Breakfast and Brunch

Brunch of the Week: Zane's Italian Bistro

Is it a calzone or a breakfast burrito? It's both!
Is it a calzone or a breakfast burrito? It's both! Bridget Wood
Brunch isn't the exclusive right of downtown denizens and frequenters of the city's trendiest neighborhoods. The suburbs are in on the action, too, with tasty results. In the Denver Tech Center, for example, Zane’s Italian Bistro turns out a quality brunch in a homey atmosphere with incredible drink specials. What’s not to love?

Just over two years ago, Zane Anderson took over the DTC space that had previously been a string of other Italian eateries, including Pasquini's and Fiocchi's. The brunch menu stands out for a few of its house specials unique on the brunch scene. Take the fruit plate, for example: It's not something I'd normally recommend, but you're not ordering this one for the fruit. The simple dish comes with a puffy golden round of fried dough sprinkled with sugar — oh, and a few pieces of melon and grapes on top, which are at least in season right now. But let's be honest: It's all about the fried dough. And (somehow) brunch only gets better from here.

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A new way to eat breakfast pizza.
Bridget Wood
Next up is the egg-white pizza, which is basically a frittata's sexier cousin. A fluffy egg-white base snuggled into a cute ceramic skillet comes topped with bubbly mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, chicken and spinach. It’s heartier than it sounds and comes with home fries and a croissant.

The French toast is special, too, but not just because it's made with challah bread, keeping the toast light and fluffy. The best part is that each slice of bread is battered and dipped in Rice Krispies before being baked (instead of pan-fried). Zane's adds value with a dollop of whipped cream, a side of bacon and a strawberry garnish.

Most impressive, though, is the burrito calzone, an off-menu special that Anderson says is still a bestseller. (And now that you know, you can order one too.) All the standard breakfast burrito fillings — eggs, potatoes, cheese and sausage — come stuffed inside a calzone instead of a flour tortilla, and then the hefty half-moon is topped with sour cream, green chile and jalapeños.

Zane's doesn't have a dedicated brunch cocktail list, so you can just order what you want — and everything is half-priced during brunch. So in addition to a Bloody Mary or mimosa, you could order, for example, a Paloma with top-shelf tequila, or that high-end glass of wine you'd normally skip.

Anderson explains that he grew up helping his stepfather with the family restaurant, and now his stepfather is helping him run Zane’s. He notes that it's a true family operation and that his mom (the 2018 Miss Senior Colorado and Senior Miss America) is there too, getting to know the customers to ensure repeat business. Although the burrito calzone does a good job of that, too.

Zane’s Italian Bistro is located at 8101 East Belleview Avenue and is open for brunch on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 303-770-3100 or visit the restaurant's website. Hot tip: Zane’s delivers brunch for free within three miles of the restaurant, in case you’re feeling extra lazy on Sunday morning.
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Bridget Wood is a contributor to Westword’s Food & Drink section. She can be found wandering Denver, mimosa in hand, searching for the best brunch spots the city has to offer. She spends her weekends shopping for obscure records and working on the Sunday crossword puzzle. Despite her Boston roots, she is learning to love green chile.

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