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100 Favorite Dishes: Frico caldo from Frasca Food & Wine

100 Favorite Dishes: Frico caldo from Frasca Food & WineEXPAND
Lori Midson

No. 67: Frico caldo from Frasca Food & Wine

Colorado's pope of Friulian cooking, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson is a madman on the stove, a genius who bats around a menu that's full of wonderous dishes, and one of the few chefs we know who wears a toque -- and wears it with reverence. He's the star basketball player running the court, the pool shark bumping balls, one by one, into the corner pocket, the guy with the impeccable technique of a chef twice his age. He's the chef of Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine, and he knows, more than any chef we can name, how to transform the humble, lowly, plebeian potato into unassailable nobility.

It goes by an Italian name -- frico caldo -- and in someone else's hands, it might be nothing more than a standard potato cake, but here, in this kitchen, it emerges in all its exquisite elegance: triangles of crisp-edged Yukon Gold potatoes enhanced with onions and Piave and crowned with dots of speck and a cilantro-laced mound sharpened with a thimbleful of sherry vinegar. One order is never enough; neither is two. But that's the thing with MacKinnon-Patterson: He can make even the pedestrian potato taste better than, well, just about anything.

Hungry for more? All the dishes in our countdown are linked below:

No. 100: Italian wedding soup from the Squeaky Bean

No. 99: American Classic Burger (and fries) from Tarbell's

No. 98: E's clam linguini from Mangiamo Pronto

No. 97: Queso a la plancha taco from the Pinche Tacos wagon

No. 96: Prosciutto-wrapped jalapeño poppers from Tony's Market

No. 95: Fried chicken from the Pinyon

No. 94: Seafood soup from Farro

No. 93: Posole from The Porker

No. 92: Breakfast Burrito from the Taco Wagon in Lafayette

No. 91: Hummus from Shish Kabob Grill

No. 90: Albondigas meatballs from Solera

No. 89: Lemon-ricotta doughnuts from Olivéa

No. 88: Döner kabob from Shondiz

No. 87: Roasted cauliflower salad from Euclid Hall

No. 86: Beef cheek enchiladas from El Diablo

No. 85: Fried Brussels sprouts from Panzano

No. 84: Pork osso buco from Osteria Marco

No. 83: Cazuela Colombiana from Cafe Brazil

No. 82: Chicken potpie from Devil's Food

No. 81: Sichuan braised beef noodle soup from Zoe Ma Ma

No. 80: Larb nua from Taste of Thailand

No. 79: Pork shank from Argyll

No. 78: Truffo panino from Shangri-La Cafe

No. 77: Pig-snout tacos from Guadalajara Authentic Mexican Buffet

No. 76: Speck and maple ice cream from Pizzeria Basta

No. 75: Tom yum goong from Thai Flavor

No. 74: South African black ruff from TAG

No. 73: Gumbo from Bistro One

No. 72: New England clam chowder from Bittersweet

No. 71: Celery and lime popsicle from Spuntino

No. 70: Curried split pea soup from Modmarket

No. 69: Mais pizza from Pizzeria Locale

No. 68: Risotto frutti di mare from Firenze a Tavola

In late 2009, we embarked on a culinary journey that took us through our favorite dishes in the Mile High City -- one hundred, to be exact -- as a precursor to the Best of Denver 2010 issue. Now we're back with round two, counting down (in no particular order) a hundred more of our favorite Denver dishes in a list that, by our imperfect calculations, should be wrapped up by the time the Best of Denver 2011 hits the streets on March 31. 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 lori.midson@westword.com.

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