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Southwest Boulder Trip Report

Frasca in Boulder, CO--trip report


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Frasca in Boulder, CO--trip report

bhoward | Jul 6, 2006 06:32 PM

Enter a search for "Frasca" on the Southwest board and you will find one poster who compared those who like Frasca to "lemmings who want to believe that this is cutting edge cuisine but won't admit to reality." Where do I get in the lemming line? A few weeks back three of us dined there and had a wonderful meal in every way. Because we had several miles to drive after dinner, one in our party agreed to abstain from alcohol and be our designated driver. (More about why that is important later).

Our server, a young woman, could not have been more helpful. She took the time to explain every item on the menu and made her suggestions when prodded. She didn't let us down. We started with a plate of salumi for the table--prosciutto, speck and Salumeria Biellese salami--served with rafano (a mild horseradish sauce) and grissini. Everyone loved it.

Next came a crudi of perfectly fresh sliced Hawaiian Kampachi with a shaved fennel salad and Florida tangerine juice. Other starters were hand-made potato gnocchi served with fava beans and a Spanish mackerel crudo and "Zlikorfi"--a veal and fontina cheese ravioli with wilted spinach and ripe bing cherries. We reluctantly passed these plates around, each dish as good as the other, with the nod for best starter going to the ravioli, but not by much.

Entrees proved to be the best course of all. One of us had the butter-roasted line-caught Hawaiian sea bass with a pole bean and toasted almond salad and spring garlic butter glaze--amazing in its simplicity and taste. I had one of Frasca's signature dishes, Long family farm shaved leg of pork with fingerling potatoes, fresh cherries and pancetta vinaigrette. It, too, was very good but not in the same league as our third entree. As I understand it, the chef creates one dish per night of which there are only 21 orders (the entree is actually listed on the menu as "21 Orders"). Our server almost insisted that someone at the table choose that night's selection--house-made, hand-cut tagliatelle with salumi, toasted pistachios and Montasio cheese. Simply unbelievable! Our waiter had described it as the best "macaroni and cheese" we had ever tasted and it was. I also think it is important to note that the "21 Orders" entree which was so highly recommended was by far the least expensive item of all the entrees on the menu that night.

For dessert we had cappuccino along with toasted coconut ice cream, an almond torte with Valrhona chocolate ganache, coffee buttercream and coffee gelato and, finally, a warm chocolate brownie with a frozen malted shake. We left sated to say the least.

Now, back to our temporary teetotaler. We told our server when first seated that only two of us would be drinking wine and that we would be looking for assistance with wines by the glass that would go with the courses we ordered. Without so much as a frown our waiter and the sommelier, Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey, gladly recommended wines by the glass to go with each course, including dessert. Tastes before deciding were provided. Overall, a great evening at a restaurant I will return to every time I am in Boulder which is not nearly often enough.

A final word about prices. The poster I referred to above talked about Frasca's "exorbitant" prices. What a joke! Starters ranged from $9 to $20 and entrees from $19 to $31, all perfectly reasonable for the quality of the food (Frasca proudly boasts that they use products grown and produced locally whenever possible) and the overall dining experience: fine dining without attitude or pretense.

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