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Food shows may love Denver, but what do the 15 minutes of fame actually mean for the restaurants?

Getting that first phone call or email from a television producer is just the beginning of the transformation a restaurant can take by appearing on the small screen.

After receiving a detailed email about the blow-by-blow of filming, the eatery will have to close for a few days to accommodate the process. Film crews then invade the space with people, boom mics and cameras before shooting take upon take. The result though, is priceless for so many restaurants — especially those without a hefty marketing budget. Most places see a noticeable increase in foot traffic when a show airs, and even for years after in reruns.

According to tvfoodmaps.com, 123 Colorado restaurants have appeared on shows like Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives,” Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations,” Andrew Zimmern’s “Bizarre Foods,” Travel Channel’s “Food Paradise,” Sundance’s “Ludo Bites America,” and the Cooking Channel’s “Vinny and Ma Eat America.”

Area chefs have been competitors on both “Chopped” and “Top Chef,”and the current season of the latter was filmed across Colorado, featuring competing chefs Carrie Baird (Bar Dough) and Brother Luck (Four), as well as Denver culinary darlings Alex Seidel, Troy Guard, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Keegan Gerhard and Hosea Rosenberg among the guest judges.

Many Mile High locales that have made their screen debuts are those that residents already frequent, like speakeasy Williams & Grahamand eateries Steuben’sVestaColt & GrayParisi and Comida. Some are beloved old-school favorites, like The FortBeau Jo’sCherry CricketChubby’s and the Buckhorn Exchange. Each has appeared at least one program; some have appeared on several.

And while it’s always a thrill to see one of your hometown haunts featured on national television, how does an appearance on national television really affect business?

Guy Fieri has been quoted as saying that being on his show would augment traffic “like 200 percent.” The actual number is probably closer to a 20 percent bump every time a show airs or re-airs, but “Diners” does have some 675,000 viewers for each 20-minute segment.

So does something special happen after Fieri pulls up in his red ’67 convertible Camaro?

“Without a doubt,” said Colorado’s doyenne of soul food, Priscilla Smith, when asked if she has noticed an increase in business after appearing on Triple D in 2013. “Every time we do a show (she also has appeared on several local news outlets and in a PBS documentary), there’s an instant reaction; sometimes within the same day or the next day.”

In fact, part of the decision to move her restaurant, Cora Faye’s, from its longtime Denver location to Aurora was for more spacious digs. Smith was pressed to accommodate the sheer number of guests eager for her tasty soul food; tour buses full of people would show up without advance warning. The lack of space in the previous location left hungry diners frustrated, given the show’s popularity.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Some people have logs of which restaurants on ‘Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives’  they’ve been to; some only want to order what Guy Fieri ate; some want a photo taken with the chef; or they only eat where he eats. They come from all over. We even had a guy here from Ireland!”

For some chefs calling Denver home, a TV appearance is another building block in their career. Shahin Afsharian-Campuzano, chef/partner at Stapleton’s Salati Italian Street Food, began his globetrotting career cooking with culinary celeb Joel Robuchon in Italy and Monte Carlo (where he earned a coveted Michelin star) before moving to St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and then to Denver as Salati’s founding chef.

Afsharian-Campuzano appeared in 2016 on “Chopped,” where he beat out other contestants, advancing to the final round of the episode. Appearing on the show, he said, opened the door to even more opportunities.

“I was immediately approached by Elway’s at the Ritz-Carlton to do consulting work,” he said, “and TC Clark, Salati’s founder, invited me to be a partner in the restaurant, so now I’m part owner.”

Though Salati had already found a niche in the Stapleton neighborhood as one of the few family-owned restaurants in the area, its regulars were excited about the chef’s TV debut.

“We had a viewing party, of course, and our followers came in and wanted photos and everything,” the chef says. Today, their following remains as strong as ever, drawn to the eatery offering from-scratch, gourmet Italian dishes at affordable prices — and the publicity from being featured on a TV program never hurts.

