Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson and Bobby Stuckey, owners of Frasca and the original Pizzeria Locale in Boulder, didn't skimp when they decided to open a fast-casual version of their traditional Neapolitan pizza place on Broadway almost two years ago, and then a second in Highland this fall. The ovens at the two Denver outposts are from the same Italian company that shipped the Boulder oven, and the ingredients are as fresh and delicious as anything you'd find at the duo's upscale eateries. You'll even see the same hand-cranked meat slicers shaving tissue-thin ribbons of prosciutto for appetizers and pizza toppings (and if you're lucky, you may get a sample while standing in line).
Most recently, Patterson and Stuckey have added stone grinders to the shops, where heritage wheat is ground daily for the pizza dough.
See also: 100 Favorite Dishes of 2014
The new flour makes for a heartier, earthier crust with a rustic appeal that tastes like a bite of Italian history. In past years, we've loved the Mais pizza -- with corn, creme fraiche and strands of that silky prosciutto -- and while that's still one of our favorites, this year we're recommending something a little bolder to stand up to the grainier flavor of the new crust.
The Diavola starts with the house red sauce and adds a sprinkle of red chili flakes (since your pizza is made right in front of you, you can even specify how spicy you want it). Your pizzaiolo then adds fresh, whole basil leaves, pepperoni and a healthy serving of smoked mozzarella. It's not an inventive or wacky combination, but the spice and smoke combine with the hearty crust in a way that, rather than bringing to mind the health-conscious whole-wheat breads and pastas that tend to overwhelm the palate, evoke the early days of street-vendor pizzas in nineteenth-century Napoli.
In advance of the Best of Denver 2015, we're loading our plates with contenders for the best dishes in the city. And over the next few months, we'll be sharing many of them with you, counting down (in no particular order) one hundred of our favorite dishes before the the Best of Denver 2015 hits the streets on March 26. In the meantime, if there's a dish you think we need to try, tell us about it in the comments section below, or shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2014 countdown are linked below.
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No. 100: Chile Relleno at La Fiesta No. 99: Gurage Kitfo at Megenagna Ethiopian Restaurant No. 98: Cochinita Pibil at Work & Class No. 97: The Greggers Tongue Sandwich at Olive & Finch No 96: Baum Cakes at Glaze by Sasa No. 95: Goat hot pot from Viet's No 94: Head cheese from Beast + Bottle No. 93: Kettle Chips from Amerigo Delicatus No. 92: Pork Belly Confit at Solera Restaurant and Wine Bar No. 91: Tacos Campechanos from La Calle Taqueria No. 90: Biscuits from Denver Biscuit Co. No. 89: Clams and Chorizo at Gozo No. 88: Aburi Sushi at Sushi Den and Izakaya Den No. 87: Kimchi and Sausage Torta at City, O' City No. 86: Mar y Tierra Molcajete at Paxia No. 85: Crispy Pork Spare Ribs at Table Top No. 84: Chips and Dip at Euclid Hall No. 83: Chile Relleno Burrito at El Taco de Mexico No. 82: Scallop Crudo at Stoic & Genuine No. 81: Ceylon Curry Dosa at Khazana No. 80: The Lambada Torta at La Torteria No. 79: Pork Bulgogi at Dae Gee No. 78: the Pulled Pork Pig Pen Sandwich at Boney's No. 77: IPA Mac & Cheese at Hops & Pie No. 76: Chiles en Nogada at Chili Verde No. 75: Udon Noodle Bowl at Bones No. 74: Cinnamon Rolls at the Duffeyroll Cafe No. 73: Smoked Turkey Croque-Madame at Acorn No. 72: Pickled Lake Michigan Perch at Trillium No. 71: Oysters at Jax Fish House Glendale No. 70: Venezuelan Tostadas at Empanada Express Grill No. 69: Tahini Cauliflower from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 68: The Ham and Cheese Tartita from Maria Empanada No. 67: Ronnie's Favorite from Rosenberg's Bagels and Deli No. 66: Shoo-fly Pie from the Long i Pie Shop No. 65: Czech Potato Pancakes at Sobo 151 No. 64: Fried Chicken at the Post Brewing Co. No. 63: Braised Brisket Sandwich at Masterpiece Delicatessen No. 62: The Scotch Egg from Argyll Whisky Beer No. 61: Butternut Squash Ravioli at DiFranco's No. 60: Sesame Balls at Vinh Xuong Bakery No. 59: Curry Puffs at Suvipa Thai Food