Cafe Society

Reader: Larimer Square could soon be Bonanno Square

Frank and Jacqueline Bonanno opened Russell's Smokehouse on Friday in a subterranean space in Larimer Square; the barbecue joint shares an entry (Wednesday's Pie) with Green Russell, as well the speakeasy's emphasis on contemporary cocktails. But the meaty menu -- including lamb's neck and trout wrapped in bacon -- is all new.

With Osteria Marco, that makes three (or four, counting the Pie) Bonanno enterprises in Larimer Square, along with the original cluster of Bones, Luca D'Italia and Mizuna in central Denver, as well as Lou's Food Bar in Highland.

But it was the Larimer Square grouping that inspired this from GFTW:

Have to rename Larimer Square to Bonanno Square pretty soon. Or Bonanno-Jasinski Square. Jesus H.

Jesus H indeed: Other parts of the city could only pray for a lineup of restaurants as good as the Bonanno group, as well as the three restaurants -- Bistro Vendome, Rioja and Euclid Hall -- that the Jen Jasinski/Beth Gruitch team brought to Larimer Square.

Twenty years ago, that block was a tourist trap with few serious restaurants. Today, it has more good restaurants per square foot than any other part of town....with more to come.