BUMMER! I drove past this little place the other day and something was wrong. The NEON IS gone and there IS a “for Lease” sign in the window, more later… I’ll be checking to see if there is a new location for this great little restaurant. BC
First published April 22, 2010
1610 E. GIRARD PL, Unit M
By Claudia Carbone
Like the pure Colorado air he loves, the food that Bennito Sarlo serves at Armando’s is fresh and wholesome. “We do everything here,” said the Neapolitan restaurateur who got into the biz with his brothers Antonio and Armando in 1987, not too many years after the family landed in New York City from Naples in the early 80s. Preferring the Denver air and (relatively) less traffic to NYC, they opened Armando’s in Cherry Creek, and then nine years ago moved to a very small shopping strip in Englewood off Hampden Avenue between Gilpin and Lafayette Sts. Those of you who like hole-in-the-wall authentic Italian joints can bookmark it—it’s a keeper.
With no more than 25 seats, the funky space is an eclectic mix of family photos, pop culture, and sentimental Italian stuff that only those who grew up in an Italian family would recognize.
But the food. . .ah, just about everybody recognizes the popular Italian fare covered here, starting with traditional antipasti like Insalata Caprese, a plate of cold antipasto, bruschetta, several salads and homemade soup. The hot antipasto of two meatballs, two sausages, two garlic rolls and eggplant could be enough for a small meal at $9.95.
Traditional pasta is made in house. You won’t be eating frozen ravioli like the chain restaurants serve up. Besides several ravioli dishes, choices with a just-right tomato sauce include Ziti, baked with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses; Manicotti stuffed with ricotta and topped with mozzarella (or with spinach Florentine-style); Cheese Tortelloni; and the standbys Spaghetti, Fettuccine and Rigatoni. Besides tomato sauce, you can get Alfredo, Carbonara, White-wine, Pesto and Puttanesca.
You don’t find Gnocchi (bite-size pasta dumplings made with potatoes) at most Italian eateries, so here’s a chance to try this Italian staple. Armando’s is superb—light and fluffy like my Zia Jose used to make. You can get them with tomato sauce or tossed with butter and cheese.
Classic baked dishes include both Chicken and Eggplant Parmigiana; Lasagne, both meat and veggie; Eggplant Rollatini (slices rolled with ricotta) and Eggplant alla Romano (prociutto and provolone added to the rolls).
A full menu of both Neapolitan (thin crust) and Sicilian (deep dish) pizzas is offered: choose from “regular” toppings to more gourmet selections like sautÈed spinach, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and anchovies. Calzones and sandwiches are on tap too. Pizzas range from $6.50 (small cheese) to $19 (extra large primavera).
Most entrees cost between $10-$11; the most expensive dishes are Shrimp Scampi and Fettuccine with Clams for $12.95. A side salad is $2.95; a cup of soup $3.50.
A good selection of true Italian desserts are here: Tiramisu, Tartufo, Cannoli, along with New York Cheesecake, “Mamma’s” Carrot Cake and Chocolate Seduction Cake.
Mangia alla True Italian Table!
This is a TrueItalianTable recommended authentic Italian restaurant.