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rlm

Frasca Food and Wine

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So, why can't the menu be uploaded by SFTP each time it is changed?  I can think of ways to script it via Perl, PHP, Ruby, or LaTeX->HTML, and then you'd have "realtime" menus on a website.  Jus' wonderin'...

Because it would look very, very, very ugly. I know a restaurant that does that, and it's one of the ugliest sites on earth (and they know it). I'd point it out, but it's local and I would get in trouble.

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Somehow I can't remember going to Strings or the Rattlesnake Club in my elementary days.  (I'm trying to recall the hot places in the 80s.  Need Warren Byrne or someone in here...)

Cafe Giovanni, Cliff Young's, Dudley's, Cafe Promenade, Al Fresco, Hudson's, Tante Louise, Normandy, Quorum. I'd remember more if I had any memory left.

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Cafe Giovanni, Cliff Young's, Dudley's, Cafe Promenade, Al Fresco, Hudson's, Tante Louise, Normandy, Quorum.  I'd remember more if I had any memory left.

Well, I have gone to the Rattlesnake Club, Al Fresco (in that oh-so-80s two-story building they had), Tante Louise...that's about what I can remember. The parents probably didn't feel like take kids to any other places. Now the 90s I can recall, 80s...nah.

Of course, I still never went to them in elementary school. Went to the Jolly Rancher factory, though.


TheMatt

Learning just means you were wrong and they were right. - Aram

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OK, da grad student reports. Cue soaring music: Watakushi no kyoku ga tashika naraba...

We arrive for our 5:30 reservation and are second in the place (and yes, we are early birds. In fact, this is a late dinner for me). Also in there is the server my family has had/seen at L'Atelier, conversing with his brethren. Good to know there isn't a cross-street war occurring.

We get seated at the AmyH memorial four-top, I believe, next to the slicing station. Now maybe it was a slow night, but it wasn't bad or noisy in my mind. In fact, I *liked* seeing the desserts being served. By 6:30 the place is full and not too noisy. Maybe it's because we don't have one table to the side, but I felt it was quieter than, say, L'Atelier.

Now, for the food. First off, the dishes may not be exactly correct, but as I remember them (forgot to ask for a menu). Also, my father and grandma had some wine, but as I don't drink alcohol, I can't comment. It was an Anselmi white, I think.

FIrst up, the starters. The parents, olive lovers, get an order of the olives and the table shares an order of frico(?). They are the parmesan-romano cheese crackers you find and very good. The bread guy makes frequent appearances throughout and has good bread.

Then, the Ma and Grandma get the "house' salads which are quite good I think. My father has the roasted fig and fennel salad. Were it not for the figs (which I think are meh) and fennel (main reason to think Mother Nature hates humanity, freaking anise-flavored devil bulb), this could be good. I have the Valencia onion, apple, and cinnamon soup. This is very good and not at all what I expected. Sort of a light...bisque? Someone here might know a better description.

Entrees. My mother gets the pork loin served with apples, leeks, and Matsutake. Nothing spectacular, but perfectly cooked loin. My father gets the risotto which I think is good. If I think a risotto is good, it must be spectacular since I'm usually not a fan. My grandma gets the tagliatelle with the pumpkin pie brodo. This I thought was great. Sort of like what fettucine alfredo wishes it could be. Not heavy at all, yet with that same creamy texture you get with alfredo. I have the off-menu "special", the (trendy) Tasmanian sea trout. Spectacular. Tastes a lot like wild salmon, but lighter, and had some sort glaze that made it. If it's there, I recommend it.

Finally, dessert. My father and grandma share the pecan torte which I thought wasn't too awful. Seeing as I'd rather pound nails in my tongue than eat pecans, I gather it must be the best pecan dessert ever. My mother and I share the eG dessert, or so it seems, the Hot Chocolate. Mmm...chocolate. Valrhona if my cocoa taster tongue should be believed. Very good, not too rich. I could care less for the coconut foam, but it wasn't intrusive at all.

All in all, a very good meal. Probably up there with some I've had at L'Atelier as the best meal I've had in Boulder, and overall.


