We’re hiring for server positions, hosts, and more! Apply for all restaurant jobs in person at Pinocchio’s Italian Eatery in Brighton, CO, between 2 and 4 PM.
Brighton is a special place with a wide range of activities and events for everyone! Whether you’re interested in crafts or concerts, this time of year offers a unique collection of exciting things to do in town.
Oct 1st – 31st (Fri-Sun plus Thu Oct 29th) at Murray Maize Maze
Not for the faint of heart, this renowned 15-acre corn maze and haunted house will definitely get you into the Halloween spirit! Visit just the haunted corn maze for $12, the haunted house for $14, or both for $25. Good luck!
Sat Oct 10th – 9am-1pm at Barr Lake
What could be better than a fall day at the lake! Open to all ages, you can expect games, hayrack rides, crafts, and pumpkins. If you’ve got energy to spare, why not cycle, hike, or run all or part of the 8.8-mile multi-use trail that circles Barr Lake? You’ll be glad you did!
Sat Oct 10th and Sat Oct 17th – all day at Raptor Education Foundation Prairie Center
This is a unique and limited opportunity for photo enthusiasts to photograph eagles, hawks, falcons, and more in a natural setting. Participation is very limited and the cost if $100 per person. An all-day, special experience!
Tue Oct 27th – check website for times – start and end at Benedict Park
Brighton loves its bikes! Open to all bike rider levels, you won’t want to miss this great opportunity to enjoy a fall evening under a full moon. A leisurely 5-mile route, join the ride or drop off where it’s convenient for you. Make sure your bike is ready for the ride. Water, bug spray, lights, and a helmet are recommended.
Fri Oct 30th – 7pm (doors open at 6pm) at the Armory at Brighton Cultural Center
What a special event! This concert, featuring Janis Kelly, Lisa Bell, and June Turnbull, pays tribute to Carole King’s masterful and best-selling album in “Tapestry Revisited.” With terrific arrangements of every song on the album, this is a concert not to miss. Tickets are $15.
Sat Nov 7th – 7pm (doors open at 5pm) at Adams County Fairgrounds
A unique concert that serves as a fundraiser and awareness concert for a scholarship program established to help New Mexico high school seniors pursue higher education. Tickets are $30.
Sat Nov 7th & Sun Nov 8th – 9am-4pm at Adams County Regional Park
This special event is hosted by the Adams County Historical Society to help you get a head start on holiday shopping with 400 booths in four big buildings! Admission is just $3 (ages 14 and under are free) and food is provided by 4-H clubs. Come find a wide range of unique gifts for all occasions.
Sat Nov 21st – 8:30am sharp at Brighton Recreation Center
Colorado’s flattest and fastest 5k awaits you with this Brighton tradition that will help you feel good for the holidays! Entry is $30 for adults and $22 for youths/seniors. Entry to this Bolder Boulder qualifying race comes with t-shirt, breakfast, and entry for prize drawings (must be present to win).
Sat Nov 21st – 6pm at the Armory at Brighton Cultural Center
This groovy 1960s-themed event is the annual fundraiser hosted by the Brighton Historic Preservation Commission. Tickets from $30 include dinner, music, dancing, and silent auction with money going to local historic preservation efforts in Brighton. A great way to kick off Thanksgiving week!
Sat Dec 5th & Sun Dec 6th – 9am-3pm at Adams County Regional Park
This special event, hosted by the Adams County Historical Society, is sure to get you in the holiday spirit and ready for a festive season. With 300 crafters in two buildings, you’ll find unique gifts for the holidays and beyond. Admission is just $3 (ages 14 and under are free) and lunch, provided by 4-H clubs, is available all day. Don’t miss it!
Sat Dec 5th – 8pm at the Armory at Brighton Cultural Center
A nationally recognized vocal rock band performs with no instruments and no special effects! Face brings a new attitude to the human voice and song. The concert offers a holiday theme and is truly an experience you will not want to miss. Tickets are from $20.
Sat Dec 12th – from 11am in downtown Brighton
Downtown Brighton businesses will open their doors with special sales and holiday activities from 11am. Plus there’s a free family holiday movie (limited seating) at 2pm and traditional carolers to add to the holiday fun!
