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Agia Sophia, Odyssey Beerwerks, Pizzeria Rustica

Dine & Dash


  • Matthew Schniper
  • Agia Sophia

Agia Sophia

2902 W. Colorado Ave., 632-3322,

Agia Sophia will soon pass the decade mark, remaining part of the Orthodox Church in America. It's operated as a nonprofit, with revenues going to charitable organizations locally like the Dale House Project and Westside Cares, as well as international mission work.

The upstairs reading room remains a favorite area workspace, but seated on a bar stool downstairs, I knock down a vegan wrap ($6.50) on a gluten-free Rudi's rice tortilla. It's spread with vibrant red bell pepper hummus, which clumps Kalamata olives together with caramelized onions and greens. Even with side potato chips, it's not too filling, so it's effortless to conquer a spinach salad ($7.50) with similar ingredients joining feta and a thick house balsamic dressing. Destroying the health kick, a Snickers blended espresso ($5.45) with two shots, vanilla-rich cream powder, chocolate powder and touches of caramel and peanut butter syrup tastes as guiltily sweet and good as it sounds.

Odyssey Beerwerks - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Odyssey Beerwerks

Odyssey Beerwerks

5535 W. 56th Ave., #107, Arvada,

Odyssey sprouted in early 2013 and now boasts fairly wide state distribution, with six-pack cans (around $9) that include labels like Psycho Penguin Vanilla Porter and Palm Tree Caribbean-Style Lager, which we grabbed. It's a 4.7-percent ABV pilsner-style brew, with ready citrus and tropical fruit aromas and back-flavor plus a tinge of pepper in the mildly bitter and highly malty finish.

Pilsners originated in the mid-19th century in what is now Czech Republic, so this "island-inspired" rendition reflects deviations from classic European pilsners. But the body remains straw-light and crisp, with a typical lager's heavier mouthfeel and a somewhat zesty hop profile. Without the suggestive language I wouldn't have immediately thought "island" any more than when drinking any IPA that bears tropical citrus or stone-fruit notes. But I have no doubt Palm Tree pairs well with Caribbean cuisine or any setting where you might otherwise have reached for a Red Stripe.

Pizzaria Rustica - MATTHEW SCHNIPER
  • Matthew Schniper
  • Pizzaria Rustica

Pizzeria Rustica

2527 W. Colorado Ave., 632-8121,

It's been half a year since new menu items came on, and co-owner Dave Brackett walks me through the alluring additions after seating us. Co-owner/chef Jay Gust appears mid-meal and talks about being so busy he's running his wood-burning oven at a higher-than-usual 900 degrees, doing turn-and-(not)-burn cooking, to keep up.

Despite the attention, our Regina Super Margherita ($15) arrives underdone and gummy on top, but Gust makes a re-fire appear within four minutes. That one's perfectly lovely, with buffalo Mozzarella and garnishing Pecorino joining the classic San Marzano tomato paste and basil. Our aged prosciutto-wrapped Mozzarella Spiedini and oregano-rich local meatballs, called Polpette al Forno (each $7.50), are simple pleasures as well. The excellent Sfogliatine Panini ($5.50) dessert presents dried cranberries over finespun puff pastry wedges encapsulating fingers of airy Ricotta Nutella filling. Nice new plates, boys.

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