Beyond sausage and pepperoni

Bonanno brings signature style to the south suburbs

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It took Ian Scott three months and innumerable pieces of dough to perfect the Bonanno Brothers’ thin-crust pizza toss.

“I practiced on a wet dish towel at home,” said Scott, who works at the recently opened pizzeria in The Vistas at Park Meadows.

Creating the ideal crust for restaurateur Frank Bonanno’s pizzas is no small feat.

“It can go from perfect dough to disaster easily,” said Joey Sabatini, who works with Scott at the Lone Tree restaurant. “Pizza is an amazing food. It’s simplistic but versatile.”

Bonanno capitalizes on that versatility.

“I’d like to think we have some pretty innovative toppings,” he said, “like the combination of flavors on the Lobster Fra Diavolo.”

Those include lobster, tomatoes, chiles and ricotta cheese.

A sunny-side-up fried egg is the centerpiece of the Carbonara Pancetta pizza, which service manager Amy Rapisarda described as reminiscent of bacon and eggs.

Each pizza is just 12 inches wide and designed not as a full meal, but to encourage sharing and sampling among groups of customers. Many tables start with a plate of house-cured meats and house-made cheeses, then move on to an appetizer like albacore tuna tartar and finally to pizza, Rapisarda said.

Ahi tuna, cured salmon, octopus, wines and cocktails on tap and a wood-fired oven imported from Florence, Italy, offer further proof Bonanno’s is anything but a typical pizzeria.

Bonanno thinks his singular menu is a good fit for Park Meadows, which aims for a blend of high-quality tenants that are either unique to the south suburbs or the region.

“As soon as I saw The Vistas at Park Meadows, I knew it would be a perfect community to open Bonanno Brothers,” he said. “It’s stunning.”

The restaurateur already owns nine Denver restaurants, including Mizuna, Luca D’Italia and Osteria Marco, with Lone Tree his first venture south.

“This is kind of a little cousin to Osteria Marco,” Rapisarda said. “The idea is to bring quality food to the suburbs. We already have customers in this area. Now they don’t have to make the drive downtown.”

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