What do you get when you combine a born and raised New Yorker with a rural Nebraskan? Apparently one of the best restaurateurs in Denver, one who combines those skyscraper-high standards for food and drink with warm hospitality. Or at least that’s the case of Delores Tronco, founder of Denver’s Work & Class, which she sold in 2016, and now the owner of RiNo’s The Greenwich restaurant, whose NYC-born father and Nebraska-born mother influenced everything from her taste in food to the relaxed settings in which she likes to eat.
With The Greenwich, Delores has created a destination-worthy restaurant that’s comfortable and accessible enough for the everyday. “I wanted to bring the energy of New York City to Denver,” she says. “In the Village, there are the sort of people who think outside the box, a little counterculture, very accepting. I wanted to create an accepting and unpretentious space that showcases the excellent food and beverage of New York.”
The menu, whipped up by executive chef Justin Freeman, who also hails from NYC, definitely fulfills that goal. It’s full of familiar dishes that are still somehow completely new and refreshing. Take the hamachi tartare, one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time. The fresh yellowtail cubes sit on a spicy, tangy blend of habanero, mango, and lemon curd, and when you crunch up the rice cracker topper, you get an exciting bite rich in both flavor and texture.
I had a similar experience with the pizza. It may sound strange to describe a pizza—one of the most ubiquitous foods we eat—as being special, but that’s exactly what this pizza is. I ordered the meatball pizza expecting, well, a meatball pizza. What I got was an incredibly unique melding of the Mediterranean and Middle East. The 14-inch sourdough pie came topped with lamb meatballs, a harissa-tinged smoky sauce, and a honey labneh drizzle. It was like a play on a gyro in pizza form, and it changed what I thought a pizza could be. It still provided that pizza level of comfort but taken to a totally new place.
The toppings are so creative—next time I’ll be ordering the white pie that comes with a hot sauce for dipping—that you might focus on those instead of the crust, but the crust is pretty special, too. Its sourdough starter comes from San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery, and chef Justin has nurtured it from California to NYC to Denver, where he held it between his feet for safe keeping on his drive out here.
All the plates at The Greenwich are oversized and designed for sharing, and the entrees, like the pizza, are enough for two. The lemon roasted chicken is an illustration in how good chicken can be—moist, crispy-skinned, and topped with wilted, crispy chard. Sides and salads are large as well, so you may want to come with a group for sharing.
What you won’t want to share though, is The Greenwich cheesecake, created by pastry chef Luke Miller. Drizzled with olive oil and sea salt and flambeed in the Basque tradition, it’s rich and dreamy and light. It’s so distracting that I haven’t stopped thinking about it in a week.
That’s kind of what The Greenwich is: a restaurant you can’t stop thinking about. What you’ll order next, the unique perfection of the pizza, that cheesecake. For people who like to think about food, it’s a must visit.
3258 Larimer St., Denver; 720.868.5006