Sat Dec 12th – from 2pm at Brighton City Hall
The family will enjoy Santa, face painting, petting zoo, and much more at the Historic Brighton City Hall! The holiday spirit will be in full swing with activities starting at 2pm.
Sat Dec 12th – 5pm in downtown Brighton
Don’t miss this special 20th anniversary event in historic downtown Brighton! With an estimated 20,000 attendees, the parade theme of “A Hometown Holiday Tradition” will showcase over 75 lit-up parade entries. Happy holidays!
Did we miss any events in Brighton you want added to the list? Comment below!
In order to continue to offer incredible Italian food to our guests, where do we find our inspiration? We regularly look toward experts in the field, Italian chefs around the world, to learn about new recipes, understand different approaches to Italian dishes, and embrace Italian life in each of our meals.
Here are just a few of our favorite Italian chefs that inspire our Italian cooking!
A world-class chef, Massimo Bottura is one of the best-known restaurateurs in the world with dozens of global accolades including his three-Michelin star restaurant, Osteria Francescana. But it is his approach to Italian food that we find most inspiring. While he is classically trained in Italian cuisine, Massimo’s idea of a perfect dish is “tradition, but observed from a distance.” Davide prizes himself in taking traditional recipes and, using modern techniques and new ingredients, developing something special every day. We love this approach to Italian cooking!
When it comes to influencing Italian cooking in America, we can all thank Marcella Hazan. Born in Italy, Marcella Hazan held a doctorate in natural sciences and biology and moved to America in 1955 after marrying an Italian-born New Yorker. With a no-nonsense style, Marcella shared real Italian cooking to generations of Americans through her plain-speaking cookbooks. She stayed authentic to ingredients, menus, and attention to detail. Although Marcella passed away in 2013, her straightforward Italian cooking techniques continue to influence us as an approach we’ve embraced in our kitchen.
What inspires us about Davide Oldani is that he keeps things real. While a celebrated chef, including receiving a Michelin star just one year after opening his Restaurant D’O, in Italy, Davide has worked hard to make an Italian restaurant experience both affordable and delicious. Achieving this is no small matter and has even been covered by Harvard Business School as a model of operational excellence. But what really inspires us? His pasta with tomato sauce! Using the freshest ingredients, Davide makes it easy to fall in love with spaghetti and sauce over and over again.
It’s hard to imagine becoming an expert in Italian baking by accident, but that’s just what happened to Gina DePalma. Gina grew up in an Italian household and was culinary school trained. As part of her training, and because her teacher thought she may have a gift, Gina was sent off to Chanterelle in New York City for an externship in pastry. This is where her passion was born! Gina’s approach to sweet delicacies is to keep flavors pure and direct and honoring great ingredients, which she perfected as Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante Enoteca. Her love and commitment to high-quality desserts is what we admire most!
Giada De Laurentiis
Some Italian chefs just bring a special flair to cooking. Take Giada De Laurentiis, the Italian-born, Paris-educated, UCLA-graduate, Food Network cooking star. For millions who have watched Giada De Laurentiis, she entertains and educates about Italian cooking, and gives audiences confidence to try to make Italian meals on their own. While she may deviate from some authentic Italian recipes or techniques now and then, Giada has provided insight into the Italian cooking process and inspired us to not be intimidated and, instead, to make Italian cooking fun!
Visit Pinocchio’s to experience, first hand, the inspiration behind our commitment to the creating and serving the very best Italian food. From the freshest ingredients to our authentic cooking skills, at Pinocchio’s you’ll experience some of the most incredible Italian food in Colorado!
Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, pepperoni pizza. While tasty, these are not “authentic” Italian recipes. Does this make it wrong to call them Italian-American dishes then? No! In fact, the beauty of Italian cooking in America is that it reflects change, taking the very best of Italian food and making it “authentic” for America.
Taste Over Time
The arrival of Italian influence on American food started with the over 7 million Italians who emigrated to America between the late 1800s and World War I. During this time, travel was limited in Italy and these immigrants brought with them the regional diversity in cooking that is still prevalent in Italy today.
