Brett Shaheen and Jane Duncan Knauf cut their restaurant teeth in the city: The pair met at the long-closed Sambuca Cafe in LoDo; after that, Knauf worked for the Magnolia Hotel for years while Shaheen did time in kitchens in the Bonanno empire.
But when they teamed up to start their own restaurant, they didn't go for a hot address in the heart of urban Denver. Instead, they headed out to the suburbs, picking up a slot in a strip mall in Cherry Hills Village. And last fall, they opened The Wooden Table.
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When they left the city center, though, they didn't leave behind everything they've learned: The duo aimed to bring downtown sophistication to the outskirts with a sleek decor scheme, a professional staff and an Italian menu that showcases Shaheen's practiced technique and love of fresh ingredients. And with that combination, they hoped not just to pull a crowd of surrounding neighbors, but also culinary sojourners willing to travel south for a good bite.