Lunch Biz: Adagio's Panini

November 2010

Sandwiches can be inspired and memorable (such as the braised beef brisket with Taleggio fondue and red-wine gastrique at Masterpiece Delicatessen), or they can be disappointingly ho-hum. The list of stellar options is somewhat short, so I'm always on the lookout for another addition. Last week, I found one (actually two) at Adagio Baking Company in Park Hill.

The cozy shop presses eight panini with top-notch ingredients. The sandwiches (all of which can also be made on challah and left unpressed) are large, but that didn't stop my husband and I from devouring our selections: a well-balanced roasted turkey with pesto, provolone, caramelized onion, and tomato, and one stuffed with sautéed portobellos, sun-dried tomato pesto, feta, pickled onion, and spinach.

It's the small details that make the difference: The turkey's caramelized onion lends sweetness to the pesto's sharpness, and pickled onions add tang to the vegetarian, while the tomato pesto adds a degree of heft.

Bonus: All sandwiches come with a freshly baked cookie, but I advise trading up for a roasted butternut-squash bar to get a jump-start on Thanksgiving's flavors. This treat is in the style of a lemon bar but with cinnamony, pumpin-pie-like filling.

4628 E. 23rd Ave., 303-388-0904