Viva Italia

Carpaccio di bue dressed in lemon and oil, whole peppers stuffed with cheese and prosciutto, buffalo mozzarella with fresh tomatoes and roasted peppers draped with marinated Italian anchovies, grilled salmon with roasted potatoes and garretto d’agnello—spring lamb braised in red wine, served with grilled eggplant and potato puree. Laura touched a finger to the ravioli di zucca e noci (hand-made, green ravioli filled with butternut squash and served in a sage cream sauce) and I looked at the bianchi e neri just below—black-and-white ravioli filled with shrimp in a simple lemon and marjoram beurre blanc.

Later, I would talk to Craig D’Alessandro who owns San Lorenzo along with his wife Consuela. He would tell me that he sees this happen all the time—people frozen in place by his menu, by the simple arrangements of words on a page.

“In the dining room,” he would tell me, “sometimes people will just sit there for ten minutes reading.”

This week, it’s all about the food—in particular, the food at San Lorenzo Ristorante down in Cherry Hills Village where Craig D’Alessandro (ex of the Tech Center Il Fornaio of all places) has written one of the best menus I’ve seen in a long time—full of the comforts of Italy, available right here in town.

And if D’Alessandro’s carpaccio of swordfish and amazing antipasti aren’t enough to fill you up, stick around for a second helping from Chianti—what chef Alessandro Carollo’s original Venice Ristorante became when it grew up and became his little place out in the country.

So it’s Viva Italia week here at Bite Me World HQ, folks. Come hungry. --Jason Sheehan