For Pittinger of Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs, who first appeared on Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” in 2010, the resulting kudos were just the beginning.

“We were kind of a phenomenon in the food cart business, we were doing something unique and interesting. Exciting street food at that time was just starting in Denver,” he says.

Pittinger had been running his creative hot dog cart on the 16th Street Mall for about five years, garnering praise from several local outlets, when he was approached by the show.

“Oh, my God, how exciting that was!” he said.

Bourdain’s episode aired the day Pittinger signed the lease on his Ballpark neighborhood’s brick-and- mortar location, which now employs 20 people. He’s since appeared on “Bizarre Foods” (Zimmern ate the ubiquitous Elk and Jalapeño Cheddar Brat with cream cheese and caramelized onions) and its sister show, “Delicious Destinations,” as well as “Vinny and Ma Eat America” (featuring “Jersey Shore” star Vinny Guadagnino and his mother) and “Ludo Bites America.” Pittinger also received write-ups in publications like The New York Times, Esquire, Maxim and The Wall Street Journal.

Pittinger notes that his dogs were popular already, but there was an uptick in business each time a show debuted or re-aired. “With the amount of shows out there, we didn’t notice a giant flush of business from being on TV,” he said. “But people will mention that they saw us on a show, and little by little, those planted seeds grow your business.”

At El Chingon, Chef David Lopez said, “We’ve had a great response from all our television appearances. When our guests walk in and say they saw us on TV … we know the shows absolutely had a positive impact on how the public has perceived us. It kind of puts you on a little higher level in peoples’ eyes.”

El Chingon has been featured on various programs — on CNN for a segment on family-owned businesses, and on several live episodes locally on 9 News with anchor Belen de Leon, who champions area Latin businesses. Most recently, in 2017, El Chingon was featured on “Vinny and Ma Eat America.”

Being given the exposure, Lopez said, was worth the inconvenience of production. “The restaurant has to close for a number of days for filming,” Lopez said, “but it allowed us to showcase our craft to a whole new audience.”

Though the development of his new project, Cultura, was already underway (and it’s considered one of this year’s most anticipated openings), Lopez agreed that the appearances have been a boon to business. “It’s generated interest in what we do, for potential future sites, and has given us additional exposure.”

For some restaurants, appearing on a show has ensured their success.

“When we opened our doors, we were young, we were really small, and we didn’t have extra money for marketing,” said Ben Jacobs, owner of Tocabe. When they were selected for “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives,” “It was like winning the lottery,” he said. “Business exploded, it was huge. It put us on the map, not just locally, but nationally, too.”

Tocabe opened its doors in late 2008 with just 11 employees, but when the show aired in 2011, they had to double that number. Jacobs estimates the show has run at least 100 times, and seven years later, the restaurant is still getting guests who mention that they saw the clip on TV.

“It’s amazing the following Fieri has,” said Jacobs. “People like him, he’s relatable. They come in and want to know what he was like and want to take a photo with the stencil on the wall.”

Jacobs has taken to visiting restaurants from “Diners” on his own travels. “It’s created this cool little community across the country, he said. “I’ve made multiple friends — restaurateurs who have been on the show, too.”

What does the future hold for Denver’s restaurants with regards to upcoming television spots?

Savvy spots are hosting viewing parties for their debuts with themed dishes created by the chefs on the show. LoDo’s Bavarian-style beer hall, Rhein Haus, now features a special, the “Top Chef Wurst,” in honor of the Jan. 11 episode. In the show, the collaboration between “Top Chef” contestant Brother Luck and Rhein Haus’ own Pete Fjonse featured house-made cheddarwurst topped with bacon jam, dill pickles, sour cream and a fried egg, and will be available through the show’s final episode in mid-March.

Today, there’s no doubt that the future of Denver is fit for foodies.

 

Salati Italian Street Food Celebrates – In Good Taste Denver

November 8th, 2017

As they celebrate their second anniversary, Salati Italian Street Food, in the Stapleton neighborhood, is unveiling their fall menu. Salati is one of those little treasures of a restaurant found in unlikely places. Nestled in and among boutiques, big box stores, a comedy club and a movie theater in the Shops at Northfield off of I-70 and Quebec, the restaurant stands out for the surprises it offers.

