Shells and Sauce
Shells and Sauce

Shells and Sauce

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.italianrestaurantdenver.com/
  • Phone: 3033772091
  • 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!
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
Shells and Sauce reviews from OpenTable diners
193 reviews since May 26, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelEnergetic
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (154)great for outdoor dining (65)fit for foodies (63)great for brunch (50)special occasion (38)romantic (33)good for groups (31)kid-friendly (29)hot spot (23)great for lunch (21)notable wine list (17)vibrant bar scene (14)late-night find (10)scenic view (7)Show More
  • Great neighborhood place
    LoraLee
    Dined on 9/20/2014
    Within walking distance of the Denver Botanic Gardens. The noise level is very high, it would have been better to sit outside. We were disappointed in one of the specials we ordered, our server and the board said it was 4 tiger prawns, but when the dish came, it was a handful of bagged shrimp. The chopped salad is always great, as were the crab cakes.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • too noisy
    samthemam
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    we went on a Friday night despite having reservation took a while to sit down and then the noise level was bad you had to scream at the people at your table. if we go back would go earlier on a week night.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We were a party of 4 - all having something different and everyone was very pleased with their food. Good service too. Our only negative comment is that the tables are placed way too close together. Even tho the food was excellent - I would think twice before returning just because of the constriction of being so very close to other patrons.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Their food never disappoints. Always excellent! Service is very good too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • AH-MAZ-ING
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009VIP
    Dined on 9/14/2014
    Every time I eat here it is better than the time before! The food is outstanding and the staff is always so great! I wish my dining experience at other restaraunts could be half as good as it is when I dine here!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Server
    Haphap
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Our male server was fabulous! Funny, friendly, open and sarcastic in a most entertaining and heart warming way.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for brunch, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Shells and Sauce
    JEdiners
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    We thought the service was excellent, the food very good, the lower level was way too crowded and upstairs had a generic, disappointing atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Brunch
    CoDeb
    Dined on 9/7/2014
    Went with a couple of friends for brunch this weekend and the food was great as always. They have such an eclectic brunch menu and I love it. The place was really noisy. More so than usual but it still is a great place to go for weekend brunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Not As Good...
    GoodFoodFanVIP
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    We had not been to Shells and Sauce for several months. Previously, the food was consistently good and the service attentive. This time, the service was again very good, but on this occasion, the food was no where near our previous visits. The restaurant's signature bread has changed - and not for the better. My cesear salad was simply romaine lettuce, no cheese, no croutons, just the lettuce. While my Cioppino was adequate, my wife's eggplant was not edible - the eggplant was overly deep fried with waaaaaay to much breading and the eggplant not cooked - really bad! After this experience, not sure we would go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Like this place
    davydVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Good east coast Italian at a reasonable price. Nice corner for outdoor dining with the right weather. Inside dining room could use some noise reduction.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Excellent service from Jake, decent food. Silly length requirement
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Hum12
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    We ate here during Denver Restaurant Week based on the menu and the recommendation of a friend. The location was convenient to downtown. The food was wonderful with a large selection to choose from. The portion size was very good. Because of the restaurant week special price, the value was excellent with four courses and a glass of wine for $30. Shells and Sauce is a place we will recommend to friends and we will return to when we come back to Denver.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    i thought it took a little long to get your meal other than that the food was great
    Special Features:
    romantic, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    The food was great. Loved the marsala, but the chicken was awful, like bad spongy frozen chicken. Otherwise, we really liked it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A HUGE disappointment
    MBell
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We had been wanting to give this restaurant a try for awhile, but it was such a disappointment when we finally made it there. It was very noisy inside, but that wasn't the issue, because it seems most restaurants these days are quite noisy. It was the poor quality of food that will keep us from ever returning. It started right off with the soda that my husband ordered, which was flat. Then it took 55 min. to get our food. I got eggplant parm and my husband got veal parm. Both were dry, tasteless, luke warm at best and the spaghetti that came with it was cold - refrigerator kind of cold! There very little sauce on it as well.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful!
    MariVIP
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    I've been to Shells many times and am never disappointed. The staff is very friendly and the food is awesome! I believe brunch here is one of the best in Denver. Also, my friends and I enjoy the happy hour as well. Great place. ..Check them out!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • excellent Italian food
    77yum
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    We were seated in a relatively quiet corner on a Sunday and the time was early. The Lasagna was superb and the wine very good. The waitress and staff are friendly and professional. We will eat there again, however, it can be quite noisy at times.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Excellent food
    Shaun
    Dined on 8/16/2014
    Love the cocktails, Breakfast burrito, and brunch in general
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ignored
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013VIP
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    I dined here on a friday night and did not see a server, so much as received a menu or water for about 15 minutes. Finally, we decided to go to the hostess to make sure that the server knew that we were sat. She apologized and said she would let them know. When we waited 10 more minutes without a server (even though we were passed by 2 servers running back and fourth to the tables around us, I am assuming one of them was ours), we decided to tell the hostess we were leaving. Upon arriving to the hostess stand, she apologized again and said there are two open tables at the bar on the upstairs patio and that we would surely receive quick and prompt service there. We unfortunately were ignored again, and decided to give up.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Twice so far, so good
    TrickyRedcoat
    Dined on 8/14/2014
    I have taken my girlfriend here for a date twice and each time she has enjoyed it. The service is excellent at this place. I will put one exception as when we went here for brunch our server was terrible, providing poor service and kept making the girls feel uncomfortable with his eye contact. Brunch is unimpressive, with the bad service, 1 star. Back to dinner anyway, which has been a different story. The food was delicious. The first time I went I had a pork chop that was the best I have ever had. The bread and dipping sauce they serve before the meal is excellent and I have enjoyed the cocktails each time. The atmosphere of Shells and Sauce is very cozy and warm. I'm sure I will be back soon for dinner. Brunch I will give time to change.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Dinner
    linds18
    Dined on 8/13/2014
    I will definitely be coming back here! We were seated right away with our reservation and the restaurant became very busy as the evening went on. The restaurant can be noisy but it seems like they have a nice patio if you would prefer to sit outside. The food was delicious! They have a wide variety to choose from, with classic to adventurous salads and pasta dishes. I really enjoyed the meal and our server was very friendly and efficient!
