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Shells and Sauce, Denver, CO

Shells and Sauce

4.7
4.7
2703 Reviews
$30 and under
Italian
General Manager, Oscar Venegas and Executive Chef Marcus Jimenez are 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!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 23 times today

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Italian, American, Comfort Food

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Thu, Sun 3:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 3:00 pm–8:30 pm

  • Phone number

    (303) 377-2091

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Marcus Jimenez

  • Catering

    We cater all events. You are welcome to pick up the food or have it delivered from our Catering Menu. We have catered all occasions; from small birthday parties to President Obamas Tour and Media when running for his second term.

  • Private party facilities

    We do private events events from 10-130 guests. We have two floors. Our first floor seats 70 our second floor seats 60. There is a bar on each floor. The second floor is perfect for everything from Wedding Dinners to Corporate Parties. The second floor can be used Privately or Semi Private with Food and Beverage Minimums.

  • Neighborhood

    Cherry Creek

  • Cross street

    12th and Elizabeth.

  • Parking details

    Easy to find parking on the street, or park in our lot behind the restaurant.

  • Public transit

    Bus #10 & 12

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Popular dishes

What 2,703 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.7
4.7 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.4Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • Denver

    Italian

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  1. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined 2 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful food. Great place for families.
  2. DD

    DenverDoctorMom

    Denver

    41 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined 3 days ago

    overall5food5service4ambience5
    Shells and Sauce is a favorite for many reasons: the food is predictably delicious and carefully prepared, the "feel" of the place is warm, a little busy, and friendly always, the staff are truly caring and kind, and the value for the quality is great. We are always happy with our food choices and food arrives not too fast so one feels rushed, but also not too slowly so the meal drags on... Cocktails and wine choices as well as dining options for every palate are easy to find. Specials are usually seasonal and take advantage of some back of house creativity. Someone who is looking for a quiet, oak-paneled, more pretentious place will not love it here, but then again, everyone who wants something that is warm and friendly and fun and relaxing will outshine those stuffy types. We have been happy at Shells and Sauce every time we have eaten there -- big or small groups, summer outside on the patio or winter when warmth and comfort are at a premium. Never disappointed, we always leave happy and full !
  3. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined 4 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wonderful!
  4. JR

    JamieR

    Denver

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined 6 days ago

    overall4food4service4ambience3
    The food was really good and our server was attentive to our requests. I would go back again.
  5. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and service!!!!
  6. RS

    RaquelS

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall3food4service4ambience2
    The food was very good. We made a reservation for 6:15 and we seated at 6:50 pm, which made our experience a little uncomfortable. I know we were 6 people… but still. The noise level was high. I asked the waiter to lower the music volume because we had the speaker just above our table, and they didn’t do it. I think that a nice lounge or jazz music at a low volume would go better with the ambience instead of pop music at high volume. It was annoying!
  7. GD

    GailD

    Exclusive

    9 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined 7 days ago

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Delicious!
  8. SD

    SusanD

    Denver

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on November 16, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Very good food and service. If you are going to talk to friends and have conversation, it is hard to hear.
  9. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love shells and sauce - it’s a neighborhood gem that is consistent and tasty.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Tallahassee

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on October 27, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were looking for a great meal to end a work conference and were recommended Shells and Sauce by a local - it did not disappoint. Our server, Jamie, was absolutely fantastic. Everything we ordered was at his recommendation and we loved it all. I highly recommend dining here if you’re looking for a great atmosphere, terrific food, and stellar service.
  11. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 26, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Food was absolutely amazing and happy hour was to die for. We got all the entrees on the happy hour menu and definitely was not disappointed by any of them.
  12. KM

    KayleeM

    Detroit

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Shells and Sauce is a staple of denver dining. The food is always delicious and it’s very much true to the family opened and established business that is has always been. It’s truly a must if you are looking for a nice Italian dinner in Denver.
  13. MW

    MarthaW

    New England

    9 reviews

    5.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I have not been to this restaurant since the pandemic so it was nice to see they had done some updates to the interior that were very nice. Gave the place a fresh new look. We had a new server and he was terrific. He was very courteous and genuinely hospitable and created a great experience. The food was delicious everything was delicious. Great cocktails and yummy starters. Crab cake with the arugula salad was awesome. Highly recommend the wild mushroom Marsala. Excellent neighborhood restaurant and nice place to go before heading over to the Botanical Gardens.
  14. ML

