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Angelo’s Taverna in Alamo Placita

angelos

We just found one more reason to visit Alamo Placita in Southwest Denver and it is all about Oysters, Pasta, and great people. It’s called Angelo’s Taverna.

First, let me begin by sharing that I love to enjoy a good oyster from time to time. We are one of the MOST land locked cities where visitors have, from time to time, given me a skeptical look when I rave about our great sushi, oyster bar, and fresh seafood restaurants. They simply don’t understand that most seafood is shipped anyway, so don’t count us out just because we don’t have a dock where some sea captain named Ahab is throwing fresh fish from his ship. Our fish and crustacean restaurants can stand toe to toe with any city, anywhere.

That’s my Denver pride kicking in.

But what does, from time to time, kick my fish loving butt is the cost for such delicious ocean originating delights. If we did live with a bunch of fisherman competing for our business we might have a better price per pound on that Salmon steak. But it’s the price we pay to live in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. So I pay a little more to have something that just a few hours ago might have been in the Pacific or Atlantic ocean. Fair trade I think.

Which brings me to one reason, and one of many, that I fell in love with Angelo’s Taverna last night. We had lucked out in finding an online deal for Angelo’s Taverna and decided a beautiful Sunday evening was the perfect time to check it out.

We arrived to find it fairly crowded with crowds of folks I believed to be Alamo Placita locals laughing and having a great time. Angelo’s has huge open windows off the bar and dining area letting in a nice gentle breeze and a fun high ceiling open space. It was warm and inviting and we quickly found a couple spots at the large reclaimed wood bar and began looking over the menu.

Angelo’s is not your typical strictly oyster bar. We learned, from talking to the very friendly and helpful bartender, that Angelo’s was originally a traditional Italian restaurant that had been in that spot for years and years. The family, deciding that it was time to pass the torch, sold to the current owners who enhanced it in August of 2013. The menu, which had traditionally been family style pasta was expanded to include some new modern dishes and.. you guessed it… a feature of Oysters. I was impressed with all the varieties of oysters than had available for me to enjoy on the half shell while many around me seemed to love the grilled oyster features. If you love oysters you know that there are so many to choose from and they each taste different. I happen to love the smaller colder water varieties such as the Kumamoto and Kushi. They didn’t have my Kumos that night but they had quite a few that that were perfect alternatives, as you can see from the photo above.

So the Oysters are great… now what about the pasta. We ordered two of the recommended dishes, the Lobster Gnocchi with sauteed lobster, leeks & homemade potato gnocchi in a lobster-tomato sauce, the Pappardelle Bolognese with homemade pappardelle with cream and parm cheese, and the house salad. All were delicious. We were sold on the words “homemade” for the pasta and the gnocchi. Our bartender let us know that while most lobster gnocchi tends to be mostly potato with a touch of lobster their dishes were filled with good chunks of lobster meat. He didn’t lie, it was delicious.

We were told that their chef originally trained and came from Sushi Den and Izakaya Den. This might explain the great focus and flavors of seafood that the menu focused on. It’s a rare combination of some pretty amazing italian pasta foods, and pizzas that we didn’t get a chance to try paired with a great feature of Oysters both raw and grilled. Quite frankly, either menu could stand on it’s own but teamed up it offers something for everyone.

And you will love the prices. Pastas are from $10 to $16 and oysters are fairly market priced to what I think is below some of our larger downtown oyster bars. Those pasta portions are not over the top huge which is perfect for me. I’d rather have a reasonable style portion that is affordable than a mountain of pasta I can’t finish. Unless I plan on running a marathon the next day.

Perhaps the chef retained some of the old seafood connections because everything tasted delicious and fresh. I was told they go through a LOT of oysters and have deliveries pretty much every day. That is good news for all you oyster eaters out there because volume means freshness and hopefully pricing that keeps this little gem of Alamo Placita affordable.

Some other items that were recommended but that we didn’t get a chance to try were the Balsamic Glazed Ribs appetizer, the Chile Relleno Ravioli, the Gorgonzola Steak Fettuccine, the Pollo Angelito, and the Suck My Kiss Pizza (chicken, bacon, balsamic bbq, and gorgonzola). YUM!

They had some great wines on tap, a full bar which they had to obtain by going out to the community to get permission to change from just wine, and a outdoor patio in back that they said was pretty cool with lights, trees, and smoke free. Oh, and they even have homemade limoncello which we tasted and it was a perfect digestive to end our meal.

Needless to say, we will be back. Next time we are going to bike there and try to burn off all the pasta calories we consumed.

Cheers to having a new Oyster Bar in our Denver Urban world.

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