Denver >Food & Dining > Pagliacci's Italian Restaurant
1440 W 33rd Ave, Denver, CO | Directions 8021139.763143 -105.003996
Neighborhoods: Highland, Northwest Denver
the curtain is closing on this old Italian place. Probably about time.
Love this place for Italian – Everytime I come here the food is fresh and savory. The atmosphere feels very comforting and relaxing. Nice romantic place for date night.. Great food, Great Service and Great Atmosphere!
food, like atmosphere, bland. – This is my first online review of a restaurant... I had to share. For reference sake, I have worked in bars and restaurants my entire life. I also grew up with an Italian Nana, and know my food. And wine. I know what I like and I know what is good, good food. When my boyfriend and I go out to eat we don't care about the cost as long as it is good, good food. Or at least good service with ok food. We love to tip big because we have both been in the service industry for a long time.
On Sunday night we were craving some great Italian and would normally hit up our neighborhood favorite Carmine's on Penn but felt like trying something new. Big mistake picking Pagliacci's. When we walked in the door we were greeted in a sort of "what are you here for" kind of way. Well miss, we are here to spend money so how about some hospitality. After being skipped over for the group who walked in behind us (looking just as confused) we were eventually sat near the bar... with no one else around. Except for the salty bartender who didn't seem pleased about having customers either.
Sitting alone, in a cold room we finally met our waiter who I have little to know memory of because he was so scant, impersonal and seemed bothered by us simply ordering. (Now please let me interject here that my man and I are a young attractive couple, nothing growing out of our faces or weird smells, but we certainly felt like we were being treated that way. Like we didn't belong here).
Finally the food... waaaay overpriced for what they give you. You are discouraged from sharing plates with a $9 per person fee (does that mean an extra $18?? did not make sense) We ordered the garlic bread because there didnt seem to be any coming. Its an Italian restaurant... there should always be bread! Anyways, the $6 texas toast was probably the best part of the meal. Then came the free-with-entree soup. Genius idea... soup is pretty low on the cost scale and easy to dole out so kudos to them on this one. We had ordered some traditional favorites to fill that Italian craving... chicken parm and chicken marsala. for $18 per plate there was a lot more plate on the plate than food. I have never been to an italian home or restaurant that gave you such little food, with such little taste. I could have gotten more flavor out of a chicken nugget or speghettios. Bland would be a generous way to describe what I ate.
The only friendly interaction we experienced was a nice "goodbye" as we were leaving... glad to have us out the door I suppose.
It just goes to show you, don't expect good food from a place with a crying clown as the icon.
Do not park across 33 at Zitro or you will get towed by Lyons – Do not park across the street! You will get towed in less than 10 mins by Lyons towing. The place is Zitro Cityview tavern they watch the parking lot and will tow you. Be careful Lyons Towing is evil! Do not arrive late for dinner because there is no place to park. The lot at Pagliacci's is small. The food is good and the place is nice and romance and fancy. A lot better that Olive garden. The food is very old Italian. But there is no parking! On Sat for my girlfiends birthday party of dinner 8 we had a nice table. One of our guests was late and said they are towing your car across the street. We ran out to save our cars and got them back but sadly it runined dinner and I will never go back. The whole Highland area the parking is really really bad! Take the bus or walk! There is no parking. Sorry Pagliacc's but your neighbors ruined it for my family and I. I will never go to the Higland area again! Sad to say in this market people are saving money and this experience ruined it for me! Pagliaccis tell your neighbors across to stop being bad company ! Zitro tavern across 33 rd north side they use Lyons towing and give your place a bad rap! Get a bigger parking lot or warn your customers to not park at Zitro or Ortiz whatver they are!
Weird and Way Overpriced – For context, my wife and I are 30 year old professionals in the city that like going out for food and drinks on the weekend. Price doesn?t matter as long as we enjoy it. We were in Highlands and had an itch for Italian food.
First, the ambiance was outdated and cheesy. It?s not even cool retro Italian style that some restaurants have?it was just old. We then looked at the menu. We usually get an app or two and split an entree. However, given the prices for basic pasta dishes ($16 for Spaghetti) we thought the portions were family size, but we asked the server and they aren?t. We also asked about the $9/adult split a plate fee they have printed on each menu. Our server explained there is a $9 min per person at the restaurant, oh and they bring you a second bowl of soup which they feel is worth $9. Just a very weird vibe all together.
