We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“neighborhood remodel gone bad”

Gaetano's Restaurant
Reserve with OpenTable
Gaetano's Restaurant is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #298 of 3,066 Restaurants in Denver
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $35
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Highland
Cross street: 38th and Tejon
Description: Housed in the historic North Denver Highlands Gaetano"s was originally opened in the 1930's by the Smaldone family. Today it is an homage to the classic cocktail era with leisurely lunches, rustic and fresh Italian food and a late night neighborhood gathering.
Denver, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
182 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
“neighborhood remodel gone bad”
Reviewed December 13, 2012

i've been going to gaetano's since the early 70's. the ownership has changed a couple times since then, as has the menu and now the decor. this place used to have dim lighting, uncomfortable booths and a menu to kill for. now the decor is bright, comfortable and neuter. the menu has changed for the worse and it has lost its soul. the food now is mediocre and you could be in any italian restaurant in any city. bad idea, bad execution

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank denverchucko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

125 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    46
    50
    10
    11
    8
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Co
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Needs Some Fine Tuning”
Reviewed November 26, 2012

My Grandfather actually attended the original grand opening back in 1939, but this was my first visit ever and I think I would have enjoyed the old gangster version more. The ambiance is clean and tidy with old photos of early Denver, but seems to lack any warmth or character. The overall service was very poor and unfriendly on the waitstaff side. She seemed uninterested and was slow. I had the ceaser salad which was rather bland, the ravioli's which were in a light broth and lacked flavor as well. The chocolate cake for desert was tasty and fresh. Overall, I felt that the menu was out of it's comfort zone and was trying to be something it isn't ready for. The staff could warm up, but the place is tidy and clean. The old neighborhood paisans might not be to happy with this version until some changes are made.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Buckeye37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
154 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Disappointed with improvements”
Reviewed November 9, 2012

This has been one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants for years, so we were very excited to go after their recent renovation. This used to be a casual place with reliably good italian food- something for everyone- pizza, salads, pasta, sandwiches. We were so disappointed when we saw the new menu! No pizza, no sandwiches, and only a few pasta dishes....they got rid of all our favorites and added steaks and seafood. I think they are going for a higher end feel but I liked it the old way. And for the "higher end" place they got rid things like fresh pepper and fresh parmesan cheese for the pasta- it was the just the powdered stuff. I got a caesar salad which I always thought was one of the best in town... the "new" one was awful....just a huge amount of lettuce, about 5 croutons, a watery flavorless italian dressing and the powdered cheese. When I drop over $50 on dinner I hate being this disappointed.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank rrdub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Happy my neighborhood Restaurant is back.”
Reviewed October 12, 2012

The decor takes us back a few years and has the ambiance of days gone by with the exception of the family who once owned it. There are no bets being paid, and no FBI in sight!! I thought they did an excellent job on design and keeping the past in sight.

The menu has changed and doesn't have your traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs but the Meatballs are excellent and the sauce was good. Also like the selections on the menu that are not Italian - steak, pork chop, and fish which gives a variety if you frequent the place often.

Service has been excellent. The only negative is their selection of wines which I think needs to be greatly improved and their selection of other liquor needs to improve such as a good Single Malt Scotch like McCallum 12 year.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Phyllis U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The Gods must of been smiling down on us tonight!!!!!”
Reviewed September 13, 2012 via mobile

Tonight the restaurant opened its doors after a complete renovation. A completely new menu, new staff and new interior, and we just happened to walk in! The place was packed and everyone was enjoying their meals thoroughly. From the whole leaf 'traditional' Caesar salad to the decadent tiramisu, the White bean and garlic purée to the wild mushroom ravioli, it could not get any better than this unless it were free. Oh wait, tonight it was!!!! If you've ever been to this restaurant and maybe didn't like it, definitely, definitely try this place. Best Italian food in Denver hands-down!!!!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Cookie7678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Gaetano's Restaurant also viewed

 

Been to Gaetano's Restaurant? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing