God, guts and gluten: That's what's powering a new pizzeria from Alex Figura and Spencer White, the chef/owners of Dio Mio Handmade Pasta.
With Redeemer Pizza, Figura and White now have two businesses tinted with religious iconography. But Redeemer is actually named after an heirloom wheat variety, according to marketing and communications director LuLu Clair. "The guys have really been getting into milling flour at Dio Mio," Clair notes, adding that using wheat from small regional farms has long been part of Dio Mio's mission.
So when you head to Redeemer when it opens this spring, or attend one of the planned pop-ups over the next few weeks, don't expected to be converted — except maybe to the team's brand of New York-style pies made with slow-fermented, naturally leavened dough. The pop-ups will be held at Good Bread Bake Shop at 1515 Madison Street (previously Pete's Cornerhouse Lounge); the first, slated for January 16, has already sold out.
Pizza is a natural offshoot of the handmade pasta and bread that White and Figura have been turning out at Dio Mio, 3264 Larimer Street, since November 2016. The going hasn't always been easy for the little pasta shop, since at times construction completely cut off access to the eatery (even the sidewalks were torn up for a while). And since pandemic-related restrictions took hold last March, the two chefs have had to figure out how to keep selling food from a restaurant with only a small amount of indoor seating and no patio. But they've gutted it out with creative offerings for customers eating at home, and even managed to squeeze in a few outdoor tables.
To see a new project in the works is a sign that something's going right at Dio Mio (along with perhaps a little divine intervention). While she can't divulge the exact address of the new restaurant quite yet, Clair says that it's "in the neighborhood" and will be slightly smaller than Dio Mio. The oven there will be better suited to turning out pizza and bread, she notes, so Redeemer will be taking over all bread production for both locations. And on top of pizza, guests can expect a range of shared plates similar to those at Dio Mio, a focus on natural and biodynamic wines, and a full bar pouring a range of seasonal cocktails. Lunch will see paper-wrapped hoagies, and late nights will bring pizza by the slice for the dynamic neighborhood, which may be a little quiet now but will likely be back to near-normal this summer.
"I've been with Dio Mio from the start," Clair notes. "It's the three of us doing Redeemer; we've been working on this for a really long time." So despite the obstacles, the continuity of consistent leadership should spill over from Dio Mio to Redeemer, giving it more than a prayer for success.
Redeemer's upcoming pop-ups are scheduled for January 30 (orders open on January 25), February 13 (ordering opens on February 8) and February 27 (ordering opens on February 22); order an eighteen-inch pizza with cheese or pepperoni or a to-be-announced specialty combo for $22 on Redeemer Pizza's website for pick-up at Good Bread.
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.