Tag Archives: spaghetti

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in Denver, Colorado

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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
Patsy's Italian Restaurant

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 477-8910

Mural in Patsy's dining room
Mural in Patsy's dining room

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.

Patsy's Homemade Spaghetti

This, in my opinion, is Patsy’s signature dish: Homemade Spaghetti with meatball or sausage, served with soup or salad and bread ($10.75.)

Italian Fried Trout

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…

The Official Website of Patsy’s Inn Italian Restaurant.

Open 7 days… Parking lot 1/2 block north…

View another post on Patsy’s from 2009 here.

Patsy’s Italian Restaurant is a TrueItalianTable recommended authentic Italian restaurant.

Hottest dinner ticket in Denver: Patsy’s Inn on First Friday

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Patsy's Inn 
Credit: LasVegasBuffetClub, file photo
Patsy's Inn
Credit: LasVegasBuffetClub, file photo

I was doing Navajo street’s “First Fridays Art Walk” on, guess what, Friday night, and was drawn to *Patsy’s (Patsy’s Inn restaurant ) front door like the proverbial moth to a flame. Actually my first stop was going to be Patsy’s. The open door of Patsy’s was emenating energy not altogether unlike the exceptionally bright, (almost) full moon. Maybe it was more like a bonfire, which was burning, in the midst of the smaller campfires – lights from gallery windows. Whatever it was, it was an energy fest.

In addition to the (half-dozen) open art galleries, there was a birthday party (or some other kind of party) going on at the restaurant, adding immensely to the overall ambience of the evening. The entire block was “happening.” Oh yea, the Bug Theater, across the street from Patsy’s was open for business: “Modern Muse Theatre Presents: “SPEED THE PLOW” by David Mamet.”

When I say “it was happening,” I don’t just mean activity, I’m talking classy people in a classy scene. I was at another place near 8th & Colorado Blvd. (which I won’t name) earlier in the evening. The crowd were a bunch of dead-brains with not enough collective imagination to have a bad idea! (I’ve got to write that place off…)

After Patsy’s I headed a block south to the D Gallery ( I received an email invite to their METRO RETRO show.) What a fine gallery. The food spread was tastefully executed – a veritable work of art. I also found two other delicious pieces d’art: artists Jim Petty and Marlene Feinholz each had, at least, one work that passed my threshold test….

*By the way, Patsy’s Inn is a long-time favorite, old-school, neighborhood, Italian restaurant that has been around since the 1920s.
PATSY’S INN Italian Restaurant
3651 Navajo Street
Denver, CO 80211

Best Spaghetti Dinner Value In Denver: Tuesday Night Spaghetti Dinner at Lechuga’s Italian Restaurant & Lounge

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Lechuga’s Italian Restaurant & Lounge
3609 Tejon St
Denver, CO 80238
(303) 455-1502

This place is not for the faint-hearted. First and foremost, Lechuga’s aien’t no HOITY-TOITY joint. Especially not the lounge area, where there is definately a serious bar scene. If you can handle that, read on…

Lechuga’s Italian Restaurant & Lounge (formerly Carbone’s Pizza – Est. 1961) owns a considerable chunk of *Denver’s Little Italy’s history. The restaurant is in an area that used to be Denver’s Little Italy. The area was Denver’s Little Italy up to the 80s. (Numbers of Italian-Americans were moving out by this time and many Spanish speaking folks were settling into the [**Highland] district.)

Known for it’s thin-crust, square pizza, spaghetti and canolis, Denver-style, Carbone’s was one of the neighborhood anchors for the Italian-Americans of North Denver. The current owners wisely kept Carbone’s menu and recipes alive over the years. Now the restaurant is a multi-ethnic anchor for: Hispanics, Italians, Anglos, Greys etc…etc…etc…My understanding is that the current owners represent two ethnicities.

The restaurant has two dining areas. The main dining room, on the north side of the resturant, is where families and non-bar-type-folks dine. It is starkly lit and somewhat basic – fine for family dining. Then there’s the Lounge, which is dimly lit and frilled, with: neon, celebrity photos, wrought iron latice, sports memorabilia and TVs. There are booths and tables at the (sunken) bar level. Up a half-level, there is a-kind-of-stadium-seating area with three arched booths (WHERE YOU WANT TO SIT) on one wall, and tables around the perimeter overlooking the bar area – with it’s dance floor, the smallish L-shaped bar, and the Pièce de résistance: a photo-collage of King Frank above the bar – watching over the place like a crucifix behind the alter in a church (see photo below.)

On the menu
Dinner Entrees:
Dinner Spaghetti, includes salad with choice of dressing, garlic bread, one sausage and one meatball ($6.25.)
Old Fashioned Thick Noodles are available, add $1.25.
Manicotti, includes salad and garlic bread ($6.25.)
Ravioli, includes dinner salad and garlic bread ($6.25.)
Lasagna, includes dinner salad and garlic bread $6.25.)