    MikeL

    Denver

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Great as always!!
  15. NJ

    NJoW

    Denver

    26 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on October 21, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience2
    Friends got together for dinner after an event at the botanic gardens. The food and service were outstanding for all six of us. I have been there numerous times before and have never sat upstairs for dinner. While it is nice that the area is now enclosed, the ambience had a lot to be desired Downstairs, you can smell the food in feel the energy of the restaurant. Upstairs there was a stale smell and it’s just not attractive or welcoming. The next time I make a reservation I will make sure I’m getting a table on the main floor, as that is what I was expecting. Again the food and our exceptional waitress were wonderful.
  16. MY

    MattY

    Denver

    11 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on October 15, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We went to Shells and Sauce to celebrate our daughters birthday. We had a great experience. Our server, Jojo, was awesome. The food was great and the we really enjoyed our overall experience. Our only disappointment was that they don’t have calamari.
  17. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    San Francisco

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 14, 2022

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    Another great meal at S & S. Food is spectacular. Definitely worth the 40 minute drive and fight for parking. We love this place!!!!
  18. MB

    MelissaB

    Denver

    16 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on October 13, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    We went for a girls night out - the service was wonderful and the food was delicious. Great neighborhood spot that consistently provides great wine offerings and tasty Italian food. Favorites include the Stuffed Shells Duo, Roasted Garlic Cheese Curds, Ziti Style Italian Cheese Ravioli and their deserts are to die for yummy! Always a great go to for a night out!
  19. GO

    GaryO

    Denver

    2 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall3food4service3ambience3
    Seated 40 minutes after our reservation which is not cool
  20. r

    rebekahl

    Denver

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on October 9, 2022

    overall3food4service2ambience3
    We were seated upstairs for a party of 5. While the noise level was much quieter and it was a bit warmer than the cooler downstairs a few things were noted from our table. One, the stairs are two flights and wood. We saw many elderly guests being funneled upstairs. It was a little slick. We mentioned hoping the restaurant takes guests age and mobility into consideration when seating guests. Also some stair runners would probably be advised. The tile floor outside of kitchen at bottom of stairs where you pass through to main entrance or to be seated upstairs was wet and slippery , a rubber kitchen mat should be there or a wet floor sign. (see above liability) Our service was mediocre at best. Maybe it’s because we were in the corner by the stairs out of her sight, but check in’s or a friendly welcoming attitude were non existent. We had a forced smile upon greeting but when none of us ordered alcohol her attitude seemed to change. We order apps & dessert every meal so a little faith your tip % will be just fine if your service is up to par would be my personal suggestion as a server. We had to ask for straws, what the specials , if we could order dessert . None of our bread / 2 appetizers or entree dishes were cleared until we ordered dessert. We had to stack them ourselves with the silverware and move to the empty space at the table. The penne vodka was ok, more like a marinara sauce. We had to wait 5 minutes after entrees were served to get parmesan and red pepper flakes. Everyone else liked their dish. Overall the service or lack thereof was the sour note on the dining experience. Maybe the server was having a bad night but as someone who’s worked in the industry for 25 years, basic service skills and a simple smile at times (not just when you plop the $160 check on the table would have been nice). Just a miss on customer service and table maintenance.
  21. C

    Carman993

    Minneapolis

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Service was ex excellent. Food very good. Happy hour drinks were a nice surprise. Going back if I can get a reservation! 🤩
  22. D

    Doug

    Houston

    22 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    Lots of fun - something for everyone Good experience and service Upstairs much quieter
  23. CF

    CalebF

    Kansas City

    31 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on October 1, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of the best Carbonaras I have ever had, best of the best in Denver, amazing food, amazing atmosphere awesome wait staff especially the guys upstairs, Our waiter was super nice and very attentive, we will 100% be back next time we are in town
  24. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 30, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Servers are great and knowledge about the menu. Always great specials and amazing food. My favorite is the peach lavender sangria and the Brussels sprouts! Shells and sauce never disappoints
  25. n

    nainai

    Denver

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on September 28, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our favorite everyday dining option in Denver.
  26. CB

    CiaoBella

    Denver

    15 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on September 25, 2022

    overall4food5service4ambience4
    A great neighborhood Italian. We enjoyed a delicious seasonal peach salad, chicken parm, fettuccine and scampi, and our favorite meatballs in Denver. Drinks were great too. Cheesecake was amazing, tiramisu was just ok. Service was a bit overstretched, but still friendly and attentive.
  27. JL

