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Check, Please!

Q: I am very disappointed that Canino’s Trattoria closed its doors, because I really enjoyed the wild-mushroom ravioli in a tomato-cream sherry sauce. I am an Italian-American who grew up on good homemade Northern Italian food and am weary of the "Italian" restaurants around here. Can you suggest a restaurant with fare similar to Canino’s? (I usually dine with one other person, so I am not fond of family-style restaurants.)

A: Although Canino’s Trattoria is missed by many, Denver has other good Northern Italian eateries, including Santino’s on Downing (2390 South Downing Street, 303-298-1939), which now occupies Canino’s former home. Santino’s offers family-style portions, but it also does most of the menu as single servings — and the seafood dishes, with their multi-layered flavors and fresh ingredients, are even better than Canino’s were. Other venues that are more in keeping with Canino’s reasonable prices and casual atmosphere include Bruno’s Italian Bistro (2223 South Monaco Parkway, 303-757-4500), which has some amazing pasta dishes; Café Jordano (11068 West Jewell Avenue in Lakewood, 303-988-6863), which uses buffalo in many of its preparations; and the Cherry Tomato (4645 East 23rd Avenue, 303-377-1914), which showcases superb sauces and now has a second location (5575 East Third Avenue, 303-355-3775) up and running.

For a new twist on old Italian favorites, check out Trattoria Stella (3470 West 32nd Avenue, 303-458-1128). This funky space in the Highland neighborhood does weird and wonderful things with traditional ingredients.

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