The Painted Pig crew, from left to right: Jill Thomas (manager), Gino Farfán (head chef), Liliana Silva (sous chef) and Adriana Palacios (sous chef) getting ready for a much-anticipated opening. Photo by Jeanne Souldern

“It all starts with wine,” Kade Gianinetti, owner of The Painted Pig, Carbondale’s newest restaurant, told The Sopris Sun.

The Painted Pig venture at  began with Gianinetti’s business partnership with Courtney Gayer and Brandt Thibodeaux, founders of Aquila Cellars. Aquila Cellars is a winery and farm based in Paonia. According to their website, “We’re dedicated to responsible land management and simple, minimal cellar practices.”

“Aquila Cellars is a little winery that I’m a partner in, and we have been looking for a tasting room space or a direct consumer outlet,” Gianinetti said. “We couldn’t find anything in the North Fork that we were super excited about. With my family owning the [689 Main Street] property, that popped up as an option.”

Gianinetti is descended from a five-generation Carbondale family that continues to maintain a working ranch. “I think as our community changes, it’s nice to have a new perspective on what we’ve been through before and how this community has already changed,” he said. “Hopefully, this can be a positive outlet for how Carbondale is growing and evolving — paying homage to the past but also looking toward a progressive future.”

What began as a small tasting room evolved into a café, restaurant, bottleshop and mercantile, “with the winery being the backbone,” he said. The store will feature wines from around the world, in addition to Aquila Cellars.

The Painted Pig’s tagline is “Carbondale’s living room.” The cozy atmosphere, with several rooms and a front foyer with views of Mt. Sopris, certainly provides an intimate and familiar vibe.

You’ll find photographs of the Aquila Cellars winery adorning the walls. Choose a bottle of wine to take home from a shelf of reds or a cold storage case of white wines. Outer Range Brewing Co., a community-driven microbrewery based in Frisco, will provide a pilsner and IPA on tap. The Denver-based Family Jones Distillery supplies the spirits for the full-service bar.

The community café will be open from 7am to 2pm for food service, featuring Color Coffee, a specialty coffee roaster located in Eagle. Those who want to skip the line can get a cup of joe to-go at a self-service station, paying on the honor system.

General Manager Dominic Cossentino said food-to-go options are available for lunch and dinner, with sandwiches, rotisserie chicken and barbecue, along with a selection of seasonal side items that can be paired with a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer.

Head Chef Gino Farfán hails from Lima, Peru and has lived in Colorado for about five years. He has worked in many Roaring Fork Valley restaurants, including Carbondale’s La Raza, and Cuvée Aspen’s vacation villas.

Farfán said he cooks with flavorings, not spices — like aji amarillo (yellow pepper) paste with a light, slightly citrus flavor with subtle heat. You can expect arroz con mariscos — a Peruvian paella — and, in the winter, daily soups of the chicken, seafood and onion variety. What’s more: chicken, beef, pork, side dishes, including risotto and mashed potatoes, and pastas made in-house such as ravioli, spaghetti and pappardelle.

One of Farfán’s specialties is Peruvian ceviche with bite-sized pieces of fish or seafood, red onion and a leche de tigre marinade of fresh lime juice, aji amarillo, cilantro and garlic, served alongside slices of sweet potato (camote), corn kernels (choclo) and toasted corn nuts (concha).

Initially, The Painted Pig will open for morning and early afternoon service and will eventually extend their hours to 10pm, with full menu service in the evening. There is an option for partial or full space rentals for private parties and events, and the two boutique hotel rooms upstairs are available for booking through The Painted Pig website:

Daytime restaurant service is scheduled to begin on Nov. 1, but you can get a sneak preview of the restaurant during The Painted Pig Harvest Party on Oct. 28, from 11am to 4pm, rain or shine. This event is free and open to the public. There will be live music, Seed Peace produce for sale, simple wine and beer tastings, pumpkin decorating and face painting. The café will also be open for service.