Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Local Italian - Arvada

In terms of local "mom-and-pop" restaurants, Arvada, CO, has a wealth of Italian restaurants.

Mama Sannino's is an R and R favorite. Rita loves Mama's Roasted Italian Chicken. Rex thinks the lasagna is fantastic. Usually, both R and R request take-home boxes for half their orders -- too much to eat. The wine list is short; the house wines are a bargain -- the Merlot (or Chianti) one-half carafe is Rex's preference. Rita always requests Lambrusco. The restaurant is small and intimate; come early to avoid waiting.

Randi's is an Arvada West tradition. On a typical week-day evening, A-West and Ralston Valley graduates can usually recognize any number of acquaintances and friends from their school days, either serving, ordering, or eating. And, their parents often encounter fellow church-goers from St. Joan of Arc or Faith Bible or other nearby churches. The pizza is great, especially with the option of ordering half and half (like half-Hawaiian, half-Taco). R and R's son Andrew is partial to the calzone, while Rex often orders simple sides of thin-noodle spaghetti (actually more of a fetuccini) and link sausage (anything else is too-big-to-eat). Daughter Mary almost always requests a link sausage side no matter what else she orders. Rita likes the chicken special (with the tortellini alfredo). Andrew's wife Sarah is partial to the tortellini. Other son Matt varies between pizza and calzone. When toddler grandchildren are along, the three-quarter-circle booths are ideal -- plenty of distraction while being subtly "entrapped." The wine and beer specials during happy hour are a great deal. Randi's often provides 10%-off coupons in local mailers. (Hint: there are actually two sets of restrooms, off the main dining room and the back "party" room; if one is locked, try the other.)

To the north of Randi's, across 64th Avenue is a more upscale and newer restaurant, Cucina Roma Roma. While CRR provides a popular lunch buffet, the real attraction is dinner, often accompanied by live music. Rex loves the Mediterranean Style Pasta, with shrimp, mussels, and calamari. (Calamari always reminds Rex of Kirk Douglas -- remember the giant squid in Disney's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?) Watch for CRR's coupons in mailers various times during the year (based on past experience).

Newest to west Arvada is 3 Sons Italian. A northwest Denver tradition for many years, the transfer to Arvada was accompanied by lower prices. Each time R and R have patronized 3 Sons, waiting time was short, but virtually every table was occupied. With two dining areas, one of which flows into the bar, it is apparent that the restauranteers made a good decision by moving west. The menu is extensive, as is the wine list. For dinner, Rex is partial to the cioppino, with salmon, mussels, shrimp and clams (Is there a theme here? See CRR above). For lunch, Rita was impressed with the calzone (which she split with her friend) and arugula salad. 3 Sons is also providing occasional coupons via mailers and also to diners for their subsequent visit.

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