How much wood can a woodchuck chuck? When I walked into Via to meet friends for a drink, I immediately noticed two things: wood and smokin' hot guys -- and in that order, surprisingly. Venanzio and Anthony Momo are responsible for both. Owners of Cucina Coloré in Cherry Creek and various other Denver restaurants over the years, the Momos designed their latest eatery as "modern-day Italian," according to Diane Nagler, their PR princess. That's a big switch from this location's most recent incarnations -- the inexplicably Swiss Miss-looking Cucina Cucina; the nautical Anita's, with its salty, crab-shack crowd; and finally Brasserie Rouge, a high-end bistro with the most beautiful alabaster bar Denver has ever seen (a shame it's gone) and an older, sophisticated clientele. As Via, the space feels clean, crisp and modern, with a little Italian thrown in for good measure. The bar and one wall are made of exposed tree trunks, which made me happy that we live in a state with relatively few termites -- and apparently a lot of cute guys, judging from the hip, urban crowd. (Turns out the hotties were Avalanche players from Europe getting a fix of food that reminded them of home.) In an attempt to distract ourselves from the fine scenery, we ordered Guavapolitans ($8), a delicious twist on a Cosmo made with Level vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime and guava nectar. Modern and Italian, vodka and guava, hot dudes and cocktails. Looks like this Via is a street I'll be walking down often.
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