Change has come to chef/owner Iain Chisholm's Italian spot in RiNo, which was formerly known as Amerigo Delicatus Restaurant & Market, but is now going forward as Americatus New-World Italian.
Nearly two and a half years in, Chisholm says the switch was prompted by both a desire to refocus the concept, as well as a trademark issue with a company in Tennessee that uses the name Amerigo. Rather than engage in an expensive legal battle, he chose to take the opportunity for the changes at one time.
Most notably, Chisholm has done away with the market side, explaining that it wasn't a big revenue generator. Instead, a food cart is about to launch for the house-made sausages. More like a mobile restaurant than a standard cart, it's built on a trailer with a deck and 20 seats that can be towed around to private events, places like Mile High Distillery and Stem Ciders, as well as the Civic Center Eats weekly food truck gathering during the summer. There are also plans to bring those sausages to the retail sector soon.
As for the restaurant's menu, everything is still made fresh in house every day, and lunch will continue to center on deli-style service and catering. At night, Chisholm isn't changing the menu every week like before—instead opting for every month and a half or so—but is offering specials every night. He also expanded the lineup by carrying over some of the daytime sandwiches to the dinner menu.
"We've been constantly evolving since day 1," Chisholm says. "The neighborhood has totally changed since we opened, and I was finding a lot of people just want a quick beer and a sandwich, and then they're on to something else in the neighborhood like a bar down the street."
The large selection of antipasti items has been cut down, with some being put together for composed small plates. And while pastas tended to rotate on and off, certain staples like gnocchi and risotto are staying put. Other items like gluten-free pasta, traditional carbonara, and even roast chicken are now part of the mix.
With the new menu fully in effect as of today, as well as new signage going up, the transition is mostly complete. The name will still need to be changed in a few other places, such as its private label wine, but Chisholm expects everything to be completed by mid-month.