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Pellegrini Cucina Italiana

Community Staple Offers Unique Italian Experience

Article by Susan McKenzie

Photography by Santora Photo Co.

Originally published in Greeley Lifestyle

Pellegrini Cucina Italiana has been a successful staple in the Greeley community since 2012, and owners Carlo Pellegrini and Jessica Morse were devastated when a fire tore through the front of their restaurant in 2019. That tragedy opened up an opportunity for them to reconceptualize their traditional service model. The owners of the Italian restaurant renovated the space to allow customers to get the same quality of product, but in a way that allows them to keep prices at a pre-Covid level.

“We want it to be something that everyone can enjoy and try, to the best of our ability, to keep our prices at something reasonable,” Jessica says. The new concept features a traditional Italian Market Style that showcases everything from homemade pastas, sausages and breads, to olive oils and gelato. “We were able to start from scratch and reinvent ourselves. This market style allows us to continue to offer authentic Italian food and everything you would get at a typical sit-down restaurant but you walk out feeling like, ‘Wow, that was good and it didn’t kill my pocketbook.’”

While patrons at Pellegrini’s now come to the counter and order, staff will still bring your plate and wine to you, delivering the same quality food they’ve always had. There is also a self-serve cocktail station that allows customers to indulge as much as they’d like with five beers and three cocktail options.

“It’s typical of Italian restaurants to be perceived as a date night or more formal occasion and we’re always fighting that perception. We are breaking that mold by offering authentic Italian food at a lower price point for as many people as would like to come.” For patrons who don’t want the market-style service, Pellegrini’s offers dine-in events that are reservation only. For a fixed price, customers can enjoy an appetizer, salad, choice of two entrees and dessert as a traditional seated meal that’s served directly at the table from start to finish. They also offer catering and takeout and have a gelato case where people can stop by and grab a scoop or two whenever they please.

As far as the future of Pellegrini’s goes, Carlo and Jessica say they have some ideas but are taking it day-by-day. “You have no control over life and no guarantee what you get to do each day. Whatever we do is a gift…you have to have gratitude day to day,” Jessica says. “We think forward, sure, and we are tentatively holding onto those plans. We can feel people rooting for us.” The community support after the fire was substantial, and they could feel a sense of encouragement that helped them keep going. “There is almost this feeling of ‘you have to fix it’ when your entire community comes alongside you. They really helped us and were a huge financial support. We can’t even say enough to thank people.” The couple expressed how grateful they are that their community not only supported them through such a challenging period, but that they continue to support them by choosing to dine at Pellegrini’s. “We just want to do what’s the best for our customers and give them a nice experience and a nice meal. We want them to be happy when they leave.” 

Pellegrini’s is open Monday-Saturday from 4:00-8:30 p.m. and closed on Sundays. They are located at 2400 17th St. Greeley.

Pellegrini's Market Store Pasta

  • 1 lb. your choice of pasta: conchiglie, tagliatelle, pappardelle, lasagna, casareccie, homemade ravioli cheese, ravioli al gorgonzola
  • Your choice of meat: ground Italian sausage, no cooked sausage link (4 pc), pre-cooked polpette (10 pc), meatballs 
  • Your choice of pasta sauce: pesto genovese, salsa rosa, tomato-marinara, bolognese meat sauce, cream sauce
  1. Purchase your choice of pasta, meat and sauce from Pellegrini's market store.
  2. Cook or heat your meat of choice. 
  3. While your meat is cooking, bring a pot of water to boil. Add pasta. 
  4. When pasta is cooked, strain the water. 
  5. Mix together cooked pasta, meat and sauce.
  6. Enjoy! 

“We are breaking that mold by offering authentic Italian food at a lower price point.” -Jessica Morse

  • Torta Limoncello
  • Torta Limoncello
  • Pellegrini Market
  • Large Cannoli
  • Pasta Made By Hand Daily
  • Owners, Carlo Pellegrini and Jessica Morse
  • Cozze

Businesses featured in this article