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.
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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.
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.