Cafe Society

Frasca Food and Wine's expansion to include pizza and panini

Since master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson left the French Laundry to open a neighborhood restaurant in Boulder six years ago, Frasca Food and Wine has won national accolades, attracted top-name guest chefs and pushed out the edges of what's possible when it comes to dining out in the metro area.

Remarkably, they've done all that from a quiet, sixteen-table spot on Pearl Street with a kitchen that barely has room for four cooks.

But now the dining heavyweight is about to add to its clout. A couple of weeks ago, we reported that construction had started on the Pearl Street-facing space next to the eatery, which Stuckey and MacKinnon-Patterson commandeered for an expansion of their current digs. At that point, there was no official word as to what that space would become, but we speculated that pizza might be in play, given sous chef Jordan Wallace's months-long stay in Italy.

That is, indeed, what the team has planned.

"The spot next to the restaurant will have a pizza oven in the back," Stuckey says. "And the spot next to that will be about 200 square feet, serving espresso, panini and a wine concept Colorado has never seen. We want people to have a place for an inexpensive lunch with a glass of wine."

The current management team will be splitting its time between the three concepts, providing the award-winning wine service across the new Frasca empire, with Mario Nocifera of the four-star Scott Howard restaurant in San Francisco's Ritz-Carlton overseeing the show.

"Mario has extensive experience in fine dining, but he also has experience running neighborhood restaurants," says Stuckey. "We look to him to raise the level of our game. We're always looking to move forward and keep evolving, and bringing in a top maître d' from a major city will ensure we continue to do that."

Nocifera is currently getting his feet wet at the flagship.

The next phase of Frasca is quickly approaching: Stuckey says the new spots will open their doors in October.

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Laura Shunk was Westword's restaurant critic from 2010 to 2012; she's also been food editor at the Village Voice and a dining columnist in Beijing. Her toughest assignment had her drinking ten martinis and eating ten Caesar salads over the course of 48 hours. She still drinks martinis, but remains lukewarm on Caesar salads.
Contact: Laura Shunk