Chef Cristino Griego is returning to Stapleton. In May 2014, Griego was the opening chef at The Bistro at Stapleton at 2955 Ulster Street, although he moved on before the eatery eventually shuttered in 2017. But the location remained a draw for the chef, and now he's opening his own restaurant, Della Radice, in the space.
Griego came to Denver fourteen years ago and, after attending culinary school, took some time to live, work and travel in Europe, primarily in Provence and in towns near Firenza and in the Piemonte region of Italy (although he also visited Spain and Morocco). "And my family is from Lucca, Italy," he adds.
Bolstered by the food of his upbringing, education and travels, Griego's knowledge of Mediterranean cuisine will be on display at Della Radice (which is Italian for "Of the Root") with Spanish, Italian and French small plates and daily specials. "Everything focuses on how the food goes with the wine, beer and cocktails," the chef explains. "The style is very old-world."
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The menu will range from Spanish octopus and patatas bravas to Italian cicchetti (Venetian bar bites) to French escargot and larger plates like Arctic char en papillote opened tableside. Cheese and charcuterie boards, house-baked bread and other food intended to evoke memories of favorite vacations will round out the menu, and there will also be a small bodega of take-home supplies — dried pasta, prepared sauces, jarred foods and fresh meats and cheeses — to continue the feast in your own kitchen.
The restaurant itself continues the Mediterranean theme in its design, Griego notes. "You'll feel like you're stepping out of Stapleton into another world," he says, adding that he's looking forward to welcoming the core of customers from his days at the Bistro as well as new guests who have recently moved to the neighborhood.
Griego expects to open Della Radice on Friday, March 15. The restaurant will be open from 3 p.m. to close Tuesday through Saturday, with European-style brunch served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The chef also plans on offering monthly wine dinners, as well as cooking classes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Wednesday.