Quality Italian opened in Cherry Creek North this past spring to the delight of New Yorkers and steakhouse aficionados alike. Spearheaded by owner Michael Stillman, a counterpart to the NYC Italian-American concept debuted in Denver inside of the evolving Halycon Hotel. Executive Chef BJ Wojtowicz adds his own twist to dishes inspired by recipes from the original chefs/partners, Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli. But how are Denver diners reacting to the upscale new steakhouse?
For more of Eater Denver’s coverage about Quality Italian, check out “The Hottest New Brunch Spots in Denver” and “The Hottest Restaurants in Denver Right Now, July 2017.”
Old School Style and New World Glamour: Quality Italian pops up on various Zagat lists for its brunch-side Bellini cart service, and “Old World elements” in the otherwise posh decor. The outlet applauds Quality Italian for its updated take on the steakhouse aesthetic that incorporates pastoral flair, like the lighting fixtures comprised of butcher’s tools. In a space where “[u]rban glamor meets vintage Old World elements,” Zagat recommends diners order the uni-baked scampi, chicken Parmesan and corn crème brûlée. [Zagat]
Few Gimmicks that Deliver on Quality: The Denver team from The Infatuation favors Quality Italian’s consistent quality of service and food. Though the black-tie staff, table-side steak service and costly menu may cause some diners to scoff, the impressive pasta and meats will inspire “all concerns [to] fade away.” Quality Italian’s high-end options and service are ideal additions to a large dinner celebration in chic Cherry Creek North. Despite its high prices, the restaurant’s quality of service “is top notch, and very much worth your time and money.” [The Infatuation]
Customers (Mostly) Celebrate the Menu’s Range: On Open Table, diners embrace Quality Italian’s selection of American meats and Italian regional dishes. Collectively, the restaurant received an overall rating 4.5 stars; guests rated Quality Italian’s value the lowest at 3.9 stars. The beloved spot cultivates its growing fan base with the associated prestige of its New York sibling and personable service staff. Menu highlights include the Porterhouse steak, side of mushrooms, and Caesar salads. The lobster rigatoni both delighted and disappointed those that ordered the dish. However, even guests that weren’t satisfied with their culinary choices enjoyed the diverse selection of wine. One visitor gushed that Quality Italian is “ a worthy addition to the growing roster of Denver's best restaurants. Even if it[‘]s imported, it feels right at home.” [OpenTable]
Everyday Eats Treats Itself: The popular Fox31 Denver segment, “Everyday Eats,” visited Quality Italian a few months after it opened. The feature – backed by a soulful Ella Fitzgerald rendition – takes the audience through “one of the coolest dining rooms in the city” and an ideal meal of the Little Gem Caesar salad, sausage and pepper garlic toast, chicken Parmesan, salty pistachio ice cream and Italian cheesecake. The segment wraps with the recommendation that “if you’re a fan of quality food, family-style dining, and a taste of New York, Quality Italian should be at the top of your list.” [Fox31 KDVR]
Correction: An earlier version of the article listed Franz Hueber as the executive chef. Hueber left the Quality Italian team in March 2017.