It's been a year and a half since Taylor Swallow, his wife Kajsa and chef Brian Laird, whose cooking skills have taken him around the metro area since he departed Barolo Grill in early 2011, signed a lease for a new restaurant in transitional Jefferson Park, a neighborhood until recently known more as a place to trawl for parking spots before Broncos games than as a dining destination. Since then, an austere and elegant dining room has taken shape, belying the address's historic but until-recently neglected turn-of-the-century exterior. Sarto's, from the Italian for "tailor," opens today with a focus on what Laird describes as metropolitan Italian fare tailored to the desires of individual guests.
The "metropolitan" part of the cuisine comes from Laird's desire to capture current Italian food trends. "The beauty of the food scene in Italy," he says, "is that you have this incredible blend of the old and the new, the centuries-old recipes, classic and simple, blended with modern, global influences."
In addition to a sixty-seat dining room and an additional thirty-seat patio, Sarto's will feature a cicchetti bar that will serve as a chef's table where guests can interact with the chef and sample Italian tapas-style dishes.
Sarto's is open Tuesday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The team will also open the attached Sarto's Pantry, a gourmet deli and market offering sandwiches, soups, salads, and house-made pastas and pizzas, on November 3; Sarto's Pantry will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.