While there are a few stores and restaurants who have survived and thrived in the area known as The Village at Castle Pines, a handful of business have come and gone, leaving only a memory for those who may have dined or shopped there. One such place that comes to mind is the awesome location near the east side of the village. It was the former home of a restaurant you may recall…
Since late last year, a new pair of owners has stepped up to give the place new life with Danielle’s Castle Pines. Named after Daniel’s daughter, restaurteurs Daniel and Vincent Pisarra have managed to put together a menu with hints of Italy that focuses on high-quality food with exciting flavors.
After making slight changes to the interior and kitchen, the father and son pair opened in September of 2015. “Our vision for the restaurant is American modern with a chef flair,” commented Pisarra. Patrons will also encounter some jazzed up entrees resembling ‘comfort food.’
And by using only fresh produce and meats, they are hoping the the public will take notice. “If the food doesn’t look and taste perfect, it doesn’t leave the kitchen,” he added.
Along with the creations masterminded by Executive Chefs, Craig Dilullo and Conner Boyd, all the food, including the desserts are all made in-house. “Nothing that is served here is store bought,” Pisarra continued, “We make everything here from the Soba noodles to the spices and desserts.”
Likewise, patrons will notice that their list of entrees and steaks are skillfully paired with wines that have been hand selected by their Sommelier, Richard Ansah. “Richard is amazing…sometimes he even knows more about the wines then the rep who is selling them,” smiled Pisarra.
So with high expectations set, an early dinner excursion gave way to the opportunity to indulge in what the menu at Danielle’s presented that evening.
Of course everything that was said by our waiter/Sommelier sounded amazing as it rolled off Richard’s tongue. His cool English-New York accent made everything from the Ahi Tuna special to taking our drink order sound ultra-hip.
But before he left to give us time to decide on our main dishes, we were enticed to start with a side of Autumn Apple Au Gratin and the Mussels in a lemon, tomato broth with sausage. Both small plates had unique ingredients that acquired the attention of our tastebuds.
While waiting for our pre-show dishes, we were hard pressed to decide on meals that would truly represent the talents of the chefs. The entrees offered that evening listed Italian favorites like Lasagna paired with Parducci Petite Sirah and Chicken Parmagiana paired with Cartlidge & Brown Pinot Noir to Bershire Duck paired with Chalk Hill Chardonnay to Ancho Crusted Salmon paired with Ponzi Pinot Gris.
In the mood for a great cut of salmon ($26-all fish is flown in daily ) and the 12 oz. Ribeye ($34), our selections were voiced and we took some time to enjoy the great view out the window as the sun went down. Lost in conversation, round one arrived and was placed before us by Chef Dilullo.
The Autumn Apple Au Gratin ($9), though in it’s appearance resembled what you would expect, as the taste hit my mouth, it was like no Au Gratin potato I had previously eaten. The mozzarella cheese blended with the sweet, tangy apples and potatoes to give the typically heavy blend a lighter and sweeter taste.
The mussels ($12) equally held their ground; bathed in a tomato, onion and lemon broth with spicy sausage, the aroma was inviting. The taste was what you expect from fresh mussels, steamed perfectly with a little punch added to awaken the senses. Grilled bread and butter was used to dip in the left over broth.
Not wanting to fill up on the potato and apple dish, we decided to wrap the rest up to take with us and save ourselves for dinner. Well-timed, soon after it was boxed, the salmon and ribeye hit the scene.
Nested within a pumpkin mole, dressed with a shaved zucchini entourage, the generous sized filet arrived with an herb-crusted sheath that looked and tasted amazing. The salmon came off on my fork in little buttery flakes tasting like a fresh cut of wild-caught salmon should taste. The mole was again sweet and tangy complementing the fish and the peppery, shaved squash.
The ribeye was not shy in its size or taste. Propped up by garlic mashed potatoes, it tasted exactly how you would expect a good ribeye to perform. Though tender, it had substance and the taste made us scramble to look for any meat we missed on the gristle. The accompanying large pieces of grilled asparagus were slightly crunchy and had the char marks from its preparation.
But the trip could not be complete without browsing the dessert menu. Though initially the choices didn’t catch our fancy, one of the waitstaff told us they might have some flourless chocolate cake left from the night before. The words set off a reaction that caused our stomachs to stretch and make room.
The dessert, like the entire food experience, was equally satisfying. We sank our forks slowly into the slice of pure cocoa powder, eggs, sugar and vanilla made us smile with every dreamy bite.
Though it is hard to bet that every restaurant experience will be the same for all patrons, we are putting our money on Danielle’s. The clean and modern decor, the charismatic service and the selection of a menu that offers filling and well-groomed favorites should please most finicky palates. “We want to give you the best food and experience that we can,” said Pissara.
“My father Dan and I look forward to our restaurant and the Pisarra family becoming an integral part of the community – creating a new sense of excitement while continuing our time honored tradition and personal philosophy that “Good food and good service makes good friends.”
Danielle’s Castle Pines
872 W. Happy Canyon Road
Castle Pines, CO 80108
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
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