Salati was one of the early locally- and independently-owned restaurants to go into the Stapleton neighborhood, once the site of Denver’s airport. It is now joined by other restaurants throughout Stapleton owned by well-known local chefs including Troy Guard and Lon Symensma. Holding court on the north side of I-70, Salati’s most unexpected surprise is that the Italian-Mexican-Persian Executive Chef and part-owner, Shahin Afsharian-Campuzano, is a Michelin-star chef (earned while working in Monte Carlo), and was a finalist on Food Network’s Chopped last fall. Having worked all over the world, Chef Shahin was happy to make his home in Colorado with his wife and to have full creativity over a menu he could be fully invested in with Salati.

The look of the restaurant is another surprise, starting with the curved, vaulted ceiling meant to be reminiscent of the inside a wine barrel. The wood and stone bar area is modelled after neighborhood restaurants in Italy the owners visited – the kind of comfortable places locals go to and languish over meals prepared by chefs they know well. With an extensive wine selection, attentive service and the warm, open-arms attitude of Chef Shahin, Salati has that feeling of a neighborhood restaurant down some lane in Italy – that just happens to be in an outdoor mall in Denver.

Chef Shahin has crafted the new fall menu to include some old favorites that the regulars demand as well as new dishes. Barbajuan Fried Ravioli with Italian sausage, spinach, basil, risotto, cheese blend and roasted garlic alfredo is one of the most popular dishes on the “Street Food” shareables menu, so-named because Italian food vendors sell this and other items that are convenient to eat while strolling. The Piadina Flatbread Sandwiches are another item that will never leave the menu, being one of the cornerstones of Salati. The Basilicata Piadina, for instance, combines grilled lemon-rosemary chicken, red onion, tomato, cucumber, creamy pesto sauce, pancetta and cheese, wrapped in a house-made flatbread and grilled.

New dishes include the shareable Pepe Scallops & Orzo (three jumbo scallops with a black pepper-parmesan crust, creamy basil pesto orzo and a tomato reduction); Risotto & Shrimp, a gluten-free option with sautéed garlic tiger shrimp, pesto risotto, green peas, zucchini and squash noodles and a roasted red pepper crema; and the Porchetta Carbonara Tortelliniwhich uses a medallion of Salati’s signature 36-hour pork porchetta as its base, topped with fresh pasta ricotta tortellini, pancetta, red onions, green peas, roasted garlic cream sauce and an egg yolk. It’s a stacked take on pasta carbonara.

Thankfully, the housemade Tiramisu (the best we’ve had, anywhere, hands down) isn’t going anywhere, nor are the Piccolo Cannolis. One of my favorite dishes from the weekend brunch menu makes an appearance for dessert – the Blueberry Zeppoles, little dough fritters Chef Shahin’s mother made for him growing up. There’s also a Chocolate Bomb and Limoncello-Mascarpone Cake and more.

In addition to weekend brunch, running 11am-3pm with a wide variety of options, Salati also serves lunch during the week from 11am-4pm. With a pared down menu, the Salati Express Lunch takes on a more casual format. Guests walk down the line, along Salati’s open kitchen and order Piadina Flatbread sandwiches, salads, pasta or soup, interacting with the kitchen staff creating their option. By the time, the guest reaches the end of the line to pay, their order is ready to go.

Salati is a great place for a quick bite, to linger over a meal, to take a group or to organize a big gathering (they also do catering). As another added bonus, there ‘s plenty of free parking in the lots around Northfield. Follow their Facebook pagefor news their bi-weekly wine tasting seminars and of themed dinners.

Salati Italian Street Food is located in the Shops at Northfield, off of I-70 (take either the Quebec or Central Park Blvd. exits) at 8270 Northfield Blvd., Denver.

