Cafe Society

Root Down's Justin Cucci dishes on pot, pussy and soup talk

Justin Cucci Root Down 1600 West 33rd Avenue 303-993-4200 www.rootdowndenver.com

This is part one of my interview with Justin Cucci, owner and executive chef of Root Down and Linger. Part two of my interview will run in this space tomorrow.

Justin Cucci has spent the majority of his life in restaurants, having taken his first baby steps at the Waverly Inn, a heralded New York restaurant opened by his grandparents more than forty years ago. "I learned to walk there. I ate there and basically lived there for the first 25 years of my life -- mainly because the food was better and there were cuter girls than at home," says Cucci, the owner/executive chef of Root Down and, soon, Linger, a small-plate restaurant opening in Highland in May.