Here comes another reason you’re going to start spending more time in Stapleton.
Sometime in the coming months, Cattivella will open its doors at 10195 E. 29th Drive in the Eastbridge Town Center and join the growing dining scene in far northeast Denver. Under the leadership of executive chef Elise Wiggins, once named Colorado Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation, Cattivella will serve wood-fired Italian cuisine inspired by her biannual trips to Italy over the last two decades.
“What I wanted to do is bring back some really authentic dishes that you don’t really see here in Denver or in the States,” Wiggins said. “I wanted to provide a little niche of something you’re not really seeing.”
There’s no official opening date just yet, but it’s slated for this spring.
With help from executive sous chef Zurisadai Resendix, general manager Chad Hankins and bar manager Giovanni Frioramonte, Wiggins gave the press a taste of the menu at her Stapleton home (complete with backyard wood-burning oven). Take a look.
A twist on the Vesper martini made with Leopold vodka, Spring 44 Old Tom gin, Cocchi Americano and Cinzano dry vermouth.
Focaccia di recco
Made with prosciutto di Parma, crescenza, rucola and 12-year-old balsamic.
A little palette-cleansing cocktail.
Fennel, apple and celery salad
My notes on this salad, which also includes pine nuts, goat cheese, raisins and balsamic vinaigrette, are just a bunch of hearts. It’s very possibly the most refreshing salad I’ve ever eaten.
Agnolotti dal plin
Wiggins said this dish is traditionally made with scraps, essentially: “Anything that’s left over, they put inside here.” This one is traditional Piedmontese stuffed pasta made with rabbit, veal, pork, demi, raisins and pinenuts.
Made with pork meatballs, cheese tortellini, bolognese, bechamel, parmigiano and a savory pie crust.
This dish dates back to the 15th century, when it was mostly only eaten by royalty. It takes a lot of work to make and the a hint of cinnamon in the ragu made it a luxury in that time.
Fire roasted mushrooms
Served with creamy polenta, taleggio and herbs, and if I ate more than a couple bites of this I’d need a five-hour nap.
Grilled certified Angus beef ribeye
That’s salsa verde on the side.
Work on the restaurant itself is still in progress. It will seat 26 at a chef’s counter, 13 at the bar, 54 in the main dining room and 100 on the patio. An exhibition kitchen with a wood-burning pizza oven and grill will be at the heart of space and some seats will overlook the pastificio (pasta table) section of the chef’s counter or the butcher’s counter. The wrap-round patio will have mountain views.
Hours will be 4 to 9 p.m. Monday, 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. Happy hour will be 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 2-6 p.m. Saturday and 2-6 p.m. Sunday.