Gattara, the new restaurant at the Warwick hotel in Denver, is named for the Italian word for “cat lady.” Here, a mural in the restaurant by Miguel Cruz. (Josie Sexton, The Denver Post)
Cats climbing the walls, cats sitting atop pizza boxes, cats crawling out from a woman’s ponytail: These are the cat images of your dreams (or nightmares) come true at Denver’s newest hotel restaurant.
Yes, just in time for National Cat Day (Oct. 29), Gattara has taken over the restaurant space at the Warwick hotel on Grant Street, which was previously home to Randolph’s.
While that dining room was dark and somewhat dated but classy, this new one is light, playful and purposefully feline.
“When we first got (the name), we were kind of like, pizza and cats?” Heidi Laursen, The Warwick’s director of sales and marketing, said, scratching her head and smiling.
Gattara translates roughly from Italian to “cat lady,” as in the crazy variety. And Gattara’s menu, under longtime Colorado chef Thomas Newsted, focuses on wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and other Italian fare.
Where those interests intersect is hard to wrap one’s tail around, but Laursen, Newsted and the Warwick team have created a quirky combination that’s worth a visit, even if it’s not entirely sensical.
The new restaurant’s decor — from Instagram-age wallpaper to a lovely mural by Miguel Cruz — is covered in cat images, while the house cocktails are named for cat breeds. The calico, of course, is made from rum, coconut cream and orange juice. A Russian blue mixes vodka, creme de violette, lemon and lavender.
But the food menu is, thankfully, less cat-determined. Newsted came from years with Kevin Taylor restaurants and Troy Guard’s Tag group. Here, he’s quick-firing eight different pizzas, like the prosciutto with mascarpone, pecorino romano, arugula and egg yolk ($18). And he’s making more main dishes as well as solid starters, like gnocchi with smoked pork cheek and giardiniera ($16).
There’s a weekend brunch bar ($33) with hot items and the hotel’s continental breakfast, as well as a la carte dishes. And, for those snowed-in and cat-napping days, the pizzas cook in just 90 to 180 seconds and can be picked up to take home with you, in a cat-decorated box, for a cozy dinner.
1776 Grant St., 303-318-7272, 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, brunch from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, gattararestaurant.com
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