This is a quick, update post – Patsy’s has been reviewed before (there’s a link at the bottom of this post.) Pardon my grammar, the editor is otherwise indisposed, and I wanted to get this out there. Story by William Carbone
Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211
Mural on the north-side-wall of Patsy’s: did someone tell me that an itinerant artist painted this mural for food and a room to sleep above the restaurant – or did I imagine this?
“With a history that spans more than 80 years, Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is Denver’s oldest Italian restaurant. Founded in 1921 by the Aiello family, Patsy’s has undergone a few changes over the years but the heart and soul of tradition have remained the same” read more…
One thing that hasn’t remained the same is the food. I’m laying down my cards here, saying that the food is getting better, probably better than anytime in Patsy’s long history – not that I’ve been around for all of those years. I’ve been enjoying the pasta since the 60s. That was when business-men in suits and ties, and secretaries with stiff-hair would drive up from downtown Denver to lunch. So what’s new besides transplants moving into the Lower Highlands neighborhood and joining long-time locals who have been returning to the restaurant, week after week, since the days when Patsy’s was in the center of *Denver’s Little Italy?
It’s 2013, tons of sophisticated transplants are moving to the Lower Highlands and diners are generally becoming more hip to the nuances of restaurants/food. Someone at Patsy’s is doing a good job raising the bar. That would (most) probably be (a relative of Chubby Aiello, the original owner) Ron Cito, and Kim Delancey, the current owners.
The homemade noodles and the other traditional Italian dishes have always been good. The soups, salads and desserts, always good. The bar has always been impeccably, vintage cool.
The food – though still based in tradition – has become more sophisticated. The marinara sauce has been jacked-up, jacked-up with garlic. Owner Ron Cito shared his secret of the great, gastronomic, garlic flavor: he steams the garlic. Other food items are more subtly seasoned, and there are, in addition to standard, old-school favorites, new creative dishes on the menu.
This, in my opinion, is Patsy’s signature dish: Homemade Spaghetti with meatball or sausage, served with soup or salad and bread ($10.75.)
The elegant Italian Fried (Ruby) Trout served with garlic cream spaghetti, soup or salad and bread ($13.75.)
What else is new? The restaurant itself is a time-capsule from the 1920s, definitely not new. The owners and staff are new. The service is generally good, sometimes it’s a notch above good. We do miss “Sherrie,” who was a real asset to the business.
*In the late 1800s and the first half or so of the 1900s the area in Denver between Broadway and Zuni Streets on the east and west and 46th and 32nd Avenues on the north and south was known as “Little Italy”. It was an area of Italian grocery stores and bakeries, community bread ovens, churches, and schools; an area where a new wave of immigrants from all over Italy moved to and where they were comfortable and socially secure in this new country read more…
Open 7 days… Parking lot 1/2 block north…