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.
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.
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!
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.