It's finally here: Salt & Grinder, chef Frank Bonanno's newest venture in the Highland neighborhood will open its doors tomorrow. The Italian deli, located in the former Venue Bistro space at 3609 W. 32nd Avenue, is a casual sandwich shop that will eventually expand into a production facility for the salumi program that Bonanno developed at Luca d'Italia.
"Salt & Grinder is something that's been in my head for a while, ever since I moved to Denver to attend college, and on Thursday I get to bring a piece of my New Jersey boyhood to Denver," says Bonanno. "As someone who grew up in New Jersey, walking to the neighborhood deli was often part of my routine with friends or family. Simple, straightforward and always dependable – that was our deli. Not fancy, just a great sandwich."
The intimate space was transformed with able assistance from Bonanno Concepts partner and creative director Jacqueline Bonanno. She created a space that seems rooted in tradition by adding old antique library cases salvaged from an old school house. Vintage items as well restaurant essentials for retail – cookbooks, hand crank grinders, bar spoons, cocktail shakers and other unique finds fill the shelves of the book cases.
Salt & Grinder will open with both morning and afternoon sandwiches. "We'll serve everything from a classic pork roll in the morning—which we're calling The Philly—to my riff on an Italian, layered with the signature burrata I developed at Luca d'Italia, prosciutto, coppa, ham and arugula. Of course we'll serve a classic Italian, too, which we've coined The Tigs after my childhood buddy, but guests will definitely be in for some personal Bonanno touches as well."
The morning offerings include a burrito, the Italian (prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, arugula, and fried egg on a Kaiser roll), and the Marco (eggs, sausage, Elevation ketchup on a Kaiser roll), among others. Four salads are offered, including a classic Caesar and the quinoa with arugula, raisins, pickled red onions, and white balsamic vinaigrette. Afternoon sandwiches include a tuna and a chicken salad, the Dijon egg salad, a BLT with Ham, a sausage or meatball sub and a classic Reuben, among others. Guests can build their own sandwich and choose to add a side like coleslaw, orzo and arugula, and deviled egg potato salad.
Bonanno Concepts beverage director Adam Hodak will serve a variety of Colorado craft beers, wine and jarred cocktails.
For the first seven days, Salt & Grinder will operate from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The restaurant will host a grand opening celebration on Wednesday, June 18 at 11 a.m., gifting $50 gift cards for the restaurant to the first 100 guests through the door. After the grand opening, regular hours will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
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