In the evolution of LoHi's Spuntino another chapter is written: The neighborhood eatery is now under the ownership of husband-and-wife team Elliot Strathmann and Cindhura Reddy. The Italian restaurant got its start as a gelato shop and eatery following Red Trolley Ice Cream in its location at 2639 West 32nd Avenue. It transitioned to a casual and carefully crafted restaurant under the direction of James Beard-nominated pastry chef Yasmin Lozada-Hissom and her husband, chef John Broening. But at the beginning of September, the reins were turned over to Strathmann and Reddy.
The two have been with Spuntino for a year and for six months, respectively. When Lozada-Hissom decided to focus on other projects, the front-of-the-house Strathmann and chef Reddy were a natural choice for the transition. And they were eager to own their own place too. "Spuntino has become a beloved neighborhood restaurant with a strong following and Cindhu and Elliot have already put their stamp on the place and are more than ready for the challenge of owning a restaurant," Lozada-Hissom says.
The first-time restaurant owners met in college, then contemplated law school, but ultimately moved to Philadelphia, where Strathmann pursued a career in finance and Reddy attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia's culinary school. After Strathmann decided to leave finance he began bartending at Morimoto, while Reddy worked her way through kitchens like Zahav.
Following their wedding, they went on a ninth-month backpacking honeymoon through 23 countries, including Italy. There, they spent time in Abruzzo and Tuscany, even working on a farm, an experience that deeply influences their philosophy at Spuntino. With Reddy's family having relocated to Denver, the couple moved here a year ago, with Strathmann landing a position at Spuntino just days later, and Reddy starting at Tables in Park Hill. In March, she was offered Spuntino's chef de cuisine position and came on board. For Strathmann's part, he became general manager, overseeing the front of house and collaborating on the expanded bar program with Jason Randall, a longtime Spuntino staffer.
With Strathmann and Reddy now fully in charge, don't expect big changes, as they've been able to slowly grow into their roles over the last six months. The focus will remain on Italian-inspired cuisine, while digging deeper into the country's culture and regionality. Reddy has added another house-made pasta option, and is also looking to explore more with charcuterie. There is also a cheese, fish, and pasta of the day, as well as a vegetable plate with of-the-moment offerings.
The desserts and cocktails are also taking seasonal cues, with the beloved pear tart back on the fall menu. A house-made digestif program was started in the spring with limoncello, and herbal-infused Amaro will be changed and bottled seasonally. Strathmann has also experimented with saffron liqueur traditionally from Abruzzo, and barrel-aged moonshine. The wine list has evolved since its meager pre-full liquor license beginnings to a precise and creative list offering mainly Italian varietals at approachable prices.
Spuntino is open for lunch Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.