Cafe Society

Patsy's Italian Inn -- timing is everything

Anyone can make a plate of spaghetti -- but in this town, only Patsy's Italian Inn has been serving plates of homemade Italian spaghetti for more than nine decades. That was back in the days when celebrities had to sing, dance and have talent to be famous, back before The Olive Garden was even a rumble in someone's stomach. And that was more than twenty years before Pagliacci's opened in northwest Denver -- where the smiling clown sign will go out on August 19, and Denver loses another red-sauce joint. But Patsy's continues on.

I've been to Patsy's for dinner, to get some takeout and, most recently, for lunch, where I discovered that the lunchtime staff moves with a startling rapidity. I also met Patsy-Cat, the restaurant's affable feline mascot: She and her kitten showed up one day at the store and found food, a place to sleep, and a whole lot of attention from the owners, staff and customers. Her kitten went to a good home in the country with some regular customers, but Patsy-Cat wasn't leaving -- the restaurant and the block around it are hers, and I think every Italian restaurant needs its own Garfield.

And details like that, along with a wine list including Riunite Lambrusco, make Patsy's seem like more than just a Denver time capsule or a lasagna museum. Still, you go there for food, not a history lesson as rich as the syrup in the wine sundae.

And how is the food? Find out tomorrow, when my review will be published.