After a quick turnaround of the old Julia Blackbird space, Spatola is now dishing up traditional Sicilian cuisine at 3434 West 32nd Avenue in West Highland. The restaurant is the work of Franco Spatola, who also owns Dolce Sicilia Italian Bakery in Wheat Ridge.
Along with classic antipasti, insalate, primi and secondi, you'll find a few hidden specials — like swordfish in salmoriglio (similar to pesto, but made with oregano and lemon) with caponata, or gnocchi with pancetta, saffron and ricotta.
Inside Spatola, elements from the previous restaurant — like corner fireplaces and rustic wood finishes — translate well from Southwestern to Mediterranean. Guests first encounter an open kitchen (where you might spot Spatola's mother cooking) with a copper-topped pass before entering an airy dining room with a glass-brick wall that adds diffuse sunlight. But if the weather's nice, the patio out front is the perfect place to enjoy Italian wines, beers or house cocktails.
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Spatola is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.