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Shells and Sauce
Shells and Sauce

Shells and Sauce Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.italianrestaurantdenver.com
  • Phone: (303) 377-2091
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 3:00pm - 9:00pm
    Brunch: Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Marcus Jimenez
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 12th and Elizabeth
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Easy to find parking on the street, or park in our lot behind the restaurant.
A word from Shells and Sauce
Serving authentic Italian American food in the heart of Congress Park, Shells and Sauce brings Old Country taste to a cozy neighborhood restaurant. If you’re craving home-made lasagna, meat or fish, Shells and Sauce has a variety of savory appetizers and entrees to chose from. We also boast an extensive wine list to pair with anything you choose, and we offer delicious desserts to top off your evening. Whether you sit on our rooftop or in our main dining room to watch our open kitchen, Shells and Sauce is a great place to entertain friends or family in an inviting setting. Step into our kitchen and let us share our passion for food!Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "Our server, Jamie, was attentive and pleasant and the food was delicious!"
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Loved it but it was a little too loud and it was cold."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Great bread with dipping sauce. I had a fish daily special that was cooked perfectly, beautifully presented and delicious. There is free parking behind the restaurant as well as street parking. Waiter was friendly and attentive. I look forward to a return visit."
    Dined on 4/9/2014
  • "Very good food,,brussels sprouts w bacon, St Louis ribs, pizza were all excellent. Altho we missed happy hour by five mins our waiter honored the happy hour price on drinks. Place was very crowded therefor w the tables being so close together it was noisy"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "I live in the neighborhood and frequent Shells and Sauce. They have recently updated their menu, which was a pleasant surprise! I had the Chicken Rollitini over polenta, and it was so delicious! We had great service, as usual, great drinks, just overall a great time. We will be back shortly for Brunch, which if you have not tried brunch at Shells and Sauce, go this weekend!"
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Inconsistent – because 6 of us (in a group of 18) order the special – and half of us got a dish that did not look like the other half’s (sauce color and flavor was different; my raviolis were over –cooked and fell apart – no filling left). Otherwise- pretty decent food considering the price. Perhaps the chef is not used to serving a large group of people at the same time."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Poor meal the other night. We had to wait for our table, but there is really no place to wait that's not in the way. They had a special cocktail that was awful. The dish I ordered was supposed to have jalapeños, but it was made with bell peppers instead which is fine if you're not allergic. Not going back."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Really good food, but sassy staff and having a reservation was pointless. Just a heads up"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "We had made a reservation and were seated immediately, but no menus available. That didn't take too long but we sat a while until someone stopped by and asked if Sarah had been by. Nope, he too drink orders and brought them to the table said he would go ahead and take care of us. The food took FOREVER. The waiter even stopped by to tell us that the kitchen was backed up but that it wouldn't be much longer. Only 25 minutes longer and the worst part was we could see our food sitting up in the window. It sat there a good 10 minutes, so when it got to the table the eggs carbonara were lukewarm at best. I would have said something but the waiter did not return to ask how things were until we were nearly finished with our meal."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "We were very impressed with restaurant! Had a great time relaxed time."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "We had a party of 7 for a birthday celebration. 4 of the party showed up first and they would not seat us. We had to wait for all 7 to be there. We had to stand in the middle, right next to people's tables that were trying to have dinner. After we ordered, it took 1 hour to get our food. Two of the plates were cold. One had a hair in it. The manager said that all his cooks had blond hair and this was a black hair. Our friend asked him if he thought we were lying. He said, no but his cooks did not have dark hair. When we were leaving, we passed the kitchen and only 2 people out of about 10 had blond hair. The rest had dark hair. She ended up getting a salad. The two parties with cold food, did not eat all their food as it was not good cold."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "Our food was delicious and we had fun with the people at the table next to us. We will go again. Wish the place was larger."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "We were seated upstairs and it was freezing cold. You had to eat quickly and with your jackets on. The tables were ice cold and therefore the food cooled down quickly. The food was only moderate. I would not go back even if I got a table in the lower portion of the restaurant which was more lively."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "We love Shells and Sauce! It is our go to for a great meal and great wine at a pretty reasonable price."
