Chris Walsh (Business Reporter)
Rocky Mountain News Restaurant Review
- What: Moderately priced, order-at-the-counter Italian restaurant featuring pizza, pasta, sandwiches and salads . . . not to mention wine, beer and Italian liqueurs.
- How cheap is it? On par with what you’d pay at a typical pizza joint, but the food is much more upscale and it’s cheaper than most other Italian restaurants in town. Sandwiches – such as the Toscana panini with marinated chicken breast, asiago cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and pesto – cost about $7 to $8. Pasta dishes are in the same range, while 16-inch pizzas start at $13.
- Our deal: We started with an order of Sugo e Pane (garlic bread with meat sauce, $3.50), followed by the Salsiccia Parmigiana panini ($7.50) and the Cortonese pasta ($8). We skipped drinks, afraid it might push us over $25. After getting the bill, though, we calculated that we likely would’ve been able to order two sodas – or top off the pasta order with a meatball – and stay within budget.
- So how’s it taste?The Sugo e Pane features a piece of garlic bread smothered in Cortonese meat sauce and Parmesan cheese. The garlic bread was toasted perfectly, crisp on the edges yet softer – not soggy – in the center. The meat sauce was fantastic, with big chunks of beef and tomatoes.The Cortonese pasta dish boasted the same sauce and plenty of it. That’s a good thing. The portion was huge, and I felt full halfway through. But I kept shoveling in more – each time saying it would be my last bite – until the bowl was empty.
- Deals we wish we’d tried: Mici’s wheat-crust pizzas (starting at $6.50) receive rave reviews. It also offers a 16-inch pizza and a bottle of red or white wine for $25 – a killer deal considering it usually costs that much just for a bottle of wine. We also would’ve liked to try adding a homemade Italian meatball to the pasta dishes for an extra $1.50.
- Final damage: $20.54 including tax, plus a $2 tip (remember: it’s counter service, although the cashier delivers your order to the table). Total: $22.54. We could’ve ordered that meatball after all.