Award-winning Denver chef Elise Wiggins will open Cattivella, wood-fired Italian on April 19. The first restaurant to open in the Eastbridge Town Center in Denver’s burgeoning Stapleton neighborhood where she lives. Cattivella translates to “naughty girl.”

“This is my ‘hood and I can’t wait to welcome my neighbors and friends into Cattivella,” says Wiggins. “This project is a dream come true for me.”

Located on the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Galena Street, Cattivella joins upcoming chef-driven restaurants from Troy Guard, Lon Symensma and the Kitchen Next Door in the Eastbridge project that abuts the long-awaited King Soopers, currently under construction.

Chef/Owner Wiggins brings decades of restaurant experience to Cattivella including a 12-year stint as Executive Chef of Panzano named Best Italian by Westword and winner of multiple awards for food and service from The Denver Post, 5280 magazine, The American Culinary Federation and The American Automobile Association.

Open every day for happy hour, dinner and brunch on the weekends, Elise’s many trips to the historic culinary centers of Italy inform the menu. Focaccia di Recco is a classic Ligurian preparation with prosciutto di parma, crescenza, rucola, 12 year old balsamic under an unleavened crust. Tuscany’s Fagioli di Fiasco showcase Italian food legend Marcella Hazan’s favorite beans cooked in the wood-fired oven in a flask. Cranked to 800 degrees during service, the Acunto Italian wood-fired oven will crisp a selection of pizzas, then cool down to 350 degrees overnight when the bread bakers create ciabatta and cook the flasks of fagioli. Dry aged Certified Angus steaks and cuts from whole hogs from Colorado will appear nightly on the wood-fired grill along with fresh seafood.

An exhibition kitchen is the star of the show and focus all attention on the Acunto wood-burning pizza oven, a wood-burning grill from Texas legends J&R Manufacturing and the graceful dance of the Cattivella cooks. Several lucky guests will sit overlooking the pastificio (pasta table) section of the chefs’ counter where all pastas are house made. Others might be seated with a view of the Butchers’ Corner where the Cattivella butchers will craft menu items from beef, pork, lamb and other whole animals. The surrounding chefs’ counter will seat 26 along with 74 additional interior seats and 100 seats on a wrap-around patio with stunning views of the mountains. The restaurant is surrounded by glass on 3 sides and sports a modern feel. The open kitchen will provide the perfect setting for the wildly successful cooking classes that Elise continues to offer.

The wine program lists over a dozen Italian wines by the glass. Big Bottle Mondays will showcase magnum and larger bottles of specially selected wines poured by the glass. A Coravin dispensing system will allow guests to purchase a taste of highly rated Brunellos, Barbarescos, Super Tuscans and others that might be too pricy to order by the bottle. Cattivella will be Denver’s first restaurant to serve the newest product from Galliano, their L’Aperitivo liqueur, which will appear in the “Show Me Your Spritz” cocktail. An all-local selection of craft beers are presented on draft, in cans and bottles.

Cattivella is located in the Eastbridge Town Center at 10195 East 29th Drive—the southwest corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Galena Street.

Industry News, NextGen Casual