Sauce Rules

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

At its most elemental, a great shrimp scampi consists of shrimp, garlic, lemon and white wine. It is shrimp in an Italian beurre blanc—the garlic (and shallots) used to start a sauté pan, seasoned with good olive oil, deglazed with white wine, spritzed with lemon juice and mounted, at the last minute, with a knob of high-fat sauté butter. When cooked at the right heat (read: high) and done at the proper speed (read: fast), this composed sauce will be an unbreakable monster, slick and smooth and silky with a flavor like being hit in the mouth with a garlic-and-lemon brick. The shrimp? They’re tossed in almost as an afterthought. In Italian cooking, everything beyond the sauce is simply a transport vessel for the sauce. Sauce rules. At Gemelli’s -- a new Italian restaurant in northwest Denver that's the focus of this week’s review -- the cooks understand this. They get the notion of essentials: of simple, basic things done extraordinarily well.

And while not everything I had while camped out in the Gemelli’s dining room rose to the level of this excellent shrimp scampi, much of it did. I’d gone there to try to knock the memory of that nasty shrimp scampi I'd had at Grand Lux Café out of my head, and ended up having myself a fine dinner in the process. A couple of them, actually.

While I was in the neighborhood, I also looked in on Mike Scarafiotti at 3 Sons, and got the story about why this legendary outpost of north Denver Italian dining is flying so many For Sale signs. And then I headed downtown for a peek at what’s been going on since Patrick Pool re-opened the failed Pizzeria Mundo.

I didn’t mean for it to turn into Italian week here at Bite Me World HQ. That’s just the way things turned out. But since you’re here, you may as well pull up a chair, say buon giorno and join the conversation when the new issue arrives on this site, and the street, tomorrow. -- Jason Sheehan

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.