29 September 2010

Denver, CO: Osteria Marco

O-ster-i-a: A humble restaurant where friends gather to enjoy their wine with food.

They couldn't be more right.

Before heading to our first session of the Great American Beer Festival, our group headed downtown Denver for some good eats at Osteria Marco. As we approached, I noticed a pig on their logo. This could only mean one thing. Meat. Lots of pig meat. Yum!

They had a decent amount of seating outside, although we had reservations for a table inside and downstairs. It was dimly lit and very cute. Perfect for a date night or dinner with some friends. It was classy and romantic and still remained casual.

They had an interesting cocktail menu with lots of house-infused spirits & mixers. Although I don’t remember what everyone ordered, my Vodka with homemade raspberry tonic was unique and very good. The tonic was much smoother, without that tang – or however you would describe it.
The prices were great, especially considering they make their own drinks, cheeses, and meats. Our waitress Rachael (I only remember this because my sister Rachael remarked on how they spell their names the same), was fabulous, being very patient with us and understanding when we asked to switch tables (the small chairs were not as comfortable as we would have preferred. She was also very knowledgeable and helpful. Friendly without overdoing it, how it should be.
After pondering for too long over the menus, we each decided it would be best to share a couple of pizzas, meats and cheese platters. I also threw in some extra grilled ciabatta bread (surprise surprise) with pesto, and a steak.
Ciabatta & Pesto

First off, the meats and cheeses -Superb!!! With a chefs’ assortment of each platter, it was some of the better cured meats and soft cheeses I’ve had in a long time. I’m going to try and remember what each of them were. If you consumed this delicious meal with me and remember it differently, please let me know. The meats were: Sopressata (by far my favorite!), house made salumi, prosciutto, and something else. I also cannot remember what was in the middle, some sort of spicy fried goodness, that’s for sure. I know some of the cheese were a mozzarella, burrata (a table favorite), and ricotta. At $16 and $14 a plate respectively, they were perfect.

The Meats
The Cheeses
As a table we shared the following pizzas: Wild mushroom & robiola with truffle oil ($11). I think this may have been the crowd favorite. It was definitely mine.
Carne, including sausage, meatball, pepperoni & ricotta. ($13) A second favorite, it was very good, but I cannot think of anything specific that stood out about it. It was meaty.
Fig & crispy prosciutto, a fig puree with pecorino, goat cheese, and fontina. ($13) This was loved by a few members of our table. Me, not so much. I ate a slice of course (as if I would turn it down), and I think I just might not have been in the mood for something so sweet. It was tasty, but with the taste of mushrooms and truffle oil…figs were not what my taste buds were craving.
Fig & Prosciutto
Oh…it didn’t hurt that I poured house made chili oil all over my pizza. Didn’t hurt one bit!
Although I ordered the steak, we didn’t really need it, but I was interest to try something else. It was tasty and cooked to perfection. It may have sat out a little too long waiting for our pizzas, but it was delicious none the less. It was a grilled flat iron steak in a porcini crema, with crispy fingerling potatoes and mushroom vinaigrette. ($21) I would like this for dinner tonight.
More meat!
So with drinks all around, and all of these selections, our total, including tip, came out to $30 per person. I’m not sure of the last time I got a meal that tasted so wonderful for that price. I highly recommend.

Next time, I’m going on a Sunday night for their ‘slow roasted suckling pig’ special.

Oink, Oink.

Osteria Marco - 1453 Larimer Street, Denver, Colorado 80202

Approximately $150, 6 hungry mouths

5(or 6) - Cocktails
1 - Grilled Ciabattta & Pesto
3 - Fancy Dancy Pizzas
1 - Flat Iron Steak
1 - Meat Platter
1 - Cheese Platter

Food: 8.5
Atmosphere: 8
Presentation: 8


  1. Holy moly Kacey....can you feel my jealousy coming through across the internet?!?

    Your pictures and descriptions have me drooling on my keyboard at work! What a great experience!!!

  2. Oh, this meal was SOOO Good! I have been having dreams about the Sopresetta, salumi, burrata, and ricotta ever since. Mama Mia!

  3. Lauren - I think I was drooling as I was typing that up...mmm...meat & cheese!

    Shannon - Do your dreams involve rolling around naked in cured meats and soft cheese? Cause mine do.

  4. That other cured meat looks like bresaola perhaps. Ring a bell? Now I am craving pizza. Bad.

  5. Hmm...I honestly cannot remember. Maybe one of my dining partners will read this and remember. Thanks for the suggestion.

    P.S. I want pizza like this again...soon!