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Golden Is Getting a New Destination for Hearty Pastas and Old-Fashioned Italian Elegance

Bella Colibri will also serve meat dishes and seafood

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Although Downtown Golden may be known more for rustic western charm than Italian style, it’s about to get a big dose of the latter in the form of an elegant and intimate new Italian restaurant.

Golden restaurateurs Aimee and Dean Valdez are preparing to open Bella Colibri inside the historic brick building at 812 12th Street that once served as the Centennial State’s territorial capitol before Colorado became a state.

That building, which was built in 1863, also houses the Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse, the iconic Golden restaurant and bar that the Aimee and Dean purchased and reinvented in 2017. Located in another building on the same block is the Miner’s Saloon, a Gold Rush-inspired saloon the couple opened in 2016.

Though located in the same building as the Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse, Bella Colibri will be much smaller and more intimate with an entrance on 12th Street rather than on Washington Avenue (where the Old Capitol Grill & Smokehouse’s entrance is located).

The restaurant’s menu will feature several pastas, including a carbonara made with pork belly and a clam spaghetti. There will also be a New York strip, a roasted half rack of lamb, a delicious-sounding seafood stew and several other meat and fish dishes.

A selection of antipasto that will include meatballs and carpaccio and desserts such as panna cotta and, of course, cannolis will round out the menu. The bar will serve wines from Italy and California as well as a mix of Italian and Colorado beers and twists on classic Italian cocktails.

The cozy 40-seat dining room features brick walls and white table cloths and aims to evoke both Colorado and the Italian countryside. To that end, the space will contain what the press release, in an interesting bit of phrasing, refers to as several paintings that depict Colorado landscapes with “a Tuscan feel.” There will also be seating at a chef’s counter that will offer a view of meals being prepared.

According to a press release, Bella Colibri’s name is Italian for “beautiful hummingbird” and was chosen because the arrival of hummingbirds herald the coming of summer in Colorado (an experience many locals are already once again longing for).

Bella Colibri is slated to open on Saturday, November 1, and will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 9:30 p.m.

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