Dining in Denver

Osteria Marco on Larimer Street downtown Denver

Osteria Marco on Larimer Street downtown Denver

One of the great things about traveling is getting to dine in local or regional eateries that you don’t have where you live. When I was recently in Denver I had the pleasure of eating at a small neighborhood restaurant, Bang, and a large downtown restaurant, Osteria Marco. My niece also took me to a local spice shop, Savory Spice, which was delightful and from which I purchased three seasoning blends so I could take a little of Denver home with me!

Let me begin with Osteria Marco. It is located in the LoDo area of downtown at 1453 Larimer St. It’s an Italian place where they make all their own cheeses and meats. I was there with a group of 10 which can be a challenge. Since we had reservations the size of our group was no problem at all. They had our table set up and ready for us when we all arrived. Since they make their own cheeses, I had to try a cheese appetizer so my SIL and I shared an order of ricotta cheese that was wrapped in a layer of fresh mozzarella which we spread on house-made garlic bread. It was a great way to start our meal and we loved it! I ordered my own salad which was a wilted spinach salad with a creamy goat cheese dressing . . . can I just say YUM! I, then, shared a rapini and Italian sausage pizza with my daughter. The house-made Italian sausage was nice and spicy with that wonderful taste of fennel which makes sausage Italian sausage. It had a thin crust and was baked in a wood-fired oven and was also fabulous. The atmosphere was relaxed and the service was good. We had a fun dinner before heading to the theatre to see Wicked! I highly recommend this moderately priced restaurant if you live in Denver or have the opportunity to visit!

Bang in the Highland neighborhood of Denver

Bang in the Highland neighborhood of Denver

Bang could not be more different than Osteria Marco . . . it’s literally a small, hole-in-the-wall neighborhood eatery. To gain entrance to the dining room one has to walk down the alley next to the restaurant and enter at the back. The front of the place is the kitchen so you can watch the cooks at work from the sidewalk out front. Bang is located at 3472 W. 32nd Ave. and is a delightfully cozy place with a small but yummy menu. I ate there for lunch and had calamari with house-made sweet chili dipping sauce. The calamari was lightly breaded and cooked just right so was very tender. For my entree, I stuck with seafood and had the shrimp po’ boy sandwich. Did I mention that all the sauces and condiments are house-made? The spicy sauce of the sandwich was great as was the catsup with the thin, crispy fries that were seasoned with chopped fresh herbs and salt. For dessert, my dining companions and I shared a big piece of gingerbread that had minced candied ginger in it and came with a generous serving of fresh whipped cream. My daughter and niece both had their BLT which had at least 8 slices of bacon on it and my daughter had a cup of creamy potato soup which had just a bit of zip to it in contrast to the creaminess of the soup. This was a fun and funky place to eat with marvelous food so give it a try the next time you’re in Denver!

Savory Spice Shop on Platte Street in Denver

Savory Spice Shop on Platte Street in Denver

Last of all, my niece took us to the Savory Spice Shop at 1537 Platte St. Just walking into the shop is a sensory experience . . . the aroma is fantastic from all the different spices and spice mixes that are available not just for smelling but for tasting as well! They have all the standard spices, of course, but also a bunch of house blends. Upon entering the shop, the staff encourage you to taste as many of the various blends as you wish by sprinkling some into your hand from the tester to taste and then brushing any that is remaining to the floor . . . how fun is that?!? After sampling a variety of blends, I settled on those my niece had originally recommended: Park Hill Maple & Spice Pepper, Team Sweet Mama’s Kansas City Rub, and Long’s Peak Pork Chop Spice. Let me say a few words about each blend . . . The Maple & Spice Pepper is an unusual blend of maple sugar, black pepper, coriander, turmeric, ginger, nutmeg, fenugreek, anise, cumin, cinnamon, and other spices. It is fantastic on pork, chicken, and vegetables like baked sweet potatoes and acorn squash. Mama’s Kansas City Rub is great on pork, ribs, and brisket and has a sweet tangy flavor. Last of all, the Pork Chop Spice works not just on chops but also chicken and has a smokey, salty flavor with undertones of garlic and mustard. If your feeling adventurous check the Savory Spice Shop website and order yourself some of these great spice blends!

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7 Responses to “Dining in Denver”
  1. Beth says:

    Oh Sue, I loved your description of each of t he Denver restaurants. I really do love all the rubs Laura has brought home to us! Okay once you go public with your blog, it is time for a food network show, a blend of chef and restaurant reviews.

  2. Laura says:

    I too love the reviews! Your description of each place is perfect! Can’t wait to see you again Iowa weekend. Oh, and I am extremely looking forward to your crockpot recipes. Hint, hint, wink, wink! ;)

  3. faithfulfoodie says:

    I promise I’ll get some crockpot recipes on the blog soon! In fact, look for Southwest Chicken Corn chowder in the next day or so!

  4. Robin Linkhart says:

    Thanks for the tips on places to eat and visit. Since I live nearby I plan to put some of these stops on the list when our son and daughter-in-law are here from Korea.

  5. faithfulfoodie says:

    Robin, I think you’ll really enjoy them. The spice shop is really fun as well!!

  6. Beth says:

    Oh reading this brings back such good memories!

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