Pizzeria Locale - Boulder, CO

I would like to say before anyone from NY or Chi-Town goes off on me about their pizza, that this is merely a write-up of artisan, Neopolitan style, pizza. This isn't a slice or a pie, this is something totally different.

I guess it's been over a year since I posted about my amazing dining experience at Frasca. Well Pizzeria Locale, is the new sister restaurant right next to Frasca and opened as an authentic Neopolitan Pizzeria. Truly worth a visit, but make your reservation!

Let's take a look at what we've got here. Some beautiful grilled veggies, porcini mushrooms, San Marzano tomatoes, and smoked buffalo mozzarella, see why this isn't your normal pizzeria? I was really quite amazed at the sight of Pizzeria Locale when I went in. I guess the first thing your eyes are drawn to is the amazing V.D.F. prosciutto slicer, which I'm told is the only one in North America. It's truly a work of art. I didn't think to take a picture of it when I walked in. Sorry folks!

Arancini

We decided to sit at the bar since we didn't have reservations and the restaurant was packed. And, I like to sit where the action is. Most people talk during a meal, and I'm all for that, but sometimes it's a thing of beauty to see the artists at work. The above are arancini, which are fried rice balls coated in a breading, these filled with buffalo mozzarella, and fried. Needless to say, anything that is breaded, filled with cheese and fried is going to be delicious, but this is a notch up.

Frutti di Mare

I once went to Italy en route to a summer music festival in my classical days and came across several restaurants serving frutti di mare, which translates to "fruit of the sea". I fell in love with it then so I figured I had to order it here. I'm starting to notice that pizzeria locale really places emphasis in trying to be as authentic as they can in their flavors, and this dish is great proof. Beautiful bright flavors from fresh lemon and perfectly blanched potatoes add an amazing earthiness to this dish. Food bliss!

Polpettine

These are veal meatballs. I'm telling you, photos just don't do them justice. I really wish there was a way for me to explain the soft texture these had, and the richness that can't be described. They are soft, meaty, and melt in your mouth.

Mais

When we sat down to the chefs throwing dough, artistically putting a layer of sauce on the pizzas, and layering delicious ingredient upon ingredient on pizzas, I asked one of them, what is your favorite pizza. He said "I like the Mais it's very different." So I'm thinking . . . is different good in a traditional pizzeria? Why not! There is a distinct sweetness from the creme fraiche and corn on this white pizza. The texture of the corn is perfect and fun, while the ham adds nice saltiness as well as a bit of sweetness to each bite. I'm in love with Pizzeria Locale by now and I'm already thinking I need to get back here soon.

Maiale

This is a bit more of a traditional pie. One that I've had before in my visit to Italy. A pizza topped with tomatoes, prosciutto crude, buffalo mozzarella, and once baked topped with arugula, a peppery lettuce from italy. It's more of edgy flavor than the mais but I love it. It's reminiscent of Italy, and that is a very good thing.

Budino

Now, I'm not really a desert person but when I'm going to get down and eat like a pro, I don't feel complete without one. We bought this one because our server said it was the most popular dessert. It's definitely that for a reason. So rich, lightly butterscotch-y, and comforting, all the things I need in a desert.

Check out Pizzeria Local online and their menu here.

Cheers,
Joe Kwon


Special thanks to Bobby Stuckey for showing us such an amazing time.

Frasca - Boulder, CO


In Boulder, CO is a beautiful restaurant that any food lover would appreciate. It's not cheap, it's not your every day type of restaurant, but the food is delicious and the service is impeccable.

The moment you sit down at Frasca, you get a sense that you're about to take long culinary journey. After being seated, the Maître d' is promptly at your table to pour you a complimentary glass of a project wine of the owner and chef of the restaurant. Of course being on tour I had to kindly and regretfully decline. (SO SAD!!!) This kind of sets the tone for the whole meal. You don't come to Frasca to get in and out and plow through your meal. It's a place you go to enjoy a nice ambiance and a a well executed meal with excellent service.

Salumi
The servers at Frasca have a working knowledge that rivals any restaurant I've ever been to. If you don't know what kind of wine you'd like with your meal, just ask and they'll bring one right over. If you don't know what something tastes like or what an ingredient is, they'll bring the knowledge of a well seasoned chef straight to your table.

