Breckenridge-based Piante Pizzeria is bringing vegan pizza to Denver. The pizza spot serves up gourmet, wood-fired pizzas popular with plant-based eaters — thanks to dairy-free cheese and meat-free pepperoni and Italian sausage.
The spot has done so well in Breckenridge that executive chef/owner Jason Goldstein decided to offer his pizzas to Denver residents, first with a series of pop-ups and then with a plan to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant.
“After we opened in Breckenridge, we learned that we had many fans in Denver, and they would drive up just for Piante," says Goldstein. “They really encouraged us to try to put a second location there.”
Pop-ups so far have been held at Nooch Vegan Market, Alternation Brewing, LFX Filmworks, Salvage Design Center, VegFest and Luvin Arms Animal Sanctuary. “The Denver market always intrigued us, but we needed the right space and the right people to expand with,” the chef adds.
The menu comprises mostly organic, local, seasonal and housemade ingredients for starters, salads, pizzas and desserts. But the thin, New York-style pizzas are anything but basic. Customers start with a wide variety of sauces when building a pie: marinara, red sauce, barbecue sauce, garlic butter, olive oil and pesto. While dairy-free guests are usually delighted with even one dairy-free cheese option, here there are several, including cashew mozzarella, smoked cashew mozzarella, housemade ricotta and a mozzarella blend.
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Plant-based meat options include shiitake-mushroom bacon, pepperoni, meat crumble and Italian sausage. Arugula, lemon-roasted jalapeños, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and Buffalo cauliflower are the tasty vegetable options that join traditional veggies such as tomatoes, mushrooms, green bell pepper and olives. Customers can also choose from house combos, such as the DMT, with lemon aioli sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, truffle, parmesan and parsley, or The BBQ, with house barbecue sauce, smoked mozzarella, meat crumble, white mushroom and red and green onions.
Goldstein isn't ready to divulge the location of his Denver Piante yet, but he says it will offer even more than the Breckenridge spot. In addition to pizza, the menu will also have fresh pasta dishes, wood-fired veggies and other vegan proteins. The chef is also planning more pop-ups for the new year before opening the new location this spring. Keep an eye on Piante's Facebook page for upcoming Denver events.
Piante Pizzeria is located at 520 South Main Street in Breckenridge. Call 970-423-6693 or visit the restaurant's website for more information.