Spuntino will undergo a remodel, expand its menu and pursue a full liquor license

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Lori Midson

In early February, Spuntino, the Highland restaurant and dessert palace overseen by betrothed couple John Broening (he's the chef) and Yasmin Lozada-Hissom (she's the pastry chef) will close for a week -- maybe two -- to undergo a major makeover, and when it reopens, guests will not only be treated to a fresh interior, but also to an expanded menu and, if all goes according to plan, a beverage program that include cocktails, wine and beer.

See also:
- Our favorite local culinary gifts of 2012: Spuntino's hot chocolate mix and salted caramel marshmallows
- Pastry queen Yasmin Lozada-Hissom has plans to make Spuntino even sweeter

Gone will be the gelato case (but not the gelato!), its position replaced by a wrap-around bar, designed by a local metal sculpture master, that will stretch along part of the perimeter of the exhibition kitchen. The smaller side of the dining room, currently bedecked with tables, will morph into a lounge area with banquettes and oversize chairs that invite lingering; planked wooden floors will replace the current ones; and the prominent, long, cream wall that extends the length of the main dining room will become, says Lozada-Hissom, a focal point. "We're still deciding what to do with it -- we'll either have metal work up there, or we'll do a textured-type of wallpaper, but whatever we decide to do will add an element of drama," she teases, noting, too, that the lighting will also change to reflect "a softer, more intimate" setting.

And both she and Broening plan to significantly elevate their respective menus. "We're both going to go nuts in terms of creativity," she says. "We truly want Spuntino to be a place where we have complete freedom with our creations." For her part, Lozada-Hissom says that her passion for tarts will be front and center. "I love, love, love tarts, and they're really taking off in cities like New York, so we'll always have two or three different options on the menu, and they'll be assembled to order," she adds. "We'll also continue to have lots of options for gelato, ice creams and sorbets, especially since we have the Rolls Royce of gelato makers."

And while she'll keep the flavors that their regulars have embraced, she'll also incorporate several additional flavors, in small batches, to her lineup. "We'll keep many of the flavors that regulars love like the sea salt caramel, pistachio and lemone, but we'll add a bunch of other flavors and unexpected options like a guanabana sorbet, maple french toast ice cream, banana and caramel corn gelato, apricot chamomile sorbet and kumquat lychee sorbet," she tells me.

Her desserts, she adds, will also play up the whimsy factor. "I want to create some playful options -- things like passion fruit mousse with honey-lime syrup; pink peppercorn meringue; fennel parfait with grapefruit sorbet and candied anise; and cocoa nib sour cherry bars with pretzel crunch ice cream," she says.

Location Info

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Spuntino

2639 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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4 comments
jp00
jp00

We've had nothing but pure pleasure at Spuntino. Been there five times since we discovered it last summer. Liked it so much we brought three friends (couples) there who are also now regulars. I hope they won't forget their roots in the neighborhood, but I also want to see them grow their business, expand their culinary range and, as Yasmin says, 'go nuts' with their already-burgeoning creativity. We can't wait. Let it happen!

AceRanchero
AceRanchero

It always looks closed due to the poor interior and exterior lighting, and the fact that folks generally sit along the side wall. With the front room being turned into a lounge that should help with perceived liveliness. 

However, my concern is with Spuntino moving away from what locals like about it in the first place: excellent, unusual and reasonably priced small plates with the bonus of trying an out-the-ordinary dessert afterward. Of course, I'm talking about the popsicles, the variety of which has been declining over the past several months noticeably. 

Sadly, we haven't seen Darlene (?) in awhile. Ace's minor crush, crushed. 

thespot84
thespot84

I was there about two months ago for brunch. And the french toast was great! But honestly, how many mulligan's do you really get in the restaurant business?

Gustov
Gustov

@thespot84 The place always seems dead when I drive by it, its one of the cursed spots but there must be some reason they keep piling money into it

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