A delicious taste of earthiness, none of the smell of the hippie
There are various criteria to judge when your city is all “growed up.” It could be whether you have all the major sports teams (check), or it could be whence you have a multitude of significant local, non-chain restaurants. Root Down should be heralded as one of the best examples of what a truly fine local restaurant should be.
It has a terrifically hip, stylish décor — studied yet casually fun. It touts that locally farmed and organic products are used whenever possible. It recycles everything. Oh, and the food is downright impressive.
Root Down sits in the heart of the old Italian part of Denver, literally inside where the neighbors had their cars repaired (thus the “tires, lube, alignment” signs on the exterior). The lounge area is literally the former service bays, and the restaurant sits across from the old Mancinelli’s food store, where generations bought their salami and fresh pasta. In other words, the place has good bones.