Osteria Marco – An Italian Staple within the LoDo Community

Not sure if it’s the cozy ambience accompanied with the hardwood floors, or the simply-dressed tables sporadically placed within wine-bottled lined walls, but Osteria Marco was the perfect place to check out before seeing Tuba Christmas today; the restaurant provided the perfect setting to get us all into the spirit.

Friends had made reservations a week prior for brunch at Osteria Marco, a quaint, Italian-inspired restaurant situated on 15th and Larimer in downtown Denver. We parked near Larimer & 17th, taking a brisk, sunny walk down to the restaurant.

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Dining at Osteria Marco before Tuba Christmas. Click on the pic to be brought to their website. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013.

We were greeted by friendly, knowledgable staff as we settled in and removed our layered clothing. Our server patiently waited to take our drink orders, suggesting a few of their specialty cocktails. Each drink has its touch of Italian flair, which made it difficult to choose!

The good old classic Bloody Mary decided on was impressive; spicy, hearty, and seemingly not easily recreated. It is evident that even the most basic of cocktail classics,  Osteria Marco goes above and beyond to deliver for their customers.

They cure many meats in house, as well as make a variety of cheeses. After hearing this, of course we had to order the Chefs’ Assortment of both.

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House-made cheeses and cured meats at Osteria Marco. Click the pic to check out their menu online. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

The menu has a variety of Italian-inspired appetizers, small plates, pizzas, paninis, and beyond. It took the table a while to read through all of the delicious-sounding options. Steven and I opted for their paninis, even though Osteria Marco is well known for their pizzas. With so many reviews raving about their pizzas, we will definitely have to visit again to try them out. Or, take advantage of their take out option!

Pictured below is the Italian Dip, a tasty twist on a classic favorite; the juicy beef is paired with sautéed-style onions and peppers, smothered in melted provolone, all atop of a crispy bread. The au jus was light and served perfectly tempered alongside a heaping pile of slightly salted and dressed arugula salad. The portion size was perfect; actually, the panini was so hearty that I was unable to finish it all! Luckily, my friends were able to help finish it off – I would’ve felt terrible if such a fantastic experience was left on the table. No panini left behind!

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The Italian Dip, a hearty and simple twist on an old favorite. Click on the pic to check out their full menu. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Dec 2013

Osteria Marco puts on the Italian charm without being forceful; while the wine list boasts nearly one-hundred solely Italian wines, the prices steer clear of pretentious, producing a more casual, fine-dining experience. Definitely aimed at the social eater, the menu is one that you can play Russian Roulette with – close your eyes and point; whatever you land on will be delightfully satisfying. Definitely a restaurant we will be visiting again, as we’re excited to continue to check out the items that make Osteria Marco a staple in the LoDo community.

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Pho Dong Huong – Great Food that WON’T Break the Bank

On a whim a few weeks ago, my friend Norma and I tried out Pho Dong Huong in Arvada for lunch. Becoming a trend to seek out fantastic Asian food, we figured we would try out this new place that Norma drives past often.

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Situated at 9050 W 58th Ave, Arvada, CO 80002, Pho Dong Huong is fairly easy to find. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Nov 2013

Nice and easy to find, Pho Dong Huong is situated right in Arvada, Colorado, complete with plenty of free parking. Inside, the atmosphere is warm and welcoming, with a friendly waitstaff and large windows allowing plenty of sunlight. The menu is impressive, listing numerous options for appetizers, lunches, mains, and more.

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Crab Rangoons at Pho Dong Huong in Arvada – one of the many appetizers listed on their menu.Kirsten Ebey, Nov 2013

Norma and I settled on the Crab Rangoons and Shrimp Spring Rolls for our appetizers.

Each came with their own sauce, and were appropriately proportioned. Get this –

not only were both apps delicious, they each cost less than $5 bucks. What?

Yeah, I know – unheard of.

Trust me – it gets better. 

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Vermicelli Noodle Bowls at Pho Dong Huong. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Nov 2013. Click on the picture to be routed to their menu.

While there are a plethora of noodle bowls to choose from (as well as other dishes), we both had our hearts set on the Vermicelli Noodle Bowls. With a choice of beef, pork, chicken, shrimp and combination, it was really tough to choose. As pictured above, the beef was excellent and the mini eggs rolls added on top were such a cool bonus! The bowls were giant, and rang up under $8 each. Incredible. They were the type of meals you come across that even though your stomach absolutely cannot hold anything additional, you keep eating because the ingredients and flavors are so delicious. How is this possible under $10 per dish? Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. You’ll just have to try it out yourself.

Pho Dong Huong is seriously a hidden gem that you must check out for some legit Chinese food. Also, as described, the prices are amazing, so you won’t break the bank visiting! Check it out and let us know what you think.

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