    JanetL

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Service and food amazing as usual. We used to live in the neighborhood and still love coming down here for dinner when we can. Shrimp and Veal is always high quality and the pasta and sauces do not dissapoint!
  28. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 17, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We love this place
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 11, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    It was awesome! Jamie is a fantastic waiter. We all had a great time
  30. MM

    MichaelM

    Denver

    8 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2022

    overall4food4service5ambience4
    The Romanian waitress that served us was marvelous. Keep her, if you can!
  31. T

    Tface22

    Washington DC

    3 reviews

    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on September 4, 2022

    overall3food2service5ambience5
    Server was great and food came out quickly. Just didn't enjoy the food.
  32. CM

    CindyM

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Absolutely delicious dinner, from appetizers to dessert!!!
  33. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on September 2, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great meal Ans superb service!! Loved it and will be back again
  34. A

    Alan01

    Denver

    53 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    53 reviews

    Dined on August 25, 2022

    overall4food5service5ambience4
    Quasi greeted by a sullen manager, but made up by lady who took us to the table and our waitperson. Food, great as always. Bar tender thanked us for coming in. Manager nowhere to be seen, seemed like a loser.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great service and great food. Try the lasagna.
  36. AB

    AnnieB

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 20, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Our waiter Marshall was wonderful! The portion sizes were larger than expected but since the food was so hauntingly good, there was enough for another meal a home.
  37. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 18, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Great food and service!
  38. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Denver

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing staff, amazing food, amazing atmosphere. Favorite restaurant.
  39. DF

    DenverFineDiner

    Denver

    3 reviews

    1.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall1food3service3ambience2
    We've been eating at Shells and Sauce for years and are long time fans of their food. However, they seem to have made a number of changes recently. Among those changes are an hour and a half dining limit. My party of seven ordered 3 appetizers, drinks and entrees for everyone. We received our entrees after about an 45 minutes. After we'd had them for about 15 minutes, the server started checking in with us every 2-3 minutes to see if we needed boxes. After her third trip asking about them, we accepted them hoping that would buy us a few minutes reprieve. Our dishes were removed for boxing in the kitchen (it was not clear they would be taken away when she asked). As soon as the first box was delivered, so was the check. At one hour and 15 minutes after we arrived, the hostess approached our table and asked if we could collect our things so the table could be cleaned and they could seat the next party. I have never been rushed through a $275 dollar meal before, nor have I ever been asked to collect my things so the table could be bussed and they could seat the next party... and certainly not after an hour and fifteen minutes. This was a complete failure of hospitality and none of us will eat there again.
  40. I

    Italian1

    Denver

    22 reviews

    5.0

    22 reviews

    Dined on August 14, 2022

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    The food and desserts were delicious. Our server was friendly and professional. We had a wonderful dinner!

Safety precautions

  • Cleaning & sanitizing

    • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
    • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
    • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
    • Common areas deep-cleaned daily
    • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
    • Contactless payment available
  • Physical distancing

    • Limited number of seated diners
    • Distancing maintained in common areas
    • Extra space between tables
  • Protective equipment

    • Waitstaff wear masks
    • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
  • Screening

    • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace

FAQs

Shells and Sauce does offer delivery in partnership with Postmates. Shells and Sauce also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (303) 377-2091.

Shells and Sauce is rated 4.7 stars by 2703 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 23 times today
Google Map for Shells and Sauce

2600 E. 12th Ave, Denver, CO 80206

Additional information

  • Cross street

    12th and Elizabeth.

  • Neighborhood

    Cherry Creek

  • Hours of operation

    Dinner Tue–Thu, Sun 3:00 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 3:00 pm–8:30 pm

  • Cuisines

    Italian, American, Comfort Food

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Parking details

    Easy to find parking on the street, or park in our lot behind the restaurant.

  • Public transit

    Bus #10 & 12

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Marcus Jimenez

  • Additional

    Banquet, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Takeout, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (303) 377-2091

  • Catering

    We cater all events. You are welcome to pick up the food or have it delivered from our Catering Menu. We have catered all occasions; from small birthday parties to President Obamas Tour and Media when running for his second term.

  • Private party facilities

    We do private events events from 10-130 guests. We have two floors. Our first floor seats 70 our second floor seats 60. There is a bar on each floor. The second floor is perfect for everything from Wedding Dinners to Corporate Parties. The second floor can be used Privately or Semi Private with Food and Beverage Minimums.

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