Gattara, a new Italian restaurant and pizzeria with a whimsical cat theme, opened earlier this month inside the Warwick Hotel at 1776 Grant Street in Uptown.
Gattara replaces Randolph’s Restaurant and Bar, an elegant but staid American restaurant that the Warwick’s owner felt no longer matched the modern-meets-sixties-chic vibe the rest of the hotel took on following a recent renovation.
The warm and airy Gattara, however, boasts an interior heavy on bright walls, pop art, and big windows that feels right at home in the renovated hotel, which was once Denver’s Playboy Club. The most notable aspect of the decor, however, is the many artful details that depict or reference cats and lend a playful, quirky vibe to the space.
Those elements include the curious-looking cat painted by a muralist that appears to peer out from behind the bar, and the painted cat paws that adorn one wall in the restaurant’s lounge.
Although it may seem an odd choice to make a hip Italian restaurant into a monument to felines, Gattara’s staff says the theme is the result of the travels taken by the Warwick Hotel’s owner Richard Chiu. On a trip to Italy, Chiu became fascinated with the dead Italian word “gattara,” which roughly translates to “cat lady.”
Gattara also offers a massive patio that includes a lounge with a fireplace along with a mix of four-tops and couches. That patio also offers solid views of some of the downtown high-rises immediately west of the restaurant.
The dining room has another brick fireplace as well as a bar counter from which diners can watch the restaurant’s pizza makers baking Gattara’s Neapolitan pies in a large Italian stone oven. The menu’s six pizzas come covered with toppings like fennel, fontina, and elk pepperoni.
But while those pizzas are a must, diners should not ignore the pastas, which include a pappardelle topped with a short rib and a gnocchi topped with braised pork belly.
The bar, meanwhile, turns out a mix of classic and specialty cocktails with the latter each bearing cat-referencing names, including the Calico and the Sphynx.