Family portraits line the front walls by the entrance to Mama Sannino's, sharing space with wall hangings, photos and other homey knickknacks. In the dining room beyond, vintage alcohol posters are tacked to the wood-paneled walls, along with more photos of Italy. Through a set of arched windows in the back, you can often see a lone cook in the kitchen, busy turning out meals and sending the scent of garlic wafting throughout the restaurant. It looks like Mama Sannino's has always been an integral part of the neighborhood, but it actually just opened in this Arvada strip mall in 2005. Still, when Jimmy Sannino decided to create Mama Sannino's, he brought decades of experience to the project: His family owned the legendary 3 Sons for forty years, and he's relying on the same red-sauce recipes and smart restaurant sensibilities here.
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Denver has a strong Italian history -- but until the last decade or so, this town's Italian restaurants were mostly run-of-the-mill red-sauce joints that you went to more for the convenience than the food. That's changed, though, an...
Wednesday, December 7, 2011 at 12:40 p.m. by Laura Shunk
Jimmy Sannino was one of the three sons who inspired 3 Sons, the restaurant that his family ran for forty years. After they finally sold 3 Sons in 2004, his two brothers got out of the business -- but red sauce was in Jimmy's blood....
A handwritten sign in the front alcove at Mama Sanninos asks diners to wait to be seated, and since just two servers were tending to a large, lingering lunch crowd, wait I did. While I waited, I studied my surroundings — and t...
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