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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Spotlight on Frasca

When Boulder’s own Frasca Restaurant made Gourmet magazine’s “America’s Top Fifty,” Boulder restaurants were all the buzz. Co-owners Bobby Stuckey, wine director, and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, head chef, have created a neighborhood eatery which has become a gem in the fantastic Boulder restaurant scene.

Frasca’s philosophy is based on the classic restaurants of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in Northeast Italy, combining the traditions of warmth and hospitality with customary Friuli cuisine to create a unique dining experience. To enhance this feeling, Bobby and Lachlan travel with the entire Frasca staff to Italy yearly to continually develop their knowledge of the region. It is a truly wonderful learning experience for the staff and sets the duo apart from many restaurateurs.

Bobby and Lachlan met while working at the exclusive French Laundry restaurant (#3 on Gourmet’s list), in the heart of Napa Valley. French Laundry won numerous awards with Bