For a meal that won’t disappoint, head to Il Bistro Italiano at the corner of Fourth and Main streets. Il Bistro has been around long enough to be considered one of the cornerstones of fine dining in the Grand Valley. Owners Brunella Gualerzi and Ron Hall continually update the menu and service to keep the restaurant fresh and invigorated.
One of Il Bistro’s most appealing features is that the owners are not concerned with putting together a menu of Italian Restaurant Greatest Hits. Instead Gualerzi serves original creations, what she likes and, above all, the regionally unique food she grew up with. Autumn and winter bring out the best in her food. As the weather cools, more and more dishes find their way onto the menu that are creamy, homey and ultimately satisfying.
Try something new and dine entirely from the small plate section of the menu. Choose from small dishes, salads and pizzas that can serve as an appetizer or be shared by the table.
Or sample some prized favorites:
Rotolo di Zucca, a fall-inspired dish of homemade pasta with butternut and parmesan filling, baked and served with a gruyere cheese sauce.
Ossobuco di Bisonte, a Colorado spin on traditional Italian. Colorado bison is braised with tomatoes and white wine and served with saffron risotto.
Pasta Fritters are one of Mama’s (Brunella’s mother) specialties (whenever she is in town, she makes them for the staff), the fritters are served in a basket, golden-brown with crisp frizzles of spaghetti extending out in all directions. When bitten into, they’re pillowy soft, a little sweet and a little salty from the occasional capers flecked throughout the dough. The lemony honey mustard sauce that accompanies the fritters makes them something of a delicious fried version of picatta.
The wine menu at Il Bistro is built very much like the food menu: an ever-changing offering, mostly Italian, often unique, with local products prominently featured.
Around once a month, Il Bistro offers their popular Wine Night when nearly all of the wines on their menu are available for half-price.