As new arrivals in America, however, these Italians from different regions found themselves living – and cooking – next to each other. With influences from Florence to Rome and Bologna to Naples, Italian cooking began to evolve as recipes were shared, tips were traded, and new meals were created.
The evolution of Italian cooking continued when U.S. soldiers arrived back after World War II, bringing a new wave of desire for Italian food. The generations of Italians who now called America home rose to this demand by opening new Italian-inspired delis and restaurants. As prosperity grew in the U.S., meals changed further, such as the inclusion of meat on a more regular basis versus only for a special occasion.
Cooking continued to evolve in the decades that followed as Italian ingredients and foods were easier to come by throughout the nation, both in restaurants and in supermarkets.
Through the years, because of this direct Italian influence, new recipes have become the basis for the authentic Italian-American cooking we love today!
Taste in Tradition
While some Italian-American cuisine may deviate from food made in Italy, the roots of all dishes remain true. The spirit of Italian cooking focuses on centuries of tradition and an approach that centers on simplicity, freshness, and love for the meal – hallmarks that make Italian cooking some of the most beloved meals in the world!
- Flexible flavors
The underpinnings of all Italian cooking are the ingredients used in each meal: olive oil, garlic, and herbs. There are certainly other ingredients used regularly but these staples, whether in a pasta, polenta, or risotto, serve as a base to bring the best out of Italian recipes. Building good, deep flavor – whether Italian or Italian-American – comes from the first step of using olive oil, garlic, and herbs as a foundation for each dish.
- Freshest vegetables
A trademark of Italian meals is the use of fresh, seasonal vegetables. The flavors are drawn out through different cooking techniques to ensure the most appetizing dishes. Healthy vegetables can include tomatoes, eggplant, dark leafy greens, asparagus, and artichokes. Whether as part of the entrée or side dish, marinated, sautéed, or roasted, fresh vegetables are important to all Italian cooking.
- Cherished cheeses
A variety of cheeses offer flavor and texture to Italian meals. Versatility and variety dictate what type of cheeses will be used in which recipe and the choices are almost limitless! Crumbly, runny, grainy, and moist, Italian cheeses each have a place in every course of the meal, including after dinner with a hunk of country break. Italian-American use of cheese may be different but the result is the same: delicious!
- Passionate approach
A passion for food, so prevalent in Italy, is probably a result of Italian life revolving around the kitchen. Just as in Italian-American cooking, the delight comes in understanding the elements of each meal, care in preparation and cooking, and presentation of the meal. But it’s more than just the meal – passion for all genuine Italian eating is about ambience, experience, community, and family.
For such a small country, Italy (less than half the size of Texas) has made a big impact on food in America. While Italian recipes have changed since arriving in America, the spirit of the meal remains the same. Incorporating the best ingredients, infusing flavor with a passionate approach, and sharing meals with joy – this is how incredible Italian meals are made. Salute!
Looking for a waiter or host position in Brighton, CO? Look no further than Pinocchio’s Italian Eatery!
Located in downtown Brighton at 177 E Bridge St, Pinocchio’s is a family-style Italian restaurant, bar, and catering company.
When it comes to aperitivos and digestivos, Americans generally know little more than one comes before dinner and the other after, and that they may or may not be alcoholic. In the United States, both are regarded as a kind of luxurious beverage — no one goes out with the intention to just become intoxicated on an aperitivo or digestivo, and it’s unclear as to what occasion either should be imbibed. In Italy, though, aperitivos and digestivos are culturally ingrained and regarded for so much more than their alcoholic effects.
By learning about each, and understanding why anyone would add an aperitivo or digestivo to a meal, you’ll add to the richness of your dining experience. As a bonus, you’ll also impress your friends and family with how knowledgeable and cultured you are!
You may have heard of at least a couple of these drinks: Prosecco, Bellini, Vermouth, Campari, Aperol…The Italians consider each of these an aperitivo. In Italy, the aperitivo is consumed before lunch or dinner, at the time Americans would consider “Happy Hour.” The difference, though, is that this Italian “happy hour” doesn’t exist as a means of becoming intoxicated for half the price. The aperitivi are consumed to rouse the appetite and stimulate digestion. Sometimes, the aperitivo is taken with light snacks, such as olives or a little bread; sometimes, it’s enjoyed alone. Its purpose is to help you unwind from a long day, to relax and socialize.
