Kitsch covers the walls at Mama Sanninos, with family portraits co-mingling with vintage alcohol posters, festive seasonal hangings and shots of Italy. Hand-written signs list specials, and the scent of garlic hangs in the air as the chef prepares those specials, as well as platters of spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and veal Parmigiana.
The restaurant feels like an old-school, red-sauce Italian joint, a relic and holdover from the days when immigrants from that country ran restaurants on every corner of northwest Denver -- even if Mama Sanninos has only inhabited this Arvada strip mall for six years.
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But while the restaurant's history is just beginning, owner Jimmy Sannino has been in the business for over five decades, and his family was an integral part of the northwest Denver Italian culture, running 3 Sons for forty years.
I headed to Arvada for this week's review, trying the recipes that have been in Sannino's family for generations -- while also getting a good feel for the neighbors who have adopted this spot as their own.
How was the food? Find out tomorrow when the review is posted here.