Edited by TheMatt (log)

TheMatt

Learning just means you were wrong and they were right. - Aram

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Tara Q. Thomas (who also writes about wine for the Denver Post) has a paragraph about Frasca in December's Wine & Spirits Magazine (in the CityScene). It is not yet up on their website in the CityScene area (although blurbs about Brix, Adega, Table 6, and Swimclub 32 are there).


Edited by rlm (log)

“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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In a surprise move, Mr and Mrs k went to a fine dining establishment without the kids this weekend. Frasca got the nod.

We began with humorous banter regarding the carbonation in the sparkling waters. Having recently read Miguel's dissertation regarding such matters here, I was curious if they served any with "natural" rather than added fizz. Bobby determined that it was added to the two that they offer, but both used "natural CO2," whatever that means. This was a nice introduction to Bobby, and since we were early diners he was able to spend some time talking with us. He has a great personality for this gig. Our waiter was also very engaging, but not so much that he insisted we learn his name.

We began with the signature salumi plate, which was a great starter. I don't know if it really had anything to do with the trendy Berkel meat slicer, but the prosciutto was better than the San Daniele I've bought at Parisi. Bobby recommended the Tokai, which was fine but didn't pair as well for me as it apparently does for many. I'm not a big white fan though.

We followed with the Hedgerow Farms Hen egg salad and more humorous talk of what other sort of eggs there might be. (Our waiter said he chuckles a bit every time he reads it, but doesn't get as many diner comments as he might expect.) This dish was a mystery to us. It was a soft boiled egg mixed with a few poppy seeds, next to a little slaw-like salad containing a single strip of cured meat, served on the Largest Plate on the Planet. No great flavors, no synergy, nothing like an "egg salad" or even a play on one that held our interest.

We also had the lamb relish, which was basically a rough pate served as a quenelle in a little bowl with a splash of olive oil. We both thought the "grilled" bread was too close to "burnt" and distracted from the dish. Oddly, Mrs k liked the relish more than I did, even though I am much more of the meat eater. It was a little timid for me, not as unctuous as a pate and not spiced enough to make up for it. I liked it, but not so much that I'd order it again.

On to the pumpkin agnolotti, the "21 Orders" second course of the night. (They make 21 orders of a handmade pasta, and when it's gone, it's gone.) We were glad that Bobby recommended this as it was the highlight of the evening. Perfect little pasta hats filled with pumpkin and mascarpone, served in butter with toasted pumpkin seeds. Smooth and well rounded flavors, with a great chew. I neglected to take a menu, and I don't remember the other ingredients that made it so special. This is partly because I was so distracted by the preserved lamb dish that I ordered. Described as a confit of lamb served as a sort of a stew, it sounded ideal for my tastes. Unfortunately, the broth was so salty I could barely eat it. As a true salt hound, this was hard to fathom. After a few bites I decided to stop, take the rest home and make something better with it. I didn't feel like exchanging it, and the flavor and texture of the meat was wonderful. I'll add some potatoes to soak up some of the salinity. Fortunately, Bobby had chosen an excellent glass of a Multepulciano to go with it. Bread and salty broth dips kept me happy until we could get to the cheeses. The bread here is ok, but nothing special.

I almost never pass up a cheese plate, and this was a good selection, if a bit unbalanced in presentation. There was an appropriately sized slice of a nondescript but likable goat cheese, two large chunks of a smoked hard cheese that I thoroughly enjoyed, and a tiny piece of an excellent soft cow and sheep mix. While the waiter said he would bring more of any that we wanted, it would have been more pleasant to have gotten equal portions to begin with. The accompanying marinated grapes and red pepper jelly were fine as far as it goes, but I don't really understand condiments with my cheese outside of bread and butter. Neither do I understand fruit bread with it and luckily had some of the regular stuff left over. A nice glass of light Marsala went well with it.