The top aperitivo for most Italians is Campari, a somewhat bitter alcohol, made from an infusion of herbs. Sometimes, cocktails will also be drank as aperitivi, but they’re traditionally kept simple.
Among the most common digestivi are Grappa, Genepi, Fernet Branca, Amaro Lucano, Averna Amaro, Ramazotti, Cynar, Limoncello, Strega, and Sambuca.
Digestivi are sometimes referred to as “amaro” or “amari,” which translate as “bitter” or “bitters.” Concoctions of herbs, roots, barks, berries, spices, flowers, and citrus peels, these drinks are slightly bitter to serve as a kind of herbal medicine that is taken after dinner to aid in digestion. Generally, they’re served in small shots that are sipped and, because of the adjusted palate, enjoyed.
One of the most popular digestive is Grappa, which has a long history that goes all the way back to the first century. The word “Grappa” refers to grapes, as it is created from the distilled and pressed remainder of grapes used in winemaking.
Pinocchio’s offers a variety of aperitivos and digestivos to give you the full Italian dining experience. Bring your family or friends down and expertly choose one or both the selection and explain how aperitivos and digestivos are not just alcoholic beverages, but rather, libations rooted in thick layers of culture, custom, history and the appreciation of life and breaking bread with friends, family and even strangers. Above all else, the Italian culture is one that celebrates beauty. When you raise your aperitivo or digestivo and cheers, “Salute!” be reminded that you’re partaking in an age-old tradition of living in the moment and appreciating everything that exists within it: your friends and/or family, your health, and the rich tastes of an Italian before or after dinner drink.
When in Rome, do like the Romans do…or should we say, when in an Italian restaurant, eat like the Italians eat? Believe it or not, there’s a right and a wrong way to eat spaghetti (hint: if you’re cutting it with a knife, you’re doing it wrong!), and it’s best to adapt your style to accommodate the situation.
We’ve created a guide to eating spaghetti in a few different scenarios, to help you look like you know what you’re doing:
Scenario Numero Uno (that means, “#1”): Eating Spaghetti on a First Date
If you have a first date, the perfect place is an Italian restaurant. Why? Because the Italians are a romantic people, and with a few tips, you’ll be able to impress the socks off your date. Especially if your date is Italian, you can’t just go to any Italian place — you need an amazing Italian restaurant, such as Pinocchio’s.
If you’re part of a couple with a taste for the grape, as they say, you can impress your date by ordering a complimentary Italian wine at Pinocchio’s to go with your meals. If you’re both getting a red sauce, you can choose a Sangiovese or Nebbiolo; if you’re getting something with a cream sauce, opt for a Pinot Grigio.
Now, it’s more attractive to be cute when eating spaghetti on a first date, than to be super creepy. The important thing is to make as few noises as possible when enjoying your pasta. You’re going to need to pick the pasta up with your fork and spin it against the large spoon provided for you to condense it into one manageable mouthful. If perchance you should get pasta sauce on your face, dab it off with your napkin whilst batting your eyelashes wildly — it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman — you’ll look cuter that way.
- Get a complimentary wine
- Try not to slurp
- Bat your eyelashes confidently when flecks of food end up on your face
Scenario Numero Due: Visiting Your Future Italian In-Laws for the First Time
If you’ve made it past the initial stages of dating and are going to meet your future Italian in-laws for the first time, good for you! You must have learned something from our guide! But read closely, because eating spaghetti properly in front of your Italian mother-in-law-to-be is both the best and the hardest thing you may ever do. It’s the best, because she’s probably made pasta — other than Pinocchio’s spaghetti, nothing is better than an Italian mother’s pasta and her sauce. It’s the hardest because she’ll be watching you.
Here, the key thing to remember is not even how you’re eating Mamma’s dinner (DO NOT EVEN THINK ABOUT PICKING UP THAT KNIFE!), but how you react to the dish when you’re eating it. An Italian mother pours all her heart and soul into feeding her family, and her spaghetti is usually the biggest point of her pride.
