Colorado Via Chicago

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That's when James Mazzio left Colorado for Chicago, where he took on a chef's gig for a restaurant that didn't yet exist and spent a year waiting for its owner to get his shit together before giving up and coming home. And then what line did he walk onto? Via's—with its battered staff and reputation and menu perfectly suited for a suburban Iowa strip mall.

I asked him once why he'd done it.

He told me he thought it would be fun.

Double bat-shit crazy, all the way."

That's the Via story, in a nutshell -- a tale of misery, redemption and conchiglie with smoked chicken in Pecorino cream sauce. For all the details, check out this week's review of Via. And when you're done with that, you can read all about the Best of Denver fallout in Bite Me, come along with me on a late-night trip to Viva Burrito for shitfaced drive-thru breakfast burritos, and see what chef Sean Yontz has been up to at Chama -- Denver's second-best restaurant for just about all things Mexican. -- Jason Sheehan

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.