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Marcella’s Ristorante – a Taste of Tuscany mile-high in Denver, Colorado

Written By | Sep 7, 2018

House made pizzas from scratch are part of what makes Marcella’s such as popular local eatery @Ron Stern all rights reserved

Denver, Colorado: Marcella’s Ristorante, Pizzeria, and Wine Bar, which opened in Denver in September 2017, is another success for restaurateur Cameron Mitchell. Diners enjoy an authentic Taste of Tuscany with Italian, chef-driven cuisine in a cozy, relaxed atmosphere with sweeping views of Denver’s Lower Highlands (LoHi) skyline.

“Mama Marcella” as she is known was the inspiration for this Italian Restaurant Photo courtesy of Marcella’s.

The award-winning eatery originated in Columbus, Ohio and marks the third Marcella’s for Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, whose portfolio includes 32 restaurants in 12 states. The name Marcella or Mama Marcella, as she is known by the employees, pays homage to the original Marcella who owns a villa in Tuscany.

Her recipes and cooking techniques caught the attention of Mitchell and became the inspiration for this Italian restaurant.

A warm an inviting decor awaits in this Denver neighborhood @Ron Stern all rights reserved

Welcome to Marcella’s Ristorante, Denver

The décor is warm and inviting with molded ceilings, old-fashioned ceiling fans, wooden floors, and a huge selection of wines above the open kitchen.

The food is made from scratch in the kitchen and bar, and the various antipasti, hot and cold plates, pizzas, and pasta dishes are large enough to share. Glasses never seem to empty and the employees are genuinely friendly.

The strawberry balsamic is a colorful and tasty way to start your meal @Ron Stern all rights reseved

A Taste of Tuscany at Marcella’s Ristorante

After your server brings the warm, crusty bread, order one of their red, white, or sparkling wines or enjoy a signature cocktail like the strawberry balsamic. Made with Absolut Vodka,  lime juice, fresh strawberries, and balsamic with a float of lemon verbena foam ($11).

These veal and beef meatballs are a light, fluffy and tasty appetizer @Ron Stern all rights reserved

By far, the most popular appetizer is their braised veal meatballs ($11). These meatballs combine beef, veal, and ricotta and braised in fresh tomato juice. They are  are large (about the size of a softball) and incredibly light. With their cult-like following, you might not get past these delicacies.

Bring on the cheese

Pouring the honey over the cheese and dipping brings an amazing flavor sensation. @Ron Stern all rights reserved

The next most popular appetizer is their melted pecorino cheese ($13). This comes with honey to pour over the cheese and crostini for dipping—simply delicious.

The lasagna alla bolognese is one of the most popular and hearty entrees at Marcellas. @Ron Stern all rights reserved

Lasagne Alla Bolognese ala Marcella’s Ristorante

For your main entrée, Lasagne Alla Bolognese is slowly cooked with a sausage ragù and marinara ($19). This is a large dish and certainly enough for two. Pair it with one of their fine wines for a delicious meal.

Top off your meal with some delicious tiramisu or other house-made desserts. @Ron Stern all rights reserved

Save room for dessert because their traditional tiramisu, made with espresso ladyfingers and sweet mascarpone, is a local favorite. This is the perfect ending to your Italian meal. Toppin off your experience is the setting sun reflecting off the nearby LoHi skyline.

By creating this little Tuscan respite, Cameron Mitchell has carved out a niche that culinary aficionados have enthusiastically embraced. With time-tested cooking techniques, flavorful food, and excellent service, Marcella’s is on track to become another iconic Denver eatery.

This was a sponsored visit; however, all opinions herein are the authors.

Ron Stern

Ron Stern aka "The Global Gumshoe," I am a travel photojournalist and the author of hundreds of international and domestic travel articles. I am the Denver City Guide Editor for The Daily Meal, and a staff writer for Communities Digital News. My articles have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, San Diego Union-Tribune, Sun Sentinel, Yahoo News, MSN, and others. Magazines include Shape, Cruise, AAA Motorist, Visit Los Cabos Guide, Destinations West, Key Biscayne and La Jolla Today. My contributions have been noted by PBS, Mobil Travel Guides and my photography/ videography has been used extensively by entities such as tourism boards and public relations firms.