Be sure to win over your in-laws by gifting them a bottle of nice red wine from their family’s region in Italy. It shows you pay attention. Then, when you sit down and receive your first serving, start dishing out the compliments. Even before you dig in, remark how amazing the spaghetti looks and smells. Now, don’t be shy here. Say it loudly, like you mean it — your sentiment will be heard by everyone and appreciated. It’s going to be so good, anyway, that you shouldn’t contain yourself. The wine should then be poured, and for good cheer, you say, “Salute!” Then, before you start eating, you can wish everyone “Buon appetito!” Start eating when anyone at the table starts eating.
There are three waves of compliments that should ensue:
- After your first bite, put down your utensils and exclaim how amazing the whole dish is, then compliment the sauce. Sauce is a specialty for Italians, and it deserves special attention. 2. After some discussion about other topics, you’re free to interrupt to state again how good the dish is.
- When you’ve cleaned your plate, there’s nothing more complimentary than asking for another serving. In fact, you should plan on taking as many servings as humanly possible, loosening your belt, if need be, and accompanying every new serving with a statement as to why you’re heaping more spaghetti onto your plate (because it’s amazing!).
- Bring a bottle of wine belonging to the region your future in-laws hail from
- Know what and when to compliment
- Eat as much as you possibly can
Scenario Numero Tre: Eating Spaghetti with Your Family and Kids
So, you’ve had kids with the love of your life, and you would like to go out for a nice Italian dinner with the family to a wonderful establishment, like Pinocchio’s. The object of the game is to get your kids to clean their plates without grossing out your significant other or the other restaurant guests.
The first thing you’ll want to do is get yourself a nice glass of red wine (because you should enjoy dinner thoroughly, kids or no). Then, once your family’s spaghetti is served, it’s time to excite your kids about what’s on the table in front of them. Try telling them a story about pasta, such as the time you first tried your Italian mother-in-law’s pasta, and how nervous you were but how good the pasta was. Then, show them how to properly eat spaghetti — to spin spaghetti into a spoon or against their plate — and make a big show out of it (it doesn’t matter if they do it successfully or not). Teach them how to say “Buon appetito!” and then show them how to expertly dab sauce off their faces or their sibling’s faces. When they do something correctly, compliment them with “Molto bene!” which means, “Very good!” Tell them that if they want to say the dish is good, they should say it again with gusto, “molto bene!” Then, teach them to use the bread to soak up the rest of the sauce — your kids will love digging in with their hands.
- Get yourself a glass of wine
- Tell the story of your in-laws
- Teach them how to spin spaghetti
- Get into the Italian language
Enjoying your spaghetti is a fun and delicious cultural experience. When done properly, you can make a lasting impression on anyone. The key is to enjoy a glass of wine, cater your style to your audience, and savor your food. The Italians have a phrase, ‘La bella vita,” which translates as, “The beautiful life.” So remember, when you’re enjoying a spaghetti dish, life couldn’t get any better — especially when your mother-in-law is feeding you.
While the art of creating the best-tasting pasta sauce has been perfected by Italian grandmothers the world over, the reason its main ingredient has become a staple in the Italian diet extends far beyond taste. Tomatoes are rich in nutrients and, perhaps surprisingly, become even more potent and more easily accessed by the body when they are cooked.
In recent years, abundant research has been conducted on the healing properties of cooked tomatoes, and the number of health benefits gleaned from eating them is astounding. Take a look at some of the top ones:
Tomatoes Fight Cancer
The deep red pigment of tomatoes comes from a carotenoid and powerful antioxidant called “lycopene.” The American Cancer Society has reported from studies on lycopene that individuals with diets rich in tomatoes were found to have a lower risk of many types of cancer, including prostate, lung, and stomach cancer.
Tomatoes Fight Heart Disease
With heart disease still the number one cause of death in the world, it’s uplifting to know that the lycopene in tomatoes can reduce the risk of heart disease by 25%. Tufts University found that when tomatoes were eaten regularly over an eleven-year period, their lycopene content cut the risk of coronary heart disease by 26% by boosting the heart’s defenses. And in 2012 a study conducted by Finnish scientists, showed that men with the lowest levels of lycopene in their systems were up to 60% more likely to experience heart attacks.
