with garlic and specked with parsley.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Duck rillettes with pickled cocktail onions and cornichons.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Housemade lamb and mint merguez paired with cous cous.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

The dining room, bedecked with naked wooden tables and vertical wine racks.

 

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Bonanno's Lyonnaise salad with duck confit legs and a wiggly, jiggly poached egg.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Hunter-style rabbit and chicken pâté with pickled onions, cornichons and a duo of mustards.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Housemade Thai-spiced pork and duck sausage over green curried mashed potatoes.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Thick-walled bucatini with pudgy, mozzarella-stuffed meatballs swathed in a tomato sauce.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Red-chile topped enchiladas rolled with carnitas and served with white rice and black beans.

 

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Venison sausage oozing with cheddar and sided with housemade sauerkraut.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

The minimalist dining room of Lou's, which includes a charcuterie bar with stool seating, booths and tables and additional stools along a back wall.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

Owner and chef Frank Bonanno in his new kitchen.

Frank Bonanno opens Lou's Food Bar -- and we've got the first look
Lori Midson

The Mount Pelee cocktail, made with Depaz Rhum, Smith & Cross Jamaican rum, tamarind puree, house orgeat syrup, served on the rocks and garnished with a fresh ring of lime.

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Lou's Food Bar

1851 W. 38th Ave.
Denver, CO 80211

303-458-0336

www.lousfoodbar.com


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