My notes from my most recent meal at Il Posto are almost indecipherable -- hasty scrawls on the back of an envelope I’d found in my car, on a credit-card receipt from my pocket. Moscato, they say. Fruit loops, Van CA, stale, bur-stuffed chix boob, peach salt, shirt cuffs and Me and My Monkey. These notes make sense to me; they are burrs in the brain, deliberately stuck -- irritants at the core of a pearl of memory. Written in cant—half line-cook slang and half critical shorthand -- they are like coded messages to myself. And even if my handwriting is atrocious (it’s tough enough to write fast, standing up at the urinal or while pacing, cigarette in one hand, in front of a restaurant on a busy night), the haste with which the notes were written is part of the recollection. Pancho peroni oyster mush. I understand this, even if no one else ever could.
A year ago, after my first dinner at Il Posto, my notes were much simpler. There was just one word after the restaurant’s name:
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Which I did -- for more than a year.
I finally got back to Il Posto for this week's Cafe review. And now? I found genius, tempered by just a bit of holdover imperfection from the days when Il Posto was one of the hottest new restaurants in the city and absolutely the one most desperately in need of a break in the non-stop rush.
Also this week, a return to Via (one of the places where Il Posto chef-owner Andrea Frizzi cooked before moving up to his own joint on 17th Avenue), for the gorgeously rustic grub cooked by James Mazzio and his LoDo crew. And in Bite Me,I go out for ice cream (tough gig, I know) and have a conversation with Sean Kelly and Mark Berzins about the big year ahead for the Little Pub Co., beginning with changes at Don’s Club Tavern and ending with plans for a new joint in Broomfield. -- Jason Sheehan