 

Dining Out – Denver & Boulder

Elevated Italian Eats at Salati Italian Street Food

Executive Chef Shahin Afsharian-Campuzano has revamped this fast-casual restaurant into a must-try in Northfield

Stapleton is undergoing a restaurant revival. With the introduction of wood-fired Italian cuisine at Cattivella, contemporary American eats at Concourse, and the 100,0000-square-foot food-centric shopping center that is Stanley Marketplace, Stapleton is beginning to add fresh new acts to the suburbs. Longtime vendors are following suit, tailoring their cuisines to fit the growing food hub bubbling underneath. A restaurant to put back on your list? Salati Italian Street Food {8270 East Northfield Boulevard, Ste 1485, Denver; 303.307.1695}

Salati, which opened a little over a year and a half ago, billed itself as a fast-casual joint with an emphasis on the street food of Italy. Diners could come in, snag a salad or a heap of pasta, and be out the door in 10 minutes or less. However, the restaurant has undergone a transformation of its own with an overhaul of elevated dinner time eats and more thanks to Executive Chef/Partner Shahin Afsharian-Campuzano.

Hailing from Mexico City, Chef Afsharian-Campuzano’s love of food began early, with a cultural background including Persian, Mexican, and Italian roots. After obtaining his Master’s degree in Hospitality and Gastronomy, his career spanned the globe, from working with acclaimed Chef Joel Robuchon in Monte Carlo to working at Elway’s Steak House at the Ritz Carlton. Most recently, he appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, nabbing a second place spot, with hopes to return to the show in the near future. However, after touring the world, Chef Afsharian-Campuzano has finally settled down, showcasing his talents to the Northfield area.

To share, order the classic Risotto Arancini or try the authentic Barbajuan Ravioli, an appetizer native to Monaco, crafted with Italian sausage, spinach, basil, risotto, four cheese blend, and roasted garlic alfredo. Prime for sharing, peruse a menu of Grilled Flat Breads including Proscuitto to the vegetarian Funghi or the seasonal Carpaccio menu ranging from Ahi Tuna Carpaccio to the veggie-forward Beets Carpaccio.

Pasta reigns supreme at Salati. With more than eight different options, guests can choose from the stuffed Carbonara Tortellini to the classic Bologna, topped with housemade meatballs straight from Chef Afsharian-Campuzano’s grandmother’s recipe book.

Another classic straight from grandma: the Tiramisu. If you have room (or in this case, you should make room) order up a few Cannoli, you won’t be disappointed.

With more than 32 wines by the glass and 45 by the bottle, wine lovers can find their refuge here. With new wines being showcased on a weekly basis, check back to discover a new favorite. For stronger libations, the restaurant offers classic cocktails with an Italian twist, like the Limoncello Fizz with Bombay Sapphire and housemade limoncello.

Westword

Take some of the the stress out of election night by joining the staff of Salati in watching their friend and former Culinary Director, Chef Shahin Afsharian Campuzano in an episode of Food Network’s Chopped, airing at 8pm. Shahin applied for and was selected to be one of four contestants on the show while at Salati. In fact, a portion of the show was filmed at Salati! Shahin will be with us all to watch. Only he knows the results and he’s sworn to secrecy! There will be specials on drinks and Italian Street Food appetizers from 6-9pm but the full menu will be available from 4pm-close. Election coverage will also be on through the evening

Denver Buisness Journal

Shahin is returning to the culinary helm of this Stapleton restaurant as Executive Chef and now, Partner. He develops all recipes and menus and oversees the culinary staff. He is a Michelin-star chef who also reached the finals of Food Network’s show, Chopped.

5280 – Q&A: Chef Shahin Afsharian-Campuzano of The Ritz-Carlton Denver and Elway’s

You could say that chef Shahin Afsharian-Campuzano, currently the culinary supervisor of the Ritz-Carlton Denver and Elway’s, has been preparing for his Chopped debut for his entire life. “I saw how food brought all my loved ones together and how it was the happiest time of the day,” he says. “I had a big influence of cultures to develop my flavors and passions—I’m half Mexican, half Persian.”

