Part two with Dave Lindberg, exec chef of Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria
This is part two of my interview with Dave Lindberg, exec chef of Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria; part one of our conversation ran yesterday.
Most memorable meal in Denver that you've ever had: My going-away dinner at Luca d'Italia. I was the pasta chef there at the time and was leaving to go to Seattle for a job opportunity. The former chef, Hunter Pritchett, who's now in L.A., and I always talked about the classic dishes that will never die -- lobster thermidor, Coquille St.-Jacques, crab-stuffed mushroom with sauce béarnaise -- so for my last dinner, he sent out fourteen courses that consisted of these fine classics, but he also sent out dishes that were completely unexpected: Red Bull sorbet with vodka poured over it was a life-changer. I've never been so satisfied and honored all at once. It was an awesome experience that I'll never forget. What a great sendoff.
- Dave Lindberg, exec chef of Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria, on the magic of mayo
- Photos: Bonanno Brothers Pizzeria opening in Park Meadows Saturday
- Exclusive first look: Frank Bonanno's Vesper Lounge opens tonight
Your five favorite Denver/Boulder restaurants other than your own: It's so hard to choose just five, but the ones that come to mind are Sushi Den, True Food Kitchen, the Bagel Deli, D'Corazon and Snooze. I love Sushi Den for the monkfish liver and when I'm looking to satisfy my sashimi craving. In fact, I haven't had a single thing there that I don't like or won't eat. I go to True Food Kitchen when I'm looking to recharge from a long week, plus they have the best kale salad. If only there were more locations than just Cherry Creek.... The Bagel Deli is simple food made with love, and I crave their classic Reuben. D'Corazon has the best mole and carnitas, and their margaritas don't suck, either. Snooze satisfies my taste for breakfast, plus I love how creative they are. I try something different every time I eat there and haven't been disappointed yet. The common theme with all of these restaurants is that they're all consistent -- consistently delicious.
If you could change one thing about the Denver dining scene, what would it be? It would be nice to have healthy late-night dining options. You realize just how limited your options are with the hours that we work in this industry. I've been going to the Vesper Lounge quite a bit because it's open late and they have awesome hummus. The people there are pretty cool, too.
What do you enjoy most about your craft? Making people happy, satisfying their cravings, and giving them an experience to remember by sharing my point of view on cooking.
What recent innovation has most influenced the restaurant industry in a significant way? Social media. Food, drinks, menus and dining experiences are all shared in the click of a button. Good or bad, everyone has access to everything, and people can say and post whatever they want.
Best food- or kitchen-related gift you've been given: During my first year at Luca d'Italia, I received a hand-forged Japanese knife with my name engraved on it in Japanese letters. Frank Bonanno gave all of us these personalized knives for Christmas, and to this day, I've never received such a cool gift. I still use it all the time.