Francesco Spatola's namesake restaurant received a mixed review from Westword's Gretchen Kurtz this week. More humble than the popular Italian restaurants dominating Denver's dining scene, Spatola maintains the balance between the two facets of Italian cooking - "the old guard and the new." In a menu consisting of "recognizable" dishes, Kurtz praises the Dolce Sicilia ciabatta - a bread, she claims, "should be appreciated, contemplated, consumed with the moment of silence that mozzarella di bufala, aged balsamic and prosciutto di Parma are awarded." While a lackluster front of the house service detracted from Kurtz's experience, she asserts that, with time and effort, "Spatola (the man) is what could make Spatola (the restaurant) a success."
Via Perla, a six month old Italian eatery in Boulder, got a favorable review from Clay Fong at The Daily Camera. Owned and operated by Joe and Peggy Romano, the minds behind The Med and Brassiere Ten Ten, Via Perla is housed in a "smart" and "bright and airy" space with an "amiable yet efficient" front of house staff. Fong notes various small dishes from the merenda menu, particularly the farinata and vegetable fritto misto plates. The flattering review ends with the assertion that Via Perla holds "a firm grasp" on the warmth and comfort of Italian fare with its "unfussy and, above all, satisfying" approach to food.