I’ve had so many superb meals at Frasca’s flagship restaurant in Boulder that I’m embarrassed this is the first time I’ve written about them. Created in 2003 by Master Sommelier Bobby Stucky and chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, Frasca focuses on the food and wine of Friuli, in Northern Italy. While the wine list is slanted towards Italy, it includes wines from throughout the world. It’s an impressive list, as well as one of the most comprehensive in Colorado. The head chef today is Eduardo Valle Lobo and the wine program is managed by Stuckey, with Carlin Karr as Wine Director. Rose Votta is the General Manager and is always a welcoming presence on the floor. This is a world-class team, and few, if any, restaurants do hospitality better.
On this occasion, I was dining with Traci, my better half, and we started the evening with the Frico Aperto, which is a slightly modified take on the restaurant’s famous Frico Caldo. Basically, a cheese and potato pancake, it’s fried on the stovetop in a cast-iron pan. The Aperto version adds shaved truffles and is as soul-warming as it gets. The restaurant also does an incredible prosciutto plate, as well as a number of salumi options. All the dishes where superb, with standouts being the Zucca, a vegetarian dish consisting of squash stuffed with farro, and the Gnocchi Zucca, which includes a wagyu short rib ragù that’s to die for. The Zucca was a simple yet brilliant dish as well was incredibly satisfying. It was also a perfect fall dish. The Gnocchi Zucca was incredible, and as light and airy as Gnocchi can get.
As to the wine, we started with glasses of the latest release from Krug. Traci loves a richer style of Champagne and this was beautiful. I was craving a solid Burgundy for a change of pace, and the 2006 Dujac Clos de la Roche knocked it out of the park. Still incredibly youthful, it blossomed over the course of the evening and has loads of spice and forest floor characteristics paired with beautiful fruit. It certainly has a vibrant, almost crunchy style, yet the mid-palate is terrific, it’s flawlessly balanced, has ample ripeness, and is just a joy to drink. It’s just now at the early stages of maturity yet has another 15-20 years, if not more, of longevity ahead of it. I’d certainly be thrilled with bottles in the cellar.
Without a doubt, Frasca is up with the crème de la crème of restaurants in the US, and if you’re anywhere near Colorado, don’t miss it!