Original, Thick, Square Pizza, One Size Only:
Cheese Pizza…$9.95
Additional toppings…$1.00 ea
Additional half-toppings…$.50 ea

Specialty Pizzas…$13.95 to $16.95
Canolis, Denver Style…$1.45 to $5.25

***Buckets Of Pasta (Take out only)
6 Servings…$15.95
3 Servings…$14.95
***Served with salad, choice of dressing and garlic bread
Old Fashioned Thick Noodles
6 servings…add $3.50
3 servings…add $2.50

Sandwiches Salads, Soups, Sides, Beverages, Take Outs, and Pizza Dough / Pasta Sauce to go…

BEST SPAGHETTI DINNER VALUE IN DENVER: Lechuga’s Tuesday Night Spaghetti Dinner,
includes [a]old-school pasta w/Marinara sauce, garlic bread (2 pieces,) salad, and choice of meatball or sausage – WHAM BAM…$3.99.
Old Fashioned Thick Noodles are available…add $1.25
. Tuesdays – 5pm to 9pm
. Dine In Only

Have a glass of Lechuga’s House wine with dinner…$2.75 ($2.00 during Happy Hour.)

After dinner, head south on Tejon, a half-dozen or so blocks until you dead end at a three story milk can. That’s Little Man Ice Cream. Little Man Ice Cream is a brilliantly housed Ice Cream Shop. The perfectly scaled building is built to look like an old-fashioned milk can.
See a photo and read about Little Man Ice Cream on our blog post #96

[a]Lechuga’s Spaghetti is real, old-school. You’ll recognize the flavor if you “go back” to the 50s & 60s, especially in Denver. The spaghetti noodles (thin and thick) are always cooked “right,” just-a-bit al dente. The Marinara sauce is robust, and the meatballs / sausage are bona fide, authentic. My only complaint is the complaint one can raise in most restaurants, the pasta is never sufficiently drained before plating.

This is a camera photo of Lechuga’s bar, shot from the “stadium-seating” area. That “shrine” behind the bar is a photo collage of King Frank.
OGs mostly occupy the stools on the south (left in the photo) side of the bar.

*In the beginning, the Italian immigrants lived in tent shanty’s along the banks of the Plate river, in the so called “bottoms.” When these new Americans began to prosper and stake their “American Dream” claims, they moved on up to the **Highland District of Northwest Denver. **The Highland District is bounded roughly by Zuni Street on the East, West 38th Avenue on the North, Federal Boulevard on the West and West 32nd Avenue on the South. This was the nucleus of Denver’s Little Italy. Technically Lechuga’s is a few blocks beyond these parameters.
Thomas J. Noel – DenverGov.org

Read a bunch of reviews on Lechuga’s at Yelp.com
Visit the main pages of the LasVegasBuffetClub
c.2009-LasVegasBuffetClub. All rights reserved.

This is a 100% Absolutely Fool-Proof, Never-Fail Method for Determining When Spaghetti and Other Pastas are Fully Cooked!

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This post was first published in February of this year…

There is a 100% Absolutely Fool-Proof, Never-Fail method for determining when Spaghetti and other (Linguine, Fettuccine and other “long, solid”) pastas are fully cooked! This particularly pertains to dry pastas, rather than *”soft” Homemade noodles, although the following method can be used, to some degree, for any pasta.

First of all, don’t do this: “Some like to fling it up to the ceiling, onto the wall or [on] to the dog to see if it acutally sticks.” This is a fairly common Dumbism, the theory being: that if the pasta is done, it will stick. So will overdone pasta. I prefer my methodology.

As a strand of semolina/flour spaghetti for instance cooks, the outer (cooked) edge turns a creamy/golden color as the (uncooked) core (anima) retains a whitish hue. (If the pasta contains spinach or other ingredients the colors, of course, will be different. With some fresh pastas, the colors are inverted – just look for differences.)

Cooking the pasta: First bring the correct amount of water to a rolling boil. Find the suggested cooking time, which is usually listed on the package or box of noodles. This will give you an approximate idea of the total cooking time, so you won’t have to keep checking the pasta excessively.

When you get to within a few minutes of the suggested cooking time, remove a single strand of the pasta with a fork and cut it (or bite it) in half. Do this (several times if necessary) until: looking at the sliced edge, you see a whitish anima (core) about the size of a period [ . ] This is the state of the pasta at about one minute (more or less) before it is fully cooked; the pasta is cooked “Al Dente” at this point. Remove the pasta, if you want it cooked Al Dente or, give it a bit more time until the whitish anima completely dissappears – then the pasta is 100% cooked. Knowing the Al Dente point, you can adjust the pasta to preference, harder (Al Dente) or softer.

This LasVegasBuffetClub animated GIF shows how a piece of pasta changes color during the cooking process: the raw uncooked pasta starts off as pale white, then the outer edge starts to turn creamy/gold as it cooks – the anima remains whitish. At the Al Dente point, the anima is reduced to the size of a period [.] (GIF pictures are exagerated.) The whitish anima diminishes until disappearing, when the pasta is fully cooked.

Cooking Pasta
Cooking Pasta

Fresh pastas and pastas of other shapes can be similarly monitored, just look for “differences.”
*Some big, fat Homemade noodles may take 30-40 minutes to cook fully.
Who said: “I like fat spaghetti and skinny women?”

Cooking For Engineers is a “technical” Food Website…
View a WIKI page on pasta…
Visit the Recipe Pages of LasVegasBuffetClub.Com…
Visit the Home Page of LasVegasBuffetClub.Com…
[All text/Animated GIF belong to the LasVegasBuffetClub-Copyright © 2009 LasVegasBuffetClub.]