Afsharian-Campuzano began cooking as a child, and since then his culinary career has taken him around the world, from chefing at French and English embassies in Mexico City to working under Michelin-starred Joël Robuchon in Monaco to cooking at Havana Blue in the Caribbean to consulting for Mihoko’s 21 Grams in New York. Eventually, he landed at Salati Italian Street Food in Denver, where he decided to apply for the opportunity to be a contestant on the Cheap Eats-themed episode of the Food Network’s hit television show, Chopped. Thanks to Afsharian-Campuzano’s contract with the network, he can’t reveal the show’s results until the episode airs on November 8. In the meantime, we caught up with him to chat about his television debut.

5280: How did you come to be on Chopped?

SAC: It was pure luck. I came across the application and asked my team members at Salati if I should apply and we all said, “Why not, right?” A month later, I was contacted by the production and audition team and started the long process. You have to do multiple phone calls, videos, and pictures. Then, if you’re selected to be one of the four chefs, you have to coordinate the first recording shot, which takes place in the restaurant you applied with. The show is recorded in New York City in the Food Network studios. I thought it was going to be a simple crew, but I was wrong. Cameras, microphones, and lights were everywhere. It was very intimidating, almost unreal. All of the Food Network team members were very professional. Ted Allen was a great host and tried to keep us calm and in a friendly environment. As far as the judges go, they were awesome and very tough.

What was the actual cooking process like?

This is no ordinary kitchen or service for guests. Once the competition starts, it’s like you forget everything you know. Not knowing a new kitchen, [what’s inside] the secret baskets, or how things work—there was a lot of stress. There were four chefs, four secret baskets, and very little time. The first round is only 20 minutes and it’s the toughest one. In that round nobody knows what they’re doing and all the stress kicks in. We had the least time to develop the appetizer. The other two remaining rounds were 30 minutes each for the main dish and the dessert. The full recording takes 16 hours between [filming the] kitchen, the panic room, and individual interviews.

What is the “panic room?”

It’s a room we went in right after we finished [cooking] each dish. We talked about how we felt in that round. After 30 minutes we went out to be judged. I’ve been in very stressful kitchen atmospheres—the chef life is very demanding and draining and we sacrifice a lot—but this Chopped experience has been one of my biggest culinary challenges in my life by far. It was very draining but fun at the same time.

What were the best and worst parts about the experience?

The best part was pushing myself into something that I never thought I was going to do. The worst was…you’ll see. But really the worst for me was having to open my life to the fullest. I consider myself a very private person, but now everyone knows parts of my life that make me who I am.

What do you hope comes from having been on the show?

I did this show with the dream of showing where I came from and how to achieve dreams. I wanted to show that it doesn’t matter which race you are or where you come from, we are equal and food always unifies. It’s a dream for me to do what I do. I live it and enjoy every day. I want people to see someone who they can relate to and someone who has achieved everything with the help of others. This show is also a homage to my family, my loved ones, and especially my mom and dad who give me the love and support I need to keep growing. It’s for everyone who believes in me.

 

Cafe Westword in Westword Denver recommends our Barbajuan, fried ravioli, saying we have : “An Italian street-food menu that’s a little out of the ordinary.”

Barbajuan, an authentic delicacy most similar to fried ravioli. It's the favorite of the Prince of Monte Carlo who won't travel without them.

Barbajuan, an authentic delicacy most similar to fried ravioli. It’s the favorite of the Prince of Monte Carlo who won’t travel without them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salati Italian Street Food by

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In Good Taste Denver

As part of our efforts to discover more neighborhood restaurants, that usually go unsung in the press, we discovered this new, locally owned and operated restaurant. It impressed us a lot as well as another diner who asked if she could write a guest blog about the restaurant. Learn more about her at the end of the article. 

