A heavy “Hot” sign continues to hang above the kitchen, as the eatery at 1691 Central Street has transitioned from Central Bistro & Bar to the newly opened Candela Latin Kitchen; meanwhile, an Italian flag waves from atop the former Fourteen Seventy Two space on Old South Pearl Street, newly replaced by Palizo Italian. Both restaurants opened last week, August 4th and 3rd, respectively.
Candela, still operated by Central’s Isiah Salazar and Jesse Vega, maintains much of the same decor as its predecessor, though Caribbean flair and colors have been added as well as Mexican board games artistically affixed to the walls above the new wooden floors.
The eatery will introduce Denver diners to Puerto Rican, Peruvian, Mexican and Cuban cuisines, careful not to call itself a Mexican restaurant, despite an assortment of taco varieties available. Vega, who grew up in a Puerto Rican household in New York aims to share cultural diversity on a menu that is approachable and affordable. Highlights include the shrimp ceviche with coconut milk “leche de tigre” marinade and a noticeable kick of habanero. Pastelon layers strips of sweet plantain between alternating fillings of mozzarella and beef piccadilly, while visitors can indulge in the a dozen oysters for $20, empanadas with a variety of flavor combinations or a heaping plateful of yucca fries.
Across town, the quaint, yet buzzing Old South Pearl Street saw the addition of Palizo Italiano last Thursday, a venture from restaurateur-chef Patrick Mangold White. This is his fourth area restaurant, including Yardbird, Kaos Pizzeria and Uno Mas Taqueria y Cantina. The eatery, located at 1472 South Pearl, underwent construction on the interior before reopening. Featuring cuisine from northern Italy, the menu includes house-rolled pastas, antipasti, seafood, truffle risotto, pappardelle bolognese and a 48-ounce rib eye.
Try this classic northern Italian food alongside a boutique wine list seven days a week, 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and until 10 p.m. on weekend evenings.
Candela will be open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to midnight, with brunch to be added in the coming weeks.