Rocker Spirits opened as a distillery and bar at 5587 South Hill Street in Littleton last August, adding something new to the mix just off the town's main drag. And now Rocker's guests have a food option, too: Sprezzatura Pizza is serving pizzas and snacks from a new trailer and wood-burning oven at the front of the distillery.
Sprezzatura is owned by chef David Rosenfeld, a recent transplant to Colorado who previously worked in Brooklyn and Saint Louis. Rosenfeld explains that his love affair with pizza began while working at Roberta's and Blanca in Brooklyn, though he took a detour as executive chef at Death in the Afternoon in Saint Louis before getting a call from a bartender friend working at Rocker that Denver was the place to be.
The chef's pride and joy is a Pavesi wood-burning oven shipped from Modena, Italy. Stoking the beast to nearly 1,000 degrees Farenheit, he makes quick work of pies made with Caputo OO flour (the gold standard in Italy) blended with King Arthur flour from the U.S. and a touch of course-ground rye flour. The result is slightly crisper than traditional Neapolitan pizza while still maintaining a classic chew. "I feel like pizza should be eaten with your hands," Rosenfeld notes, which is why he diverges slightly from the limper Neapolitan style.
Eleven-inch pizzas come in five varieties — Margherita, bianco, carne dulce, verdura or marinara — or can be made to order from a handful of topping choices. Other menu items include salads, pepperoni rolls, housemade pickles and focaccia, a charcuterie board and baked goods made by Sprezzatura's aptly named pastry chef, Kelsey Baker.
The name Sprezzatura comes from an Italian word that translates roughly to a kind of studied casualness, which Rosenfeld describes as training and studying hard until you appear effortless. "In my mind, it's everything the hospitality industry is all about," he explains.
Rocker's spirits include rum, whiskey and vodka; Rosenfeld recommends the Be Good or Be Gone, a cocktail made with whiskey, basil simple syrup and a float of pumpkin-seed oil — a striking drink in swirling browns and greens that adds a fresh, herbal burst alongside the Margherita and verdura pies.
Sprezzatura is open during the same hours as Rocker Spririts: Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m.
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.