Recently, we dined at Salati Italian Street Food, in Stapleton’s Northfield area, a new eatery fueled by the passion of a veteran restaurateur who fell in love with Italy – and it shows.The atmosphere is warm and the employees are friendly. Motivated by enough tequila mule cocktails, great brews and conversation, we could have stayed for hours.

Salati Italian Street Food

Salati is two concepts in one. During the day, the bright, right side of the restaurant serves as a place for quick meals where you can walk up to the counter and order one of three forms of meal – salad, pasta or Piadina, a flat-bread wrap sandwich that inspired the owners to open Salati after enjoying the dish on the streets of their Italian honeymoon. With any of the three choices, choose a protein, including the 36-hour-prepped pork (Porchetta) then add sauces or dressings and a variety of vegetable toppings. The idea is to make the dish your own, catered to your own tastes. Take it to go or have a seat. Pricing is easy at $9 for lunch for any of those choices, created to your liking.

At dinner, the same options are $11, still incredibly reasonable given how delicious and plentiful they are. But this time, diners can meander to the left of the restaurant into the bar/lounge/dining area. Warmed with stone, booths and comfy chairs (a domed, wood ceiling covers the entire restaurant, mimicking the inside of a wine barrel). In addition to the salad/pasta/Piadina options of lunch, evening brings the addition of small plates to share and entrees as well as a full bar.
 
We shared small plates ($10 each) including Barbajuan, fried ravioli with spinach and basil, sausage, cheese, risotto and alfredo sauce. It was divine, with the light fried shell accompanied by beautiful, Italian aromas and blended with cheese for a just-right bite. Crispy Brussels sprouts, with red onion, chili flakes, Italian spices and a mellow balsamic reduction made the sprouts of childhood a distant memory. Salati Tots take sweet potato fries to a new level, as nugget-size nibbles with a Parmesan cheese blend and syrupy balsamic reduction drizzle. Under the menu heading of “Salati Signature Dishes,” each $11, we enjoyed Sausage and Peppers Diavolo filled with just-right spicy sausage and well-sautéed peppers accompanied by pancetta, pepperonchini and a vodka sauce on penne pasta. This was a great dish to share between two adults or even among a table of friends.
 
Salati Italian Street Food

Cute and gussied up, sweet potato tots with a balsamic reduction drizzle.

We also had the Mahi-Mahi Picatta with kalamata olives, tomato, garlic in a garlic/olive oil sauce over pasta with fresh parsley. It was full of flavor. The 4 Cheese Porchetta Piadina takes the guess-work out of deciding what to put in a Piadina to customize it (which you can do during the day by going through the Express line). That slow-cooked pork is mixed with garlic alfredo, onion, mushrooms and a four cheese blend, all wrapped up in a warm and toasty Piadina. We loved that the accompanying mixed greens salad had cannellini beans in it for a little something special.

 

Salati Italian Street Food

Kid meals, for “Bambinos” are $6 and include spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese and a cheese or pepperoni
 

 

 

 

 

STAPLETON FRONT PORCH

Salati Italian Street FoodHe calls it a “a labor of love,” referring to the October opening of Salati Italian Street Food in Northfield. It started with love, too, when restauranteur T.C. Clark and his wife went to his homeland, Italy, for their honeymoon. They encountered a lot of street food, sold off of carts or out of little huts where “a little Italian grandma would slide open a window and, boom, the smell would hit you,” recalls Clark. One street food, the piadina, stood out to the couple. Flat bread thrown onto a hot stone bubbled up before being wrapped around meats, cheeses, vegetables and sauces. The couple was hooked and wanted to bring the idea back to Colorado.

Besides being delicious, Clark really loved the idea of walking up to a vendor and getting authentic, fresh food they could customize with the ingredients they wanted. Despite running Milo’s, a sports bar in South Denver, Clark couldn’t get the idea out of his head of opening a place based on the concept of “Salati,”slang for “savory.” To Clark, that meant food that is enjoyed as it is seen, heard and tasted.

