Part of a large, Italian family, Jimmy Zamparelli grew up in a New Jersey, where he helped his grandmother craft ricotta ravioli, meatballs, and marinara sauce for family gatherings. His wife, Nancy, grew up in Houston, where her mother planned family meals around ingredients gathered at the local farmers market. The duo met at the Culinary Institute of America and the rest, as they say, is history.
Today, at Zamparelli's Italian Bistro, you'll find hints of both spouse's culinary roots in the cuisine, where recipes are often inspired by Jimmy's grandmother, but prepared using fresh, local ingredients,. Brick-oven pizzas are the house specialty—not to mention a favorite of Every Day with Rachel Ray magazine—and sprinkled with everything from clams and creamy garlic sauce to caramelized onion, gorgonzola, and smoked bacon. Elsewhere in the open kitchen, cooks pile house-made meatballs into sandwiches, layer meat sauce and mozzarella into gluten-free lasagnas, and toss roasted beets with shaved fennel, goat cheese, candied walnuts, and baby greens, which are surprisingly mature for their age. Wines by the glass and local beers complement feasts, which best end with a helping of gluten-free chocolate mousse, insists the Denver Post.
Udon Kaisha's chefs prepare traditional noodle dishes that have been an everyday staple of Japanese life since 206 BC. Spicy morsels of pork, peppers, shrimp, and tofu mingle with udon noodles in salty broths or nestle inside knots of ramen noodles in tangy, sweet soup bases. Authentic yakitori skewers and mussel appetizers prime stomachs for the meal ahead, and dishes of deep-fried bananas and green-tea ice cream silence the final echoes of rumbling bellies. The chefs also prepare servings of grilled salmon and teriyaki beef and fashion flavorful sushi rolls for those with allergies to heat.
Smashburger isn't just the name—it's the way chefs grill every burger. First, they form never-frozen, 100% Angus beef into a giant meatball. Then they season it, place it on a butter-glazed grill, and smash it into a patty. The process caramelizes the beef, locking in flavor while keeping the meat juicy and tender. The chefs then sandwich each slab in an artisan bun and turn it into one of an array of standard burgers or locally inspired specialties unique to each market. This handcrafting approach typifies everything else the chefs do, from blending handspun Häagen-Dazs shakes to hand painting Smashburger's logo onto every beverage cup. Letting its food stand for itself and relying mostly on word of mouth for advertising, the Smashburger franchise expanded to 160 restaurants in five years, with its swift growth from zero to 100 stores making it one of the nation's fastest-growing restaurant companies. This rapid development even caught the attention of Forbes and Inc. along the way.
Si Senor skillfully serves a menu abundant with delectable Mexican fare. The Si Senor breakfast sates hungers built while squeezing full-size bricks into legos with two eggs, home fries, two tortillas, green chili, and a choice of crispy bacon or spicy chorizo ($7.25). Lunch seekers can munch on the burrito sampler plate, a medley including four 6-inch burritos ($9.75), and the make-your-own combo allows diners to mix and match items to create a dream team of hunger-conquering eats ($9.95). Cultures collide with the mexican hamburger, a flour tortilla filled with hamburger steak and beans strewn with cheese, lettuce, and tomato and served with rice ($8.75). A range of kid-friendly eats ($4.95) is also available to keep bored tots from starting careers in commercial real estate.
At the halcyon ‘50s-style drive-in, skate-clad carhops greet autos and their hungry charioteers with trays full of classic casual fare and frosty drinks. Diners bask in the bun-ensconced beauty of a single-patty burger or convince gullible taste buds they’re seeing double with two sizzling slabs of premium Angus beef from the local beef barons at Steele’s Meat Co. Chicken sandwiches arrive grilled or breaded, and hearty BLTs hug crisp bacon, fresh lettuce, and juicy tomato between thick cuts of texas toast charred in the shape of the Alamo.
Baby back ribs; hand-cut fries and hand-battered onion rings; pork slow-cooked for ten hours. This is just a taste of the ways the grub at Miller's Grille exceeds your typical pub fare. Far from the greasy, once-frozen food, this eatery takes its cuisine seriously. The barbecue sauce is made according to an original recipe, the veggies are fresh, and 95% of everything that comes from the kitchen is made from scratch. That includes some menu items such as fish and chips, brie and bacon burgers, and grilled salmon. Everything washes down easily with a pint or pour from the drink list, which not only includes brews, but also martinis, margaritas, mojitos, signature house cocktails, and wine. Miller's Grille also offers a private event room that can hold up to 100 people at a time.