The Starter: They started us off with a plate of Salumi which is a sampling of 5-6 different offerings. A prosciutto, salami, a single olive, a couple yellow beets, some grissini, and some horseradish sauce. I often wish I could assemble flavors like these and eat them in moderation like you're forced to in restaurants. If I had any of these at home I'd be on my carpet eating out of a jar of olives dipping 5 sticks of prociutto wrapped grissini in horseradish sauce. I have a problem and that problem is great tasting food.

At Frasca you have the choice of ordering a la carte or going with the 4 course tasting menu. Each category features 4 choices with the desert selection obviously featuring 7 options (a couple require a supplemental fee). I highly recommend, whenever at all possible, getting a pris fixe meal, because you're already there to enjoy a wonderful dining experience. You might as well go all out.

Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Asparagus Soup with King Salmon Salad
Antipasti: My good friend Jan joined me for this meal. Jan got the asparagus soup. This was definitely the most decadent tasting asparagus soup I've ever tasted. If butter tasted like asparagus then this would be butter soup. It was delicious and the salmon on top just sent it over the edge. An absolutely perfect seasonal dish with the most asparagus flavor you can cram into a dish. Most delectable.

Colorado Lamb Shoulder “Spiedino” White Beans, Roasted Pepper and Capers
My lamb was a bit tough but the flavor was perfect. A mixture of the gaminess of lamb and the smokiness of the grill. The white beans and arugula were an amazing complement to the dish as well. Just the right pepperiness to the delicate flavor of the white beans. I was getting extremely excited for what was to come.

Four Story Hill Farm Rabbit “Agnolotti” Marsala “Brodo” and Pecorino Gran Cru
Primi: Of course if there is wild game on the menu I'm going to select the dish. These agnolotti were so f***ing perfect. I hate them for that. I hate them for this broth too. It seemed to be some sort of consommé with such rich flavor I could drink it as a coffee substitution in the morning. The rabbit inside was so smooth and flavorful it made me borderline emotional. And trust me getting me to show any emotion is difficult. Just ask Em!

Russet Potato Gnocchi Stonington Maine Lobster, Peas and Basil
I can honestly say I've never eaten gnocchi so smooth, but not mushy. I always think about making gnocchi and then I remember how pain staking it is to get perfect gnocchi. So why not order it at a James Beard awarded restaurant and taste what it's SUPPOSED to taste like. Perfect pairing of lobster chunks with the slight sweetness of peas and fresh basil. A beautiful dish that you'd have to be crazy not to love.

Maine Diver Scallops Ceci Beans, Chard and House-Made Pork Sausage
Secondi: The story behind these little morsels is this. There is a lady in Maine who personally dives for these scallops. By hand she has a crew of people working for her who dive down and hand select these scallops from the ocean floor. Before they are shipped across the country to various high end restaurants she must give the OK. From what we were told you don't want to work for this lady. She only selects the greatest quality scallops and I imagine takes the rest home for some clam chowder right? HA!

Anyways, our scallops were flown in the day before so they were about as fresh as they could be. So what does that translate to in real terms. Well first off the scallop has the most lightly beautiful oceanic flavor. I'm not saying it's fishy. That would be grossly incorrect to call them fishy. They are just so fresh. The texture is a lot like that of pan fried fois gras. It's tender and just enough texture to cut with the side of a fork. Absolutely beautiful. The scallops were so good I don't even remember what the accompanying parts of the dish taste like.

Chocolate “Torta” Hazelnut Buttercream, Bananas, Valrhona Chocolate Ganache, Hazelnut Crumble, Banana Gelato
Dolci: It's kinda hard to turn down an option like this. I love chocolate and I love hazelnuts. If you can imagine what this flavor combination tastes like, visualize the flavor in your head and multiply it times 10. That's about how yummy it is. I just wish I had a couple more bellies to try all the deserts and all the dishes from this meal.

In closing, this meal was not the cheapest of meals. But it also wasn't the most expensive meal I've ever had. It was however, one of the most memorable. Not only for the food, but the impeccable service and care the staff treats you with. If you're even a short driving distance away from Boulder you MUST try this place out. Frasca is a restaurant that I see returning to in the near future.

Cheers,
--Joe Kwon

Visit Frasca's website for information about booking and their current menus.