Since I had heard such good things about the desserts, we decided to squeeze in a piece of white chocolate and mascarpone cheesecake. It came with what I think was a mascarpone ice cream. Both were smooth and creamy, but lacking in character. White chocolate is easily lost in a dessert, and this was no exception. There were some sweet, mild chunks of candied ginger and an overpowering orange sauce drizzled over the top. Individual bites tasted either like bitter orange or mild cheese, with hardly a whisper from the chocolate. Not bad, but not as tasty as expected.

In all, it was a very pleasant evening. While this is obviously based on only one visit, I'd say the kitchen still needs to find more solid ground and consistency. Lachlan designs these dishes well, but they didn't go out with the final tasting and balancing necessary. I'm sure it will continue to improve. The ambiance and level of service are excellent. Since we're lucky to get in a couple of upscale dinners a year, it will be a while until we return, but I would happily recommend it to others.

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Just a heads up that Frasca's website is now more functional and contains the wine and food menus: Frasca Food and Wine


“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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Kyle Wagner's review of Frasca today in the Post:

Wine, food and customers at Frasca get the utmost care


“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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Frasca is in the Aspen Times today:

Friendly Frasca


“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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“When I was dating and the wine list was presented to my male companion, I tried to ignore this unfortunate faux pas. But this practice still goes on…Closing note to all servers and sommeliers: please include women in wine selection. Okay?”--Alpana Singh, M.S.-"Alpana Pours"

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We went to Frasca on Saturday night and I want to report that the food and the service are as wonderful as ever!

First of all, on a whim, we called Sat morning to see if there had been any cancellations and, using all my dining karma in one fell swoop, there was--for 5:30 that evening, which was perfect as we were bringing our 9-year old son with us. (For the record, he was extremely well-behaved (we brought comics for him to read), thanked the wait staff, and proposed a lovely toast to his grandparents.)

Since I forgot to ask for a menu (d'oh!), I can only paraphrase our meal, but it was lovely. We started with the salumi (what a fun way to share an appetizer), the frico (which tastes remarkably like the twice-baked potatoes my mother used to make), and the olives/spiced nuts. This makes the second time I've been there that I've ordered the olives/nuts combination and have had to ask them to bring the olives. Strange, since all of the other service was very good.

Got the yellowtail with pistachios as an appetizer--heaven! I had the capon as an entree and, by itself, it was a little dry (maybe it's always like that? I've never had it before), but with the sauce it was to die for--as was my husband's veal.

But the star of the evening had to be the frozen chocolate malt--unbelievably good. Frothy, malty, chocolatey--omg, I'm drooling as I write this! My pear tart was okay, the pear ice cream made it bearable.

I will say that it was one of the more expensive meals I've had in the Denver area. For the five of us, it was $500 for the night (two bottles of wine, after-dinner drinks, etc.), which is little steep for this part of the world, but worth it for an exceptional dinner.


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Anyone know if there's still a 2 month waiting list? or...has it slowed down any?


"cuisine is the greatest form of art to touch a human's instinct" - chairman kaga

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You can almost always get a walk-in table (or seats at the Salumi bar or bar) at 5:30 or 9ish.


Fred Bramhall

A professor is one who talk's in someone else's sleep

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And it's always worth calling the same day to see if they've had any cancellations--we got in on a Saturday evening with a party of five that way.


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Hit Frasca late Saturday nite a few weeks ago. Was only half-hungry but saw from my car that the salumi bar was empty, so couldn't resist (had a big post opera-simulcast steak in Denver that day at Ted Turner's chain - pretty darn good, by the way. Harris beef, fresh french fries. Decent steakhouse iceberg wedge. Some solid $30-40 reds big enough to hold up to the steak. 3/4 as good as, less than 1/2 the price of an average steakhouse. But I digress...)

i haven't been there in a good six months, but Bobby had a big greeting, and glass of Tocai delivered as soon as I sat down. Since I wasn't so hungry, I asked for a half order of the salumi platter, and half a glass of a lighter red. Then a half of the ravioli in the beef brodo, which is as clear as a consome, by the way. Roasted button mushrooms, very thin pasta, delicious. Bigger red. Then (again half) on the cheese plate. I was torn on which cheese to aim my wine at - Bobby solved it for me with tiny pours of three different whites. Then one quenelle of the butter pecan from the Pacojet (this is the one ridiculously expensive piece of pro gadgetry that I'm buying if I win the lottery - the ice cream these things make is sublime.) Coffee and some kind of after dinner thing that I can't rember the name of...I had never heard of it before (and I know my exotic alcohol!)