We started by ordering one glass of wine each. The waiter seemed put off that we would want wine by the glass and decided that he would recommend a $48 bottle without asking what type we like AND after we already told him we were ordering by the glass. We then ordered two apps and a pasta sampler (baked ravioli, manicotti and spaghetti), but we didn?t technically split the entree, so we avoided their bulls**t fee. The food was straight average Italian, seriously?just average. Our bill with tip was $70, which was way, way too much for the odd experience and non-descript food.
If you like trying new places just be aware you will be angry you spent what you did for the experience and food if you try Pagliacci?s. We would have been much better off with Saucy Noodle, Cherry Tomato or Olive Garden because the food is better and atmosphere is much cooler/friendlier for less money.
Don't do it – I've never written in with a review before, but I was so disappointed with my dinner this past Friday night, I felt compelled to warn others.
My husband and I are always in search of the perfect Italian restaurant and meal and after reading many of the reviews on this site, decided to try Pagliacci's. We had a reservation at 7 last Friday. The service was friendly enough. We didn't wait more than 15 minutes for our table. However, our food was horribly disappointing. We would have had a better dinner at Macaroni Grill or Maggiano's.
I ordered the dinner salad and the pesto pasta with chicken. There was barely any chicken in it. The pesto sauce was bland. I probably had about five bites and gave up. I had asked for some fresh tomato slices on the side, so that combined with the chicken made this a $20 plate. Which would have been fine if it had been good. Instead, I felt robbed by my plate of mushy lime green angel hair pasta.
My husband had the caprese salad, and lasagna with sausage and meatballs (again, about 20 bucks with the two types of meat). I didn't believe him when he said it was the worst caprese salad he'd ever had. I mean, how do you screw up tomatoes and mozerella? But he wasn't kidding. And again, I have no issue with paying $20 for an entree, but when it tastes like Stouffers, you can't help but feel like something isn't quite right.
Another note -- the bread was just ok. Like a loaf of Italian bread from King Soopers, sliced.
In fairness, my husband really did like the minestrone soup.
So, for anyone else trying to decide where to head out on date night for a good Italian meal, do NOT waste your time here. Try Carmine's on Penn. Or heck, Maggiano's. Or just microwave Stouffers. This is just not worth your money.
Great experience! – I've been in the restaurant business all my life. What a great restaurant! The food, atmosphere, service and the total experience was truly fun for me and my family. Sometimes in the winter you have to wait extra time for your table, but it's worth it! In the summer is a good time to go - especially if you're on a date...the wait is not that long. There isn't a patio. But, I like it because they have A/C.
To Die For! – We went back to Pagliacci's to celebrate 40 years of marriage... It was where I proposed 41 years ago... We couldnt believe how great it was! We have returned over the years, but tonight was extra special! The music, the ambiance, everything just fit perfectly... Our server Eric (recently from the Bronx) was no stranger to Italian food, and agreed with us that the food was top choice! AND IT WAS! The Veal Parm was fantastic, and the Minestroni... well, what can you say.. Perfecto!. Eric made our evening extra special... we really enjoyed ourselves with salad, soup, our entree, and of course, some spamoni to top everything off... Naturally, we'll return home with our Chianti basket bottle to stick the candle in as a reminder of an extra special reminder of this evening and our first experience at Pagliacci's ... Thanks to the chef, and to Eric, our server, for an extra special evening in Denver!
Rude Owner – I used to love this place. My husband proposed to me there. But I just called them to make a reservation and the lady (whom I'm pretty sure is the owner) was very snotty. I've noticed snotty managers before, one who appears to be her son, but it's finally sunk in. It left such a bad taste in my mouth I'm writing this review. So I hope she reads it.
First, you are a business. An invitee. Don't you depend upon your customers to help you succeed?
And don't act like you are doing me a favor. You aren't. I can just as easily take my money and spend it elsewhere. And after reading the other recent reviews, I expect your business to deteriorate. It also shows me I'm not alone.
Get it together. You had a great restaurant with good food, and you really don't have to ruin it with snottiness. I wish I would have called you on it. Instead I do the wimpy thing and write a review. Oh well. I know my voice is heard here.
Horrible, Rude service - lackluster food. Stay Away – We went there last weekend and boy did we regret it. EVERYONE that was working there was rude to us. I think the guy that greated us and was the host was also the manager because he was always snapping at the waitstaff pretty loudly. He was extremely rude to us when we asked to not be sat right near the entry way. The waiter took forever to greet us, forget our app and got our entre order wrong. And after ALL of this they offered no discount or even an apology. This was honestly the rudest restaurant expeirence I have ever had. Stay away!!!
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