The hype’s as low as the loyalty is high at Panzano, a downtown fixture that’s so dependable day in and day out you could almost be forgiven for taking chef Elise Wiggins’s enormous talent for granted. But don’t. Even as it morphs from a power breakfast and lunch spot to a happy hour haunt to a pre-theater rendezvous, Wiggins’s creative energy never wanes, whether she’s popping out zeppole (doughnut holes), flipping her signature crespelle ai funghi (mushroom crepes), or whipping up ever-intriguing pastas (keep your eyes peeled for dried fruit). Meanwhile, matching her knack for contemporary Italian cookery is her passion for sustainability; going beyond organic, she launched a nose-to-tail steer program in mid-2009.
Yet another bonus: the bread basket’s one of Denver’s best.