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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.