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Tony Zarlenga, Cafe Brazil

Tony Zarlenga

Cafe Brazil

Tony Zarlenga along with wife Marla have been the driving force behind Cafe Brazils kitchen for more than 30 years. The son of Italian immigrants via Argentina and Southern Brazil. Tony grew up surrounded by a family of restaurant people. Parents, aunts and uncles all worked in restaurants .The knowledge of food, wine and hospitality imparted by them led him on a working culinary journey that began more than 50 years ago. From Dishwasher to Chef, From Waiter to Maitre D’ From Bar Back to Barman from Apprentice Gelatiere to Maestro Gelatiere. His experience is diverse and his respect and appreciation for those who mentored him and gave him opportunties is great. (His favorite quote to staff) “We are only as good as the” guests walking out the door thinks we are (His comment about Food) I love working with food. It becomes what you make of it. It is very forgiving and it doesn’t talk back


Panelist Picks:

With Tony Zarlenga

Week 3: What are your Top Favorite Burgers in Colorado?


  1. My Brothers Bar Double Johnny Burger, Never fails, the no frills simplicity is all about the flavor and consistency. You will whet your appetite and your hands, but well worth it.
  2. Cherry Cricket Cricket Burger with Smoked Gouda, Grilled Onions and avocado. With a ton of options for build your own.
  3. Highland Tap and Burger The Bison Burger, if available.
  4. Park Burger
  5. Shake Shack


Week 2: What are your top 3 Favorite Spots to Grab a Cocktail?


  1. Adrift Tiki Bar – The well thought out offerings and creativity bring back memories of my years in Hawaii at the Black Orchid. Pat Bowlen and Tom Sellecks celebaratory and award winning restaurant in Honolulu. An added plus the crew and staff behind the team of Loren Martinez and Paul Tamburello. Two of the most gracious and supportive people for the North Denver community.
  2. The Cruise Room – Love the ambiance and feel. One of those Special places with a lot of History. If the walls could talk. Class in a glass.
  3. The Family Jones – They pay homage to the Art from beginning to end. Knowing the history of the space, I can only say Mr. Mancinelli would be proud. 


Week 1: What are your top 5 favorite restaurants of 2022?


  1. Safta – Wonderfull Mezze, fresh hot pita. Kitchen truly understands flavor, ingredients and what works well together
  2. Barolo Grill – Ambiance and classic setting for elevated rendition of Italian cuisine. One of the few restaurants reminiscent of what fine dinning in Denver once was. Sophisticated work with meats and fowl and great wine offerings to compliment them.
  3. Cafe Jordano – There is a reason a independent restaurant is open for more than 30 years.
    “Family” and the Matriarch behind it
  4. Uncle – Consistency and giving people a light casual spot to eat well and jump in and out is always welcome. My favorite Cold Sesame Noodles with apple. Add a chile bomb and you are good to go.
  5. My Brothers Bar


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