Viale Pizza & Kitchen

1390 S. Colorado Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80222
Dan Dunne always wanted to open a casual pizzeria. But Viàle, which he launched in summer 2017 with his wife, Erica, is even better: It’s a classic neighborhood hangout, with a good bar, friendly servers, and food that strikes a happy medium between what you might make at home and what you might order at a more chef-driven restaurant. Think of a cross between Elway’s and the authentic neighborhood spot that Olive Garden has spent decades trying to convince us it is, and you’ll get the idea. That Elway’s vibe is real, by the way: Erica worked there for a decade, as did much of the front- and back-of-house staff now at Viàle. Pizzas aren’t the only show — the menu includes salads, pastas and entrees such as a short rib with mashed potatoes and au jus — but they do steal it, even the gluten-free variety. The pies have crisp edges brushed with garlic oil, plenty of cheese and generous toppings; specialty pizzas like the Virginia Village Veggie and the meat-heavy Bonnie Brae Bronx play up Viàle’s neighborhood shtick. Even more intriguing are the Good Hombre, with smoked mozzarella and avocado, and the Denver Diavola, with red sauce flaming from cayenne and red-chile flakes, plus salami, sausage, jalapeños and pepperoni that blackens at the edges and curls up like Shrinky Dinks. End a meal at Viàle on a sweet note by sharing a chocolate chip cookie, straight from the oven and topped with ice cream.

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