We knew when Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, the pair of owners behind Boulder's Frasca Food & Wine, closed their restaurant down for six weeks to expand and renovate, that the result would be stunning. But nothing could have prepared us for the upgraded Friulano eatery we encountered last night.
The crew managed to preserve the feel of the place while streamlining systems to help service run more efficiently. And then, of course, there's the kitchen, an immaculate shrine, and a big enhancement from the hallway that once hosted four chefs practically cooking on top of each other.
Behold, a pictorial summary of Frasca's first night back in business.
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Glassware is at a premium in this wine mecca, where it was once polished behind the bar. In the expansion, a polishing room was added, along with a private table, where diners can converse with the staff during dinner. A narrow cellar once held Frasca's wine selections. Now, a second wine room will let the list grow. More seats now line Frasca's new bar, where diners can watch a chef slice prosciutto. Behind Frasca's new bar. Food and kitchen porn on the next page. Brian Lockwood and Jared Sippel are stepping in to run the show in the kitchen, and they've made a few additions to the menu. The balls are the suppli, risotto injected with creamy cheese, fried crisp and set in a pool of porcini mushroom aioli. The pesce -- fried white fish rounded out by capers, eggs and cornichon -- is in the center of the plate. Gone are the cramped quarters of a tiny kitchen. Now a gaggle of chefs can man the line, plating dozens of dishes at once. Insalata di frutti di mare: stone crab, smoked salmon, artichoke, capers and arugula. Tartufo bianco, or white truffle. Now available on a raviolo stuffed with sweetbreads. Chef MacKinnon-Patterson shaves the truffle to order. Plating paparele. Long, flat housemade noodles with braised rabbit and kale. Sippel worked with pasta at San Francisco's Quince, and he's applying his knowledge here, adding selections to Frasca's menu. The front of the house staff lines up to deliver finished plates, part of the choreographed service that sets Frasca apart. Frasca's kitchen actually runs on iced espresso laced with cream and simple syrup. Pancia Di Maiale. Braised pork belly, spatzli, butternut squash and pomegranate.