Belly up to the Chef’s table at Cattivella in Eastbridge Town Center
Did you know that Cattivella translates to “naughty girl”? No, really. I read it on Cattivella’s website. And here are a few more fun facts from their pages:
“Chef/Owner Elise Wiggins brings decades of restaurant experience to Cattivella including a 12-year stint as Executive Chef of Panzano, named Best Italian by Westword and winner of multiple awards for food and service from The Denver Post, 5280 Magazine, The American Culinary Federation and The American Automobile Association. She makes an annual pilgrimage to Italy to work with Italian chefs and learn the classic techniques and ingredients that she employs at Cattivella.”
Q&A With Chef Wiggins
I had the great opportunity to get a quick Q&A session in with Chef Wiggins, a Stapleton resident, so I had to ask what drew her to be a part of the Eastbridge Town Center.
“I was drawn to East Street bridge town center and project because of the location and design of the building. I live in Stapleton and knew that we needed more independent restaurant choices in that area. I loved the design of the spaces. Lots of glass, very clean and modern, which was the style of my restaurant that I wanted.”
Cattivella features a wood-burning pizza oven and a wood-burning grill. But this is not another “wood-fired pizza joint.” You can sit overlooking the pasta table or pastificio or near the butcher counter. Chef Wiggins also has cooking classes held in the beautiful open kitchen.
I asked Elise if she was from Colorado.
“I am not from Colorado. I am from Louisiana. I grew up in a small town called West Monroe. I have been in Colorado since 1995. I left for about four years to work in Puerto Rico and Memphis, TN but the rest of the time has been here. Colorado is home. I love it here.”
And Colorado loves her back.
There are a ton of great pictures in this article from Eater Denver.
“This is my ‘hood, and I can’t wait to welcome my neighbors and friends into Cattivella,” said Wiggins who is a resident of Stapleton. “This project is a dream come true for me.”
Elise goes on to tell me …
“I love the outdoors of Colorado. I find that the people are so friendly. I say it’s because it’s so beautiful that people can’t help but be happy. Stapleton is like a microcosm of Denver. Because it’s such a new neighborhood, everyone is new, so people want to get to know each other. Again, super-friendly. And I love how active everyone is. It’s an amazing place to raise a family.”
Dining Out Denver & Boulder did a great job telling the community all about Chef Wiggins. She has been tweeting as @thenaughtychef since 2009. A great read. Check out the section called, “Ten things you need to know about Elsie Wiggins.” The photo below is from the Dining Out article.
Prior to opening her restaurant, Elsie was the Executive Chef at Panzo. The dishes served up at Cattivella speak to the depth of her Italian cooking experience. Lard, which is used in cooking and baking, is made in the restaurant from a press called a ciccioli. She offers her customers small bites of her dry aged beef. Her place also has a large wrap-around patio to enjoy the incredible summer weather. Wiggins has a philosophy about her staff and trains them properly and makes sure they are, as she says, “super-friendly.”
Wine is served by the glass or bottle. The restaurant is open from 4 to 10 PM and stays open until 11 PM on Friday and Saturday nights.
Want to stay in the loop? Follow them on Twitter @cattvelladen or on their Facebook page – I found a post about a Father’s Day cheese making class! Say what?! Go send dad so he can make everyone fresh mozzarella.
I asked Chef Wiggins for parting words.
“I’d love customers to know that we have an amazing patio that is pet-friendly in portions and kid-friendly in all areas. I encourage parents to do an after-school pizza party on the patio at Cattivella. We have lots of chalk for the kids to draw on the patio!
“Thank you for including us!”
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