Cafe Society

Community Spirits

Expect to drink a lot of red wine – and pay a hefty bar tab – at the new, and popular, Community Table Night at Parisi, a northwest Denver hotspot at 4401 Tennyson Street. If you’re shy, you’ll need a glass or two to get into the spirit of things, and once you get into the spirit, you’ll want another glass or two -- and then probably start sharing both wine and secrets with your table-mates.

The evening, which runs $30 a person (not including all the red wine – or the homemade limoncello or a shot of sambuca lit on fire), begins every Wednesday at 7 p.m. (reservations recommended at 303-561-0234 or in Parisi’s expansive, Tuscan farm- style basement, which owner Simone Parisi calls the Firenze a Tavola. Diners sit together at a long table – wedding-style – and are served a four-course meal family-style, meaning Simone and a waiter joke and sling giant plates of food down for everyone to share.

While I can’t say the bruschetta-like appetizers, or the salty, olive-y ravioli or the pork particularly wowed me on June 11, the night we went, the thin-crust proscuitto pizza served on a wooden plank was awesome, as was the salad and the desserts.

But Community Table Night isn’t really about the food, anyway. It’s about eating. And if that doesn't make sense, then let me put it another way: I didn't really care what was on the plate, as long as someone I'd just met was passing it to me with a smile. And that was certainly the case, as we made friends with people on both sides of us.

The music was eventually drowned out by dozens of conversations across the long table, and I kept wanting to get up and introduce myself to other diners down the line – and toast them with a glass of red wine. – Jonathan Shikes