Tossa opens today in Boulder

Boulder has welcomed several wood-fired pizza joints in the last couple of years, and it's not exactly short on Italian restaurants, either. So we were curious how Tossa, which signed a lease on a place near Folsom and Arapahoe two months ago, would differentiate itself from the rest.

Turns out, the restaurant is the work of Tom Ryan and Consumer Capital, the same people who took Smashburger and launched it into the mega-chain stratosphere with some smart pricing and good ingredients. And they're hoping to do the same thing with Tossa, putting it into the niche between fast food and high end, turning out pizzas and pastas for low prices without skimping on the quality of ingredients.

The board, which was constructed by Andrew Selvaggio, a longtime employee with the Smashburger group, includes pizzas with imported Neopolitan tomato sauce and toppings that range from traditional cheese to kurobata ham to goat cheese and baby spinach. Those pies are supplemented by pastas, salads and panini, plus a $5 by-the-glass wine list -- with some thoughtful selections -- and domestic and imported beers.

The space itself is less upscale than most of Boulder's Italian eateries, precisely because Tossa isn't trying to be an upscale eatery. "It's a fast-casual lunch and full-service dinner," the general manager explains.

The new spot opened today, and will keep daily hours of 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. And yes, plans are in the works to expand Tossa into a Smashburger-like chain, but for now, it's enough to get the first place open.

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