Down and Out in Denver

Il Posto

Posted in food by Alastair on December 13, 2009

Alastair, here. Surprised? I know Blake is. As you may have read, I like to peruse blogs more than write them and I have just returned from a lengthy and very welcomed trip to France and Spain with two of my best gal pals, hence my prolonged absence from DaOiD. My apologies. Since returning from Europe, Blake has been pushing me to write my first post, and well, you don’t want to cross Blake… just saying. You just might find some “Skinny ‘n’ Sweet” in your coffee the next morning.

Il Posto

As you are aware, the DaOiD boys like to dine out and this past weekend we made a stop at one of our favorite neighborhood-dining establishments, Il Posto. According to the website, Il Posto offers “a truly cosmopolitan experience in a vibrant, hip space” and the “ever-changing menu” features “local organic produce and meats with seafood flown in daily.” Milanese chef/owner Andrea Frizzi prepares dishes inspired from Northern Italy and we’ve tried many of them: homemade pappardelle with marjoram sausage ragu and oyster mushrooms; potato gnocchi with a great spinach pistachio pesto and caramelized fennel; grilled buffalo flank steak with mizuna and shaved Piave cheese; and the burrata stuffed chicken, pan roasted with organic oyster mushrooms, house cured pancetta and Peroni beer. 5280 Magazine voted Il Posto as their best Italian Restaurant for 2007 and for many good reasons.

The handwritten menu board

This visit began with two glasses of a nice dry white wine and the tagliere, a small selection of delicious cold cuts and cheeses consisting of speck, coppa, prosciutto di Parma, gorgonzola dolce (a younger cheese, not as pungent and not as dry or crumbly as the aged gorgonzola), Piave (a cow’s milk cheese), and Ubriaco al Prosecco (an unpasteurized cow milk cheese that is brushed with wine; in this case, Prosecco). We were very pleased despite the thought that it may contribute to a higher cholesterol level, especially given all the jamón Serrano I consumed in southern Spain.

Blake and I were both pleased with our main course despite the unusually long wait. I could easily have finished the second glass of wine in the time between finishing the tagliere and our second course arriving… shocking, I know. Blake had the chicken liver risotto and found it a very filling entrée (and very chicken liver-y). I tried the sunchoke pesto gnocchi. I discovered that a sunchoke is an underground vegetable like a cross between a rutabaga, potato, and water chestnut. Also called a Jerusalem artichoke, it is not like an artichoke bloom, and is one of the few native tubers of North America. I digress

Potato gnocchi with spinach pistachio pesto and caramelized fennel

I’ve had Frizzi’s potato gnocchi with spinach pistachio pesto in the past and found it very delicious (see image). Thinking the experience would be much the same I was surprised by the texture of the sunchoke version. Not as firm as the gnocchi I’ve had in the past and perhaps softer than I prefer, but still light with a melt-in-your-mouth quality, I asked our waitress about the difference, thinking that it may have had something to do with the sunchoke. Seemingly displeased by what I thought was a polite inquiry our waitress stated she would “let the chef know,” without any real clarification to my question other than that gnocchi is supposed to be “light and fluffy.” My discomfort was only heightened when our waitress proceeded to slide the check onto our table without any comment while making eye contact with the recently arrived table opposite us. Now feeling very uncomfortable about my inquiry, I tried to clarify that I was not in any way displeased by my meal and that I was just curious as to the effect the sunchoke might have on your typical gnocchi. In any case, it was a rather awkward experience that I would have rather avoided given the outcome. That said, Blake and I will most definitely be visiting Il Posto again. And thank Frizzi greatly for this gem.

As the DaOiD boys said goodbye to Il Posto and headed next door to the Thin Man for an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party cocktail, we gazed upon a rather lovely installation of table lamps in the trees outside.

Side table lamps playfully hang from the trees out front of the Thin Man

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6 Responses

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  1. mamamonroe said, on December 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Alastair! Blake! The DO also *loves* The Thin Man. As you may have read:
    http://thedenveromelette.wordpress.com/2009/08/12/not-that-theres-anything-wrong-with-that/
    I had an unfortunate night at Il Posto once. Lets just say I didn’t make it through the whole meal. NOT Il Posto’s fault at all. This reassures I must go back soon. 2 weekends ago we were drinking Old Fashioneds’ with friends at The Thin Man (they make a great one…) and decided to try to get into Il Posto for dinner (8-ish on a Sat night) with no luck. We ended up at Strings instead and had an amazing meal (however we did not love the atmosphere as much as at Il Posto…)

    • Alastair said, on December 14, 2009 at 11:10 am

      Mama Monroe, I love me an Old-Fashioned. In my former life, I visited a watering hole that made a version with Buffalo Trace bourbon. It was warmly syrupy, and not too fruity.

  2. Blake said, on December 14, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve dined at Strings only the once and I agree, the atmosphere — and the name!!! what were they thinking? — are not up to Il Posto standards, but the food was tasty. I don’t know about you, Alastair and Mama, but I see a Thin Man rendez-vous in our future.

  3. Historiann said, on December 15, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Strings?

    WTF???

    It sounds like a strip club or something. “Strings” is not something I associate with something good to eat. (Stringy? String-like? These are not adjectives I want associated with stuff to eat.)

  4. Tara said, on December 28, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    LOVED your thoughts on Il Posto, coudn’t agree more with everything you wrote… Of course, I am married to Chef Frizzi so I admit, I’m a bit biased 🙂 The next time you’re in the restaurant and you see a solitary brunette eating at the bar, reading a book & drinking lots of wine, come on over and say hi! Grazie mille for dining with us and hope to see you soon. Ciao!

  5. […] also found some pretty decent watering holes: The Cruise Room, Thin Man, A Côté, Sketch Wine Bar, and recent favorite, Cellar Wine Bar. I’d say we’ve accomplished […]


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