When I want to go out for a nice Italian meal, my thoughts often turn to wine. Wine is the natural companion to Italian cuisine, and I enjoy an occasional glass of it with a good pasta dish. But, as a beer lover, I would like the option of having a few craft beers from which to choose at an Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, that is pretty rare. So I was delighted to find that Gaetano’s has just what I’ve been looking for.
Gaetano’s, 3760 Tejon St., has been a thriving Denver business for many decades. Eugene, Clyde and Clarence Smaldone first opened the restaurant in 1947 and also used the space to conduct “family business.” In 2012 they underwent renovations, adding black and white murals as a reminder of its past, for one. And the place looks fantastic. Nice, comfortable booths fill the dining area, and friendly staff are there for you every step of the way–from being greeted at the door, to the bartenders, servers, and management.
On my recent visit I had mead from Wynkoop Brewing Company. It had been quite some time since I’d last had mead, so it was a nice surprise to find it here. It was infused with juniper, heather, and wormwood and aged in whiskey barrels. It was delicious! They also offer other Colorado beers on tap from breweries such as Breckenridge, Ska, and Avery. It was great being able to choose a craft beer at an Italian restaurant. It is a treat to be able to eat and drink local at the same time. But don’t get me wrong; they also have an impressive wine list, so if you want wine from Italy, you’ve got it! Or if you’d prefer local wine, try a red or white from Infinite Monkey Theorem, also on tap and made right here in Denver.
At Gaetano’s you’ll find all the classics: lasagna, chicken or veal parmigiana, Alfredo and more, plus plenty of other unique dishes to try. And if you’re not sure what type of beverage would pair best with your meal, the knowledgeable staff is more than happy to provide you with an excellent suggestion.
Their happy hour runs weekdays from 4-6, offering $1 off Breckenridge and Wynkoop beers and wine from Infinite Monkey Theorem, plus a few other specials. Whether you want authentic Italian fare or just to stop in for a happy hour drink, Gaetano’s is a neat, interesting place to experience!