For over 40 years Angelo’s Taverna has been a bustling hub — attracting lovers of oysters, house-made pizza and robust happy hours. Since current owners Craig Jones and Eric Hyatt bought the place from the Lavio family eight years ago, they’ve continued to perfect the model, opening a second location in Littleton in 2016 affixed to the original Carboy Winery. Since then the duo has opened two additional Carboys, each serving as an offshoot production facility and tasting room, and each conjoined to a different dining concept. Breckenridge has the Gold Pan Saloon — boasting the longest continuous liquor license west of the Mississipi — and as of September 15, 2019, Denver has Logan Street.
Unlike Goldpan, Logan Street’s concept was developed from the ground up. Chef Rebecca Weitzman — a Culinary Institute of America graduate who did an externship under Bobby Flay, was part of the opening staff at Mizuna and helped open Luca as the first chef de cuisine — was called back after over a decade in New York to open the restaurant. Her menu — a dazzling array of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine — is full of sumptuous small-plates, brightly-colored veggie dishes and wood-fired seafood, all prepared with the kind of care emblematic of her diverse and successful career. She also helms the kitchen at neighboring Ivy on 7th — a breakfast, brunch and lunch concept that sees much of the same commitment to vibrant plates of unpretentious, extraordinary food.
The conjoined setup of Logan Street and Carboy can at first seem a little strange. Each has its own entrance, with a room in the center selling prepackaged bottles of wine and merchandise. “It’s one business but we treat it as two,” said managing partner Joe Infantino. All 12 of Carboy’s wines are available on tap at Logan Street, while a separate menu of charcuterie, cheese plates and a few hot items are available only in the tasting room. Liter-sized refillable “carboys” are sold at both locations and a generous rewards program is available for return customers.
While the Littleton facility does the lion’s share of the wine production, each offshoot has been equipped to handle certain elements of the growing business. In the three short years since opening, Carboy has already established itself as the fourth-largest producer in Colorado. Primarily using grapes from within the state, the winery supplements the supply with fruit and juice from California and Italy. The Denver location is set to begin making the bulk of Carboy’s sparkling-wine supply, with an attached building — a relic from 1905 — currently being set up as what Jones playfully dubbed the “bubble barn.”
Before leaving Denver, Weitzman opened Cafe Star, which has since transitioned to the conceptually-similar Trattoria Stella. Her return to Denver has allowed her to build her own kitchen, including bringing on her sous from Star, Julio Leal. While the menu is largely her own creation, input from management — including Angelo’s chef Scott Hybbeneth — has helped to create a truly inspired selection of items that draw inspiration from the Mediterranean, but are hardly bound by convention. Best of all, the food is affordable. While much of the great dining coming out of Denver now fairly matches its price, Logan Street manages to undersell.
The mixed mezze platter ($16) — a sprawling combination of crispy flatbread, dolmas, local house-pickled vegetables and cured olives joined by herbed honey and chili-whipped farmers cheese, smoky roasted eggplant and tahini, green garbanzo hummus and red pepper-walnut spread — is a good place to start. The fresh crab and mascarpone flatbread ($13) — with heirloom tomatoes and Jumpin’ Good Goat ricotta — is the kind of unmissable dish that is good enough to haunt diners and compel frequent return-visits. The Maine lobster tail ($13) and sea scallops ($12) both come fresh from the wood-fired grill with lemon-herb butter, fresh oregano and smoky paprika aioli. Larger plates like the hand-cut pappardelle ($16) — with walnut-parsley pesto and parmesan — reveal the menu’s varied regional influences.
Logan Street takes much of what Angelo’s does right, using the format to create an exciting neighborhood staple with the same kind of lasting potential that has made the former an institution. Multiple happy hours, a 140-seat dining room, a 40-person patio and a large private event space help, but its Weitzman’s cuisine that is truly set to establish Logan Street as an iconic Denver restaurant.
Logan Street is located at 400 East 7th Ave., Denver. It is open Sunday – Wednesday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Thursday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
All photography by Alden Bonecutter.