A collection of neighborhood pizzerias with fresh American Italian food, addictively wonderful breadsticks and the best good-value Italian wine list in town. Known for craveable meatball subs and many savory vegetarian options, Pasquini’s really hits the spot with the best pizza and best lasagna in Denver.
Pasta Jay Elowsky cut his teeth in the restaurant trade at the age of 20, when he started washing dishes for his aunt and uncle at Sonny's Pizza in San Clemente, California. He went on to spend years in the Italian food business mastering the family recipes from a family that includes the chef and pizza taster for the first King of Italy. Eventually, Jay opened up the first Pasta Jay's in Boulder in 1988, dishing out handmade pizzas and pastas flavored with rich cheeses and savory sauces. His menu includes such classic plates as meatball stroganoff and crumbled sausage diavolo, or margherita and pesto pizzas.
Sazza's delicious mission is to bring delectability at a minimal environmental cost, starting at the top with as many organic, locally sourced ingredients as possible, all the way down to the free-range artichokes, recycled soda-can patio furniture, biodegradable cups and glassware made from wine bottles, and you-degradable pizza and salads. Sazza staffers even wear recycled tees that have been donated by customers (in exchange for a discount) and re-branded with the Sazza logo for new life in wear.
Royal Gorge Tavern's menu lists New Jersey–style pizzas made with homemade dough, foot-long sandwiches topped with Thumann's antibiotic-free meat, and cavernous salad bowls. Fill mouths or pockets with fried mac 'n' cheese ($5.95) before styling your own 12-inch ($10+) or 16-inch ($14+) pie, denouncing gluten with a gluten-free pizza ($11.99+), courting a calzone ($10.95+), or trapping a wild salad ($6.95+). The 12-inch Yeti, a sandwich piled with Thumann's italian lunchmeats, cheeses, lettuce, onions, sweet peppers, and dressing, doubles as a paperweight ($10.95). Traditional hot and cold sandwiches come in half ($5.95) and whole ($6.95+) varieties and pair well with frothy sips of Odell microbrews ($4.50), Guinness drafts ($5), or a glass of Ecco Domani pinot grigio ($6).
Local foodie Brett Shaheen got his start as a sous chef at Sambuca, then took at spot as chef de cuisine at local eatery Luca d'Italia before becoming executive chef at Osteria Marco. His business partner, Jane Duncan Knauf, followed a similar career trajectory, starting out as a server, then quickly blossoming into a general manager of Sambuca and director of food and beverage for The Magnolia, a downtown boutique hotel.
Their backgrounds help shape The Wooden Table into a classy Italian restaurant that combines attentive?not to mention friendly?service with a mouth-watering menu. And it's gotten them noticed, too?The Denver Post is just one outlet to herald their specialness as a suburban dining destination. What exactly do they offer? For starters, the Italian sausage is made in-house, and the hefty beef tenderloin entree is allowed to age for three weeks before chefs cook it. Elsewhere, team's beverage mixers invite diners to wash down entrees with wine or a specialty cocktail, such as the lavender lemon drop or the walnut Manhattan, made with walnut liqueur imported from the iconic waterfall in Times Square.
After spending years working for Dominos Pizza, Vince Schmuhl decided that he could do a better job of preparing and delivering quality pies to people's homes. He challenged the nationwide chain's dominance in the region by founding the first Blackjack Pizza on June 29, 1983.
Although delivering oven-fresh pies within 30 minutes was still a major goal for Schmuhl, he emphasized the importance of quality ingredients using sauce made from freshly packed tomatoes as well as hand-tossed dough that never sees the inside of a freezer or cryogenic chamber. This dedication to quality and speedy service allowed Blackjack Pizza to not only survive, but also thrive over the decades. The chain now includes more than 40 stores operating in four different states.
In addition to offering seven signature pies, Blackjack Pizza also allows customers to build their own order from crust to toppings. A choice of up to four savory, tangy, and piquant sauces form the base, topped with any of the 3 available cheeses, 7 meats, and 10 freshly diced vegetables. Regardless of the toppings, Blackjack Pizza respects the potential danger of food allergies by ensuring that none of its pies ever contain traces of MSG, peanuts, or peanut oil.