    Dined on 10/26/2013
  • "It's my spur of the moment place to go as well as a place for a bunch of friends choose. I have always been pleased with the service and the food...I have never had a less-than-wonderful dish. And the portions are hearty. Love the Happy Hour (early and late night) selections, especially the pizza. Love it."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Dinner was excellent. Flat Bread appetizer...delicious! Lasagna, Spaghetti and Rigatoni...perfect! House made cheesecake was the perfect dessert. We had an outstanding bottle of wine and our server was attentive and very pleasant. She offered great suggestions from the menu. I will make a return visit!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Customer service is amazing, as well as the food. Had a reservation, but our table wasn't available when we arrived. We were offered any drink from the menu while we waited. Our 4 martinis were very generous and made the 30 minute wait well worth it. (Order the basil and red pepper martini - the Libido - Yum!) I ordered the cioppino, as did another from our table. I found it to be incredibly salty (though my friend did not). I hated sending it back, but did, and ordered salmon, which was superb! A few minutes after ordering the salmon, one of the staff came over to say it would be another few minutes wait as my new order had been overcooked. Waiting was no problem with me, but they insisted on removing the salmon charge from our check!"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Great little hidden neighborhood gem, everything about the place was great. Only thing I didnt like was they pack you in and its pretty noisey hard to have a conversation"
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Fun atmosphere, but both pasta dishes not so good. Mine was barely warm. our friends enjoyed their trout."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "We really like Shells and Sauce. Every time we go there we try something new and love the food. We are wannabe foodies but are pretty good cooks ourselves. Our waiter was awesome. My wife doesn't love very spicy food and the dish she got was a little spicy. She mentioned it to our waiter and he very quickly took it back and got her a new dish in six minutes. That is great service."
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "I really like the food here, but it's hard to ignore the setup. There's no waiting area so people cram into the main dining room, and the tables are so close together that it's hard to hear the person across from you because of all the surrounding noise. Not sure when the "off" nights are since it's been crowded every time I've gone, but maybe there's a way to go when it's less crazy. Menu is very good though and worth the trip."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "This place is tiny and loud, but if and when you actually are seated, the food is worth the marginal experience."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "We had two guest from out of town One from NC and the other from CA. Two poeple where Gluten frre and the waiter was great on helping pick wonderful food that was Gluten free. We are so happy we found this GEM. WE live south of Parker so yoiu know it has to be super in order for us to drive so far. We recommend this to our friends."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Food was great and service as well. They forgot to put the asparagus and mushrooms in my dinner, it was still excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed it, but they comped it anyway. No fuss at all."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Love just about everything we order when we come to Shells and Sauce. The happy hour crab ravioli is to die for! Very friendly staff. Fun and delicious."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "I am lucky enough to live in the neighborhood and have eaten here many times. The food is always fantastic, without fail. It is usually packed, especially on weekends so reservations are the way to go. The only drawbacks are that it is SO busy that the wait staff always seems rushed, if not a little cranky. I have always had great service personally but I have noticed scowls on other servers. The other draback is space. There are not many tables and they are very close together. It is definitely not for the claustrophobic! This can also make it noisy and a bit hard to hear at times. Overall, the place is a definite hit for delicious food at a quaint neighborhood bistro."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "I'll go to "Shells and Sauce" for a Sunday brunch over EVERY OTHER restaurant in town. The food is wonderful and plentiful. I usually take at least a third home with me. Service is as great as a packed house on a Sunday can be, and I don't mind waiting for my check when my dining experience has been so enjoyable. I highly recommend the Sunday Brunch. Food FABULOUS!!!"
