Large pots regularly crowd the burners in Vinhus Restaurant & Lounge’s kitchen. A peek into the cauldrons reveals bubbling mixtures of seafood suggestive of what might happen if chefs strolled through a fish market and scooped up a few things from every stand—one combinations in particular pairs lobster, clams, and shrimp with a choice of green or red sauce.
These seafood surfeits belong to a menu inspired by Portugal’s seafaring traditions, complete with dishes such as grilled cod with skinned potato chunks, roasted peppers, and onions. The menu reaches east, as well, pulling flavors from Spain, France, Italy, and the Mediterranean into dishes such as veal marsala or a seafood plate whose lobster comes accented with chorizo, chicken, and saffron rice.
The fresh seafood and sizzling steaks perfume a dining room whose wooden floors and taupe-colored walls set the stage for decor including neatly arranged lighting fixtures, attractive artwork, and verdant foliage. Before or after meals, guests can retreat to the lounge, where patrons sip spirited beverages beneath a slanted ceiling that offers its protection to the room’s roaring fireplace.
A list of nearly 70 wines would be reason enough to visit The Vintage Italian Restaurant, but the housemade pasta, ravioli, sausage, and gnocchi give the bottles of red and white a run for their money. The Pollo Vintage pairs chicken breast with Sicilian artichoke hearts, sausage, and sun-dried tomatoes, and several of the restaurant's hearty pasta dishes can be made with whole wheat or gluten-free pastas.
Two guys, Sam and Bob, walk into a bar. There, the two lament the price of food and decide to do something about it on the spot. As the owner of more than 50 pizza joints in Colorado, Bob had the know how and resources; so, with cost in mind, the duo created Take Or Bake Pizza. Today, Sam and Bob preside over chefs as they hand toss and bake 14-inch pizzas as well as craft uncooked pies bound for warming in home ovens or slow melting on the hood of an Italian–made Ferrari.
Cioffi's was founded by Carmen and Antonietta Cioffi in 1963 after moving from Naples, Italy. Thanks to a loyal following and delicious pizza, the Cioffis began cooking up other Italian classics from the Old World, eventually moving to a larger eatery to accommodate their growing fan base. Today, the family still oversees the homey Italian eatery, offering a menu bustling with classics from Europe's boot, including Sicilian pizza, eggplant parmigiana, and shrimp scampi. They also hold events that may include free wine tastings, Italian feasts, and meet-and-greets with local celebrities.
Under the warm glow of crystal chandeliers in Ill Amici Ristorante’s elegant dining room, the Lavorato family adorns tabletops with expertly prepared fare from the northern and southern regions of Italy and ambrosial vino from an extensive wine list. Owner and executive chef Giovanni Lavorato began his culinary training in Italy at the age of 14, has cooked all over Europe and North America, and has racked up numerous awards, including Man of the Year in 1995 by Il Ponte Italo-Americano international cultural magazine. The recently renovated dining room charms patrons with classy Old-World decor and a deficiency of singing moose heads, and the Venetian-style lounge and spacious banquet hall provide accommodations for sophisticated revelry.
The front counter at Little Italy showcases the spectacular array of pizzas that the skilled chefs whip up back in the kitchen—thin-crust pizzas lined with gooey circles of mozzarella, deep-dish pizzas dotted with sausage, and square-shaped pizzas decorated in slender slices of lemon. Once pizzas are showered in combinations of vegetables, seafood, or meat, and loaded into the oven, chefs turn their attention to other Italian specialties—cheesy chicken parmigiana, crunchy Italian-style subs, and plump calzones.
Customers split orders of wings out in the warm dining room, where soft, white curtains surround large, light-baiting windows. Others opt for delivery services, preferring to enjoy meals in the comfort of their own home or the fancy bank lobby they like to pretend is their home.