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Reader: Denver's red-sauce joints are stuck in the 1960s

Meatballs, pasta and red sauce: classics at Gaetano's.
Meatballs, pasta and red sauce: classics at Gaetano's.
Mark Manger

This week Gretchen Kurtz reviews Gaetano's, a 65-year-old Italian joint in northwest Denver that just had a facelift of both its building and its menu. This is one of the last red-sauce joints left in that neighborhood, where both Pagliacci's and Longo's Subway Tavern shuttered over the past few months.

That got us thinking about what other old-school Italian restaurants are still left in Denver, and many readers weighed in with their favorites. See also: - Red alert: Denver's old-school Italian joints are disappearing - Mob rule: Is a meal at the revamped Gaetano's an offer you can't refuse? - Photos: Behind the scenes at Gaetano's

But are they really worth saving? Says Scott:

While I understand the nostalgia, as a recent transplant from the northeast, I doubt many of the other transplants tend to patronize these red sauce places that much. Denver's red sauce joints are mostly stuck in the 1960s. Good Italian food in this country is no longer dominated by a slice of lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, and wicker-basket chianti. The new Gaetano's menu looks much more like what good Italian restaurants, at least in the northeast, are serving, with one red sauce option next to a mix of other traditional and modern Italian entrees and pastas.

What's your go-to place for good Italian food in this town?


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