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Shells & Sauce Disappointment
    Gwiz
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    After 3 1/2 years away from Denver, we really looked forward to the opportunity to dine at Shells and Sauce - we even made reservations. Sad to say our meals were too salty. Great disappointment compared to our last meals here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Yum!
    MariaG
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Wonderful Sunday afternoon early dinner. Be sure to wait until 3:30. Great food. Service is fantastic!
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent Italian food and brunch
    MarcVIP
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    Shells and Sauce hits a nice medium, where it's a perfect date place at night with delicious but not pretentious Italian food, but also a great place to get brunch during the day on weekends. It's also tucked in the middle of a neighborhood, so it feels like a private find.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Too noisy on the weekend
    disappointedVIP
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Two of the four of us are hard of hearing. Had asked for a quiet table when making my reservation on Open Table several days earlier. The host was so overwhelmed with crowd, we were lucky to get a table for four let alone a table at which we could hear one another above the noise. Because of the earlier reservation, I expected better service up front. Would avoid this restaurant on the weekend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Poor service on a busy Fri night
    disappointedVIP
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Two of the 4 of us are hard of hearing. Had asked for a quiet table when making my reservation on Open Table several days earlier. The host was so overwhelmed with crowd, we were lucky to get a table for four let alone a table at which we could hear one another above the noise. Because of the earlier reservation, I expected better service up front. In addition, the waitress was inattentive and did not know the evening's specials. Would avoid this restaurant on the weekend.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • great experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We travel from Arvada to come to Shells and Sauce. It's worth our time because we love the service and the food so much. Recommend to everyone.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I don't get it...
    Bart
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    ...after hearing about it for years, finally tried it on a Wed evening. Was crowded, VERY noisy, service was awful. Food? Just OK, absolutely nothing special, on the expensive side for what you get. And the food is 'Lazy'. Saltimbocca has always been punted veal or chicken, they just cut a thigh in the middle and stuff it with cheese & ham and call it a day, Spagetti? Simple pasta an a extremely ordinary sauce. Why the crowds? Neighborhood can walk to it, will embrace and accept the mediocre I guess.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Chow Hound
    ChowHound
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    Fine outdoor dining when it's not raining. Menu varied and interesting. Small and noisy indoor space.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wish I lived closer
    LadiesWhoLimo
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I had a great dinner here with 8 friends. We walked over from the Denver Botanic Gardens. Brady went above and beyond as our server. He even gave us separate checks, without a grimace at the request! The food was wonderful, plentiful and perfectly prepared. If I lived in Denver, I would definately be a regular customer here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Food was amazing. Well worth future visits. Our server was very friendly and made us feel at home.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    clyde1
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    The restaurant was extremely crowded and tables were much too close together making it very uncomfortable with chairs back to back on adjacent tables. The wait staff couldn't get through to many of the tables and had to reach across diners to deliver food. Service was slow and half of our meals were not served hot. Extremely noisy. All around a disappointing experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Service Trumps Food but Not by Much
    Maximillian00VIP
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    This was our first visit to Shells and Sauce and because of the reviews we read on OpenTable, we had high expectations. We were seated immediately and at the table we wanted. The service was a little slow, especially with our anti pasti plate, but the food was delicious and the staff very friendly, we really didn't notice the time pass. I had a delicious Shrimp Diavolo but if you don't like garlic, I wouldn't recommend it. My wife had Chicken Marsala which she really enjoyed. We would definitely eat here again.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great Italian restaurant
    JeanVIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    I had takeout from here on a previous trip to Denver, but this visit wanted to see the source! Interesting presentations of classic Italian..with a great staff and excellent wine recommendations to boot. This will become a regular stop on visits to family in Denver.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Food and Great Service
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    The service at this restaurant outshines their great food even. We got the table we wanted and were greeted by an enthusiastic staff that was eager to please. I would definitely come dine again if we are in the area
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great for Brunch
    AverageDiner
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    I went to Shells and Sauce for brunch with some friends and it was an overall great experience; great food, attentive servers, and relaxed ambiance. However, I would suggest making a reservation or getting in right when they open because they fill up quick!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always Fabulous!
    EatinItAll
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    Shells and Sauce is ALWAYS fabulous, NEVER disappointing. Went for dinner Saturday and back for brunch on Sunday.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Outstanding
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    Absolutely love this place, try to get there once a week
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Review
    JamesonEATS
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    My second time coming to the establishment, I Absolutley adore Brady he is fantastic. They are lucky to have him. Food was awesome. .
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • MichaellVIP
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    We've been coming here for years. I think they got a new chef because what we had just wasn't as flavorful as in the past. It was still high quality and well-prepared, however.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic