Gaetano's: A taste of this week's review

I can only imagine what Chauncey Smaldone, the youngest of the loan-sharking, book-making Smaldone brothers, would've said when Lou's Food Bar hung out its shingle down the street. For decades, Smaldone ran Gaetano's, a cherished Italian-American restaurant that his family founded in 1947, and he no doubt would've seen Lou's -- owned by Frank Bonanno, a Jersey boy of Sicilian descent -- as cause for a turf war, especially when Lou's started beating Gaetano's at its own game.

But by the time Lou's had upstaged Gaetano's as a neighborhood favorite, nabbing a 2011 Best of Denver award for Best Spaghetti and Meatballs and becoming the restaurant that parents take kids to when no one wants to cook, Smaldone was already seated at the great gambling table in the sky, and Gaetano's was in corporate hands. And instead of settling the score with nighttime raids, the current owners of Gaetano's, BW Holdings, took a decidedly more modern approach: They knocked down walls, revamped the menu, and hired a new chef.... Hungry to know more? Read the full review of Gaetano's here. See also: - Mob rule: Is a meal at the revamped Gaetano's an offer you can't refuse? - Photos: Behind the scenes at Gaetano's - Lou's Food Bar has a fan at the New York Times


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Gretchen Kurtz has worked as a writer for 25 years; during that time she's stomped grapes in Napa, eaten b'stilla in Fez, and baked with Buddy Valastro, aka the Cake Boss. Her work has appeared in publications including Boulevard (Paris), Diversion, the New York Times and Westword. Our restaurant critic since 2012, she loves helping you decide where to eat and drink tonight.
Contact: Gretchen Kurtz