First, this place is fantastic. An excellent emphasis on fresh produce as well as interesting flavor combos. I had what was for me a very decadent all-carb meal. I began with the Anson Mills Heirloom Polenta. This came with a little more oil than I would prefer, but the polenta was still excellent. Creamy and flavorful and I would swear there was a vaguely citrusy accent, perhaps lemon basil? The server (and she as well as the manager and water-server were all terrific, solicitous but not overly so, accomodating, and thrilled by how excited i was by the food!) let me have two half-portions of pasta, so that I could try both the gnocchi and the handcut tagliatelle. The gnocchi were light and shaped more like arepas than standard lumpy gnocchi. This dish was so good that I had to close my eyes so that all my senses could be focused on the taste. The tomato broth was somehow both rich and yet light. There was, for once, no truffle oil. That might sound odd to say, but it seems like so often, truffle oil is used in lieu of any other subtlety. I'd go back and eat this again and again, if only i didn't live in NYC! The tagliatelle were also excellent, but, I'm afraid, paled in comparison to the gnocchi. I must say, the half portions were very generous. I sat at the salumi bar, as I was alone (my Boulder friends aren't foodies and don't see the sense in spending lots on food), and the woman seated next to me had the full portion and I think she really only had two forkfuls more than I!
I also loved their 3oz pour options for wines by the glass. For $4.50, I had a lovely glass of Vega Sindoa Chardonnay which hit the spot. Later, i tried a $4 glass of a Verdicchio, lighter than the Chard and just right for the richness of the pastas. These prices may not be "good" by Boulder standards (I wouldn't know, though) but by NYC pricings of wine (and these seemed like generous pours), this was a bargain! At Gramercy Tavern, the 3oz pours start at $6...
For dessert, I had the rustic plum and berry and frangipane tart. The crust on this was only so-so, it was, perhaps made with whole wheat flour? or else, a bit overbaked. Unfortunate, as the fruit and frangipane were delicious. It was accompanied by lemon merengue gelato, which tasted exactly like pie. Amazing. The gelato sat atop what can only be described as the crumb from crumb pie and WOW this was awesome. I make a lot of crumb pies in summer and this was better than my topping, wish i had the recipe!
In all, this was a terrific meal. Boulder is lucky to have a restaurant of this caliber and creativity. Would that other restauranteurs would follow suit!
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