To bring that full experience to life, Clark hired his Culinary Director, Shahin Afshanian Campuzano, who has experience cooking all over the world. “I told him ‘here’s the concept but you’re a classically-trained chef. You’re going to get to play and bring your skill set to Salati’ and he has, he’s amazing,” says Clark.

During the day, one side of Salati focuses on express meals where diners can choose from a piadina bread, pasta or salad base, adding a protein (including a pork porchetta which has had 32 hours of preparation), sauces or dressings and vegetable additions. Come evening, Salati becomes something more. While diners can still take advantage of the express side, they can also relax in the lounge area with a full bar and menu of Italian style tapas, designed to be shared.

The idea of communal food where people would have a drink, share food and be together came from Clark’s childhood. “There were huge tables, everyone standing around eating, waving their arms in the air, being Italians, having a good time, eating good food…that was my family,” says Clark.

While the burgeoning development of the Northfield area was a big draw to Clark in locating the first Salati (he hopes to open more locations around the Metro Denver area), it was really the broad-ranging demographics that were the appeal. Clark says, “We’ve met young kids to retirees and they’ve welcomed us with open arms. It has been over-the-top unexpected but really appreciated.”

 

Westword

 

SALATI ITALIAN STREET FOOD NOW OPEN IN NORTHFIELD STAPLETON

BY MARK ANTONATION

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2015

Rotisserie chicken and porchetta.

Rotisserie chicken and porchetta.
Danielle Lirette

Salati means savory or salted in Italian, and a new eatery called Salati Italian Street Food is bringing savory Mediterranean bites to Northfield Stapleton. Salati opened today at 11 a.m. (in the space that was formerly Euro Cafe) with a concept built around piadina and other street fare that owner TC Clark found while on his honeymoon in Italy.

Clark already owns and operates Milo’s Sports Tavern at the corner of Evans Avenue and South Monaco Parkway, but Salati is quite a departure from the vibe at his laid-back, all-American neighborhood bar. His new place, nestled into the Northfield outdoor mall, also has a full bar, but service is built on the fast-casual model and the menu ranges far from sports-bar fare. Instead, culinary director Shahin Afsharian Campuzano has created a menu based on Clark’s vision, encompassing roasted meats, flatbread sandwiches and other street food of Italy, like barbajuan (a type of fried ravioli native to the area where France and Italy meet), arancini, and involtini.

The piadina, pasta and salads can be topped with proteins ranging from grilled sausage or mahi mahi to roast vegetables and deli meats.The bar program is highlighted with a range of local craft beers. Salati is open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Keep reading for more photos from opening day.

Hand-tossed piadina flatbread.

Hand-tossed piadina flatbread.
Danielle Lirette
 

Salati Italian Street Food Now Open in Northfield Stapleton

Danielle Lirette

Read more in Westword Here.

 

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Salati Italian Street Food Opens in Northfield

BY CAROL W. MAYBACH

NOVEMBER 23 2015, 10:30 AM

No one does flatbread quite like the Italians, and the piadinas at the newly opened Salati Italian Street Food in Northfield are no exception. Piadinas, which means “savory” in Italian, are softer, chewier cousins of pita and they work beautifully as bookends to a satisfying sandwich. T.C. Clark, the owner of Salati (as well as Milos Sports Tavern in Denver) fell in love with the sandwiches in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Determined to bring the concept back to the States, he launched the fast-casual Salati.

Diners customize their sandwiches by choosing from seven proteins including grilled skirt steak, rosemary chicken, and pork porchetta; adding sides such as cheese and veggies; and finishing with up to two different sauces. My favorite combination (pictured) is grilled steak with roasted veggies, fresh tomato, spinach, arugula, and fresh mozzarella topped with Alfredo and basil pesto.

Build-your-own salads and pastas round out the menu, along with wines, craft beers, and cocktails. Salati brings something new to Northfield—and it might just be what you need fuel up for holiday shopping.

8270 Northfield Blvd. #1485, 303-307-1695

 

Salati Italian Street Food has also been featured in Examiner.com, StapletonMoms.com and CluelessMama.com.