Charles Troup has seen his share of fine dining, having worked front-of-house in some of Denver and Boulder's top restaurants, among them Oak at Fourteenth, Safta and Departure. But his two newest ventures are decidedly more casual. Last fall, he opened Boychik with chef Chase Devitt, specializing in shawarma and hummus bowls, at Avanti Boulder, and now he's ready to debut Gorlami Pizza at the original Avanti Food & Beverage in LoHi.
Gorlami Pizza is named after Brad Pitt's attempt to impersonate an Italian actor in the movie Inglorious Basterds (Pitt says "Gorlami" with a thick Texas accent instead of "Gorlomi"). So the hint is already there that the pizzas won't adhere strictly to Italian tradition. "I'm calling it 'crispy Naples' style," Troup states, noting that the pies will cook at a slightly lower temperature for a longer period of time than standard Neapolitan pizzas to give them a crisp instead of floppy crust.
Gorlami is taking over the space previously held by Brava Pizzeria, so a brick oven was already in place. The pizzas will be topped with all the classics, with meats coming from River Bear American Meats, as well as a few house creations. Troup says he doesn't get uptight about what goes on a pizza, so you'll find charred broccolini on one, pineapple on another. But this won't just be wedges of canned fruit; Gorlami will be making pineapple marmalade.
Other menu items will include cheese and charcuterie plates and whipped ricotta bowls with savory toppings (olives, Calabrian chile oil and roasted pepper jam, for example) and housemade flatbread.
While Troup's restaurant experience has been mostly in management, he says he's picked up valuable tips from his previous employers. "You have to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the great people you work with," he explains, pointing out Bryan Dayton and chef Steve Redzikowski at Oak, Gregory Gourdet at Departure and Alon Shaya at Safta. Redzikowski, who recently launched his own pizza project, New Yorkese, at Avanti Boulder, was especially helpful on the pizza side of things, Troup adds.
Gorlami joins Del Mar by Rooted as the newest Avanti counters, both on the main floor of the food hall. Also currently open are Meta Asian Kitchen, Quiero Arepas, Bistro Georgette, Knockabout Burgers and Lea Jane's Hot Chicken, making the first time in months that Avanti has had its full complement of seven vendors.
Troup hopes to open Gorlami by the end of March at 3200 Pecos Street, with hours from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Visit Avanti's website for details and ordering for all of the vendors.
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