In a word - perfect. The quality of the food is unsurpassable - even for a simple, mostly cold, tasting-type menu, which is effectivly what I did. The wine program, and Bobby's execution are obviously beyond compare. We are so lucky to have this place here in town.

One note - I got to chatting with the fellow who was slicing the salumi and quenelle-ing up a storm behind the salumi bar, and he was very knowledgable about food (I had just returned from France, incliuding a lunch at Bocuse, so I was full of pretentioius foodie yapping.) It would probably take about a day to train someone to do what he was doing - but turned out he had 2 years of C-school and a year or so of slave labor in France under his belt. All that and he's making quenelles - that's an indication of the level of prestige the F-boys already have - youngsters realize a stint there is going to still be in their C-Vs in 25 years...

What does this mean for us? Great quenelles!


always looking forward to...the next meal

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Then one quenelle of the butter pecan from the Pacojet (this is the one ridiculously expensive piece of pro gadgetry that I'm buying if I win the lottery - the ice cream these things make is sublime.)

Is this how they made the frozen chocolate malt I still dream of? (Note to self: Buy lottery tickets)


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Then one quenelle of the butter pecan from the Pacojet (this is the one ridiculously expensive piece of pro gadgetry that I'm buying if I win the lottery - the ice cream these things make is sublime.)

Is this how they made the frozen chocolate malt I still dream of? (Note to self: Buy lottery tickets)

Yes, Bekki.

Basically you can put anything in a pacojet cannister (from chopped fruit to a custard flavored with chocolate and powdered malt!) and freeze it, then the pacojet "shaves" it into a mousse-like texture.

For a clearer/better explanation: http://www.pacojet.com


always looking forward to...the next meal

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Damn! Now I NEEEEEEEED one of those. But it's always a bad sign when the price list isn't posted... Wonder if I can find one on eBay... I'll let you borrow it if I find one. :biggrin:

EDIT: Okay, found one on eBay, but it's "new in box" and $2,600... Ouch. I guess I'll be setting up a saved search to see if any used ones are ever listed.


Edited by BekkiM (log)

Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Interesting...I posted a review in answer to your question last night and now it is gone!


Edited by kiliki (log)

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Okay so here it is again: I went for the first time while visiting a friend in Denver a couple weekends ago. We had excellent service—our server noticed our wine was off though we hadn’t through half a glass! She opened a new bottle then let us smell the difference.

The food was good but nothing mind blowing—none of the eight dishes we had were truly delicious, but they were mostly good. I had mushroom flan, tortellini, grouper and a coffee shake. The grouper was cooked, as all their fish is, medium rare. The thick part was gummy and weird, as you might imagine medium rare white fish would be. Yuk. But the server couldn’t have been nicer, and she offered to take it and have it cooked more. My friend had the (off the bone) pork leg, a kind of caprese salad, a pasta with mussels (the mussels were not as good as I’m used to here in WA, but I buy them from the grower at the farmer’s market and what did I expect eating a mussel in CO?) and I can’t remember what for dessert.

We both agreed that it was a nice evening, but neither of us would go out of our way to go there again.

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It seems to me that now that they've gone to three dinner seatings (and a fixed "tasting" menu) the experience has gone way down hill. My husband and I went there in June for our anniversary and then he's been back twice for business dinners and we've had exactly the same experience you did, kiliki--service was good (though we did feel like we were being a little bit rushed out of the place), but the food just wasn't mind-blowing. In fact, some of it was downright forgettable. Such a disappointment. I'm with you--don't think I'll go out of the way to return again any time soon.


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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Amen to that. :sad: (where's the weepy emoticon when you need it?)


Feast then thy heart, for what the heart has had, the hand of no heir shall ever hold.

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