First Look

First Look: Il Posto Gets a New RiNo Home

This could be the best table in town for a view of the city.
This could be the best table in town for a view of the city. Mark Antonation
Chef Andrea Frizzi didn't miss many days of work at the beginning of January. He closed his original Il Posto at 2011 East 17th Avenue after New Year's Eve dinner service, then had the restaurant back up and running in its new home at 2501 Larimer Street less than two weeks later.

And Frizzi was a busy man in the interim, running Vero, his pizza and pasta kitchen inside Denver Central Market just down the street; and wrangling contractors to put the finishing touches on the new Il Posto. But the stress of a restaurant move has paid off, and Frizzi has a warm and elegant space to show for it — larger and more modern than the first incarnation, and with expansive views of downtown in contrast to the close, intimate setting that guests enjoyed for the first decade of Il Posto's life.

Progress needed to be made, Frizzi explains, because he wanted more space for his growing customer base and more opportunities for employees. The planning phase was short: The chef says he lives in the moment while staying prepared to say yes to good opportunities — like taking LoHi developer Ken Wolf up on his offer to give Il Posto more exposure in a brand-new building.
click to enlarge This could be the best table in town for a view of the city. - MARK ANTONATION
This could be the best table in town for a view of the city.
Mark Antonation
With the help of LivStudio on the design, Frizzi's vision is now a reality, with a towering wine wall, a phalanx of semicircular booths and a chef's counter on the main floor, plus posh seating on the mezzanine that the chef compares (favorably) to the likes of Frasca in terms of ambience.

A larger kitchen with more modern equipment allows the menu to be an extension of what Il Posto fans have come to love. To start with, appetizers are grouped into grande and assaggini (small bites) heavy on seafood and seasonal vegetables. Look for riccio di mare (sea urchin and lobster roe atop fresh-baked focaccia); cauliflower and celery-root soup showered with white-truffle snow; and a candela — a beef-fat candle flecked with herbs.
click to enlarge This is the view from the front entrance into the dining room. - MARK ANTONATION
This is the view from the front entrance into the dining room.
Mark Antonation
A handful of housemade pastas come in at under $20 each in the primi section, some with playful culinary puns built in. Spaghetti tangles with spaghetti squash; linguini nere stained black with squid ink includes ringlets of calamari; and a plate of orreciette ("little ears" in Italian) flaunts crispy pig's ears along with roasted pork. Risotti and secondi plates run  from $25 to $35 but show off the kitchen's full creative force, utilizing ingredients like cockles, kumquats, passatelli, beech mushrooms and romanesco to complement meats and seafood.

Il Posto is open for dinner six nights a week (Sundays excluded) and will add lunch service and brunch once the kitchen has time to get a feel for the pace of its new neighborhood. Keep reading for more photos.

click to enlarge Circular booths form a quartet on the main floor. - MARK ANTONATION
Circular booths form a quartet on the main floor.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge At the bar, looking up to the mezzanine level. - MARK ANTONATION
At the bar, looking up to the mezzanine level.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Il Posto's new bar and wine racks. - MARK ANTONATION
Il Posto's new bar and wine racks.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Lounge seating with geometric drink tables. - MARK ANTONATION
Lounge seating with geometric drink tables.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Looking down the row of cushy lounge seats. - MARK ANTONATION
Looking down the row of cushy lounge seats.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge What look like curtains are actually vertical wooden planks of various depths painted white. - MARK ANTONATION
What look like curtains are actually vertical wooden planks of various depths painted white.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The open kitchen includes a chef's counter. - MARK ANTONATION
The open kitchen includes a chef's counter.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Mezzanine seating with views of downtown. - MARK ANTONATION
Mezzanine seating with views of downtown.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Tables 1 and 2 could be tough reservations. - MARK ANTONATION
Tables 1 and 2 could be tough reservations.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Chef/owner Andrea Frizzi says he found these chairs in Italy but got a great deal on them. - MARK ANTONATION
Chef/owner Andrea Frizzi says he found these chairs in Italy but got a great deal on them.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Looking down from the mezzanine into the main dining room. - MARK ANTONATION
Looking down from the mezzanine into the main dining room.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The floating light fixture was designed by LivStudio. - MARK
The floating light fixture was designed by LivStudio.
MArk
click to enlarge The high-backed booths offer a little privacy for dinner guests. - MARK ANTONATION
The high-backed booths offer a little privacy for dinner guests.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The stairs are hidden between the wine racks and the kitchen. - MARK ANTONATION
The stairs are hidden between the wine racks and the kitchen.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge A "Scrabble wall" will display daily specials. - MARK ANTONATION
A "Scrabble wall" will display daily specials.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The bar was designed with enough depth for guests to enjoy a full dinner. - MARK ANTONATION
The bar was designed with enough depth for guests to enjoy a full dinner.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Warm and simple accents add modern elegance to the space. - MARK ANTONATION
Warm and simple accents add modern elegance to the space.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The traffic-stopping view into Il Posto from Larimer Street. - MARK ANTONATION
The traffic-stopping view into Il Posto from Larimer Street.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge Il Posto will soon have a wraparound patio beneath the awning. - MARK ANTONATION
Il Posto will soon have a wraparound patio beneath the awning.
Mark Antonation
click to enlarge The glass-and-steel panel next to the front entrance pivots open to let in fresh air on warm days. - MARK ANTONATION
The glass-and-steel panel next to the front entrance pivots open to let in fresh air on warm days.
Mark Antonation

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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation