First Look

First Look: Postino LoHi Pops Its First Cork on Wednesday

Arizona-based bar and eatery Postino WineCafe will open the doors to its new space in lower Highland tomorrow at 11 a.m. The sunny, midcentury-modern restaurant is the first to open in the renovated Denver Book Bindery building, which will soon also include Recess Beer Garden. Postino features a menu of mix-and-match bruschettas, panini, salads and other wine-friendly bites with a distinct Italian theme.

The kitchen will be helmed by executive chef Nicholas Ogg,while Jennifer Beery will manage the front of the house. Although owners Craig and Kris DeMarco and Lauren and Wyatt Bailey are based in the Phoenix area, where they operate several other restaurants in addition to four Postino locations, this is their first foray outside of Arizona. Even so, they're committed to featuring Colorado products, including all of the bread on the menu, which is made to Postino's specifications by City Bakery.

The wine list includes several labels proprietary to the company, including Last August, Teira, Torremoron, Holly's Way and Stagedive. The last two are wines co-created by beverage director Brent Karlicek in conjunction with California winemakers. If wine's not your thing, there are plenty of beers — Colorado-brewed and otherwise — ranging from cans of Coors Banquet Beer to bottles of Westmalle Trappist Tripel. Happy hour will kick off as one of the best deals in town, with $5 glasses of wine and $5 pitchers of any draft beer (you read that right) from 11 a..m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Most of the menu is perfect for socializing, with generously topped bruschettas that come cut into four bites with toppings like tomato jam with fresh Spanish sheep-milk cheese; smoked salmon with pesto; and burrata, bacon, arugula and tomato (an Italian take on a BLT). Meat and cheese boards come in an Italian butcher-block option heaped with shaved salumi, cheeses, bread and house pickles, or a more beer-friendly pub board with soft preztels, chorizo, corn nuts and aged cheddar.

Postino's hillside setting means an elevated back patio with views of downtown Denver and the surrounding LoHi neighborhood. Garage doors and plenty of windows bring the outdoors in for those who prefer to hang out in the mod booths and lounge areas, and an outdoor fireplace will keep the party going into the cool months. Postino will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m (midnight on Friday and Saturday), with brunch beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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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

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