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Friendly atmosphere, outstanding service, delicious food."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "I doubt we will go back...the food has been just so-so the last two times... decent prices and a nice neighborhood feel to the restaurant, but the food just isn't that good"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Did not I know that they had a happy hour but we did get a couple beers and a pizza they were all delicious then we had regular menu meals. oh my God were they delicious. We will go again PS. Awesome young man waiter . (Tall brown hair bearded )"
    Dined on 3/2/2014
  • "There are not many nice restaurants out where I've recently moved to, but we didn't want to drive too far on a cold night. Seems like this place doesn't have a lot of competition in this neighborhood and that's why it's busy. The host was very flustered. They were very busy so the service was subpar...as was the food."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Usually Shells and Sauce delivers a great meal, the last couple times they have been inconstant. There were 4 of us; 2 meals could not be eaten, one was just OK and the other was very good (grilled pork chop). That said the service was good and they did offer to make something different for the two that couldn't eat their entree (time made them turn that down) so they did not charge us for those meals. Seems like just a bump in the road and they did everything they could to make it right."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "We have been to S&S numerous times previously and greatly enjoyed this restaurant. However, we were very disappointed in our meal and service at our most recent visit. The waiter forgot to put in orders for entree's and desserts for us. Meals, therefore did not come out on time and the food was mediocre. My eggplant parm was dry and looked like it had been under the heat lamp a bit too long. I asked the waiter and a busboy for extra sauce to help with my dish and neither of them delivered it to me. Unless some improvements are made, I will not go back. Wait staff needs improving as well as getting the orders in correctly."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "I must have made the wrong choice for my entree. The bread they served was delicious, the appetizier was great, if not a little unusual, as it was a pile of random foods like olives, roasted pecans, meats, cheeses, crackers, and a sauce. The tomato bisque was excellent, and here's whre it fell apart. My bacon jalapeno brussels sprouts rigatoni arrived and it was inedible. There were so few noodles (the only good part, with the sauce) and so much other, what seemed like random, "stuff." I didn't complain though, because the previous courses filled me up. If it weren't for the pleasant, yet slow, service, the energetic and lively ambiance, I would have rated my experience a 2."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Our waiter was amazing. Checked on us numerous times to make sure we were enjoying out experience. Restaurant is a little crowded and noisy but the food and service are absolutely worth it. I've been there 3 times and can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "I found the restsurant very quaint. The atmosphere was very warm and comfortable. The food and service was awesome. Looking forward to the warmer months to eat outdoors. Thanks for a great experience!!"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "My Boyfriend and I went to this for Dinner, we went for Denver Restaurant Week, but have been here before, and again it was fantastic. The wine was great, Dinner was great, Appetizers were also great. So overall food was good, Service was also very good, we were seated immediately (had reservation). Timing of dishes from Appetizers to Dessert was perfect.. You didnt feel rushed.. sometimes at Denver Restaurant week, they rush you as fast as they can so they can get another table in.. but this place didnt do that. So bottom line, service was good, food was good, atmosphere was good… would go back again!"
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "The food is wonderful. Try the mussels. The upstairs dining area has a moderate noise level, downstairs is busier and louder. But the servers are great. A very worthwhile experience."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "A first time visit to Shells and Sauce for Denver Restaurant Week was initially a great idea. My husband and I were hosting friends visiting from Austin at our visit to this restaurant. We were seated upstairs which was likely where the problems began. The area was freezing and only two other tables were present which had us feeling a bit isolated from the seemingly warm, cozy atmosphere of the main dining room/downstairs area. Next, our first course took 40 minutes to arrive followed by an unapologetic server. Our salad arrived after an hour of first being seated and our main course did not arrive on our table but an hour and a half after arriving. Our dessert request was met with a "the kitchen ran out and only has tres leches"..."
    Dined on 2/23/2014
  • "My guest and I made late reservations Restaurant Week, it was our first time visiting. When we arrived we sat at the bar to wait for our table. The bartender was terrific, and made a great suggestion, both of us were pleasantly surprised at the list of selections for 5280. Our table was on the upstairs patio. At first the room was full so the temperature was comfortable. However, after the crowd began to leave it became uncomfortably chilly, even our server told us how cold she was. The food and service were great (the the Colorado Bass was overcooked but the vegetables that came with it were wonderful), and the brussel sprout pasta was amazing! We look forward to returning in the warmer months."
    Dined on 2/22/2014