Having traveled to Denver several times in the last few years, I found myself yearning to find a great restaurant. I had dined at many good restaurants, but nothing that really stood out. A co-worker recommended the place after finding it in Zagat. I haven't stopped thanking her since. Although the ambiance leaves a little to be desired, the food, wine, and service to accompany both were extraordinary. I felt like I was in a metropolitan restaurant again where everyone involved in my dining experience was truly interested and passionate about their respective roles. To be more specific, take the sommelier's tips and guidance, he was wonderful. The bartender was attentive and friendly and helped me relax while I waited for a girlfriend to join me for dinner. The server was extremely knowledgeable and virtually guided us through the entire menu. The cooks, who are on display via a window to the kitchen, displayed masterpieces on each plate, both visually and flavor wise. In short, simply amazing.
We discovered this place when it was Carbone’s in the mid 70’s. When it changed hands it went way down hill. Enter the Lechuga’s era. Lechuga’s brought back the service and food we so loved from Carbone’s. But the magic is gone. The pizza crust used to be fantastic and it is now just excellent. The toppings and sauce, just as good as the old days. Friendly service. It is still our favorite pizza restaurant. As we live miles away we get here only a few times a year so it’s always pizza and we never try anything else. O yes good cheese bread.
I often choose Panzano's for a special lunch meeting with clients and have never been disappointed. The menu changes according to the seasons, the service is fast and thoughtful, and the atmosphere is quiet enough to have a meaningful conversation without being too quiet. Their roasted brussel sprouts appetizer is to-die for, and I nearly always order their grilled eggplant and goat cheese panini and leave with leftovers. Although I've never been there for dinner, I imagine it'd make a nice date-night destination.