Tomatoes Make You More Attractive
In the cosmetics and beauty market, tomatoes have attracted a lot of attention for the effects they have on skin when used topically or ingested. When consumed regularly, the antioxidants in tomatoes work as a natural sunscreen, keeping the sun’s ultraviolet rays from penetrating the skin. They also work to fight cellular damage, wrinkles, and skin reddening.
Tomatoes Help You Lose Weight
Among the many nutrients in tomatoes are chromium, fiber, and biotin — all provided in ample supply. Chromium and biotin work together to stabilize blood sugar levels, severely reducing cravings; the fiber content functions to maintain a sense of fullness.
Tomatoes Keep You Healthy
As the body is exposed to free radicals on a consistent basis, through pollution, foods, chemicals in the water and diet, and so forth, waste piles up in the body, contributing to illness. The antioxidant content in tomatoes works to counteract these free radicals, protecting the liver from damage by metabolizing and eliminating toxins from the body. As a result, the immune system is able to function at a higher capacity, and the liver can process much of the waste that might otherwise overwhelm it. The degree to which tomatoes detoxify the body is so great that anti-aging experts claim their antioxidant value is essential to good health during the aging process.
The amazing healing powers of cooked tomatoes make traditional Italian pasta sauce a healthful food. When you’re eating tomato sauce, you’re doing your body a huge favor, fighting off illness, enhancing your beauty, and improving your overall health. So the next time you come down to Pinocchio’s and bite into our delicious sauce on our pasta dishes or pizza, you can enjoy it even more, knowing you can have your pasta sauce and eat it, too!
Despite a temporary break in the weather, the Front Range of Colorado is in the grip of another long winter. Cloudy days and frigid nights may take their toll on us as winter drags on, but at Pinocchio’s Italian Restaurant in Brighton we aren’t letting the season get us down. Instead, we are reaching into our cultural heritage to bring some much needed celebration to our friends and customers. It’s time to lift our spirits and celebrate the venetian tradition of Carnevale!
The first Carnevale took place in 1162 to celebrate the defeat of Ulrico di Treven who sought to dominate all of Italy. The Republic of Venice celebrated their victory with a baroque festival including dancing and unique masks in San Marco Square. Carnivale became enormously popular during The Renaissance, a period of European history typified by artistic expression and academic enlightenment. Carnevale and the associated finery were outlawed in the late 1700’s, but in the latter half of the 19th century the party came roaring back. Now, approximately three million people from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Venice every year to enjoy the festivities and hospitality that Italian culture is well known for.
Venetian Carnevale masks are one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday. They come in all shapes and sizes and were once a vital part of Venetian society. We may be accustomed to online anonymity in our time, but during Carnevale celebrations of The Renaissance, social privacy necessitated the use of masks. Without the stigma of their identities being compromised, participants in Carnevale were free to dance, sing, and party down on the streets of Venice. It’s amazing to see how many similar festivities have popped up all over the world. The masks were particularly important leading up to Ash Wednesday which kicks off Lent, a month of abstention and self reflection. Shrove Tuesday (or Pancake Day) falls on February 17th this year, so make sure you have your masks and costumes ready.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Italian festival without food. At Pinocchio’s Italian Resturant in Brighton our celebration of traditional Italian cuisine never stops! We love to see how people all over the world have adopted pieces of Carnevale traditions and made them uniquely their own. For our part, we plan to keep the great food and wine flowing all month, so we hope that you’ll bring your family and friends by to celebrate with us.
Pinocchio’s Italian Restaurant hit a large milestone this month … our 5-year anniversary!
Many years ago, we were graced with our current Italian restaurant location, a historic 1912 brick building located in downtown Brighton.
Since opening in February 2009, Pinocchio’s has been established in Brighton’s community with our consistently high quality Italian food, service, and ambiance.
It has truly been an alignment of the stars; this restaurant was made for this building and made for this town!
We greatly appreciate each and every one of our customers and would like to thank you all with a free dessert if you come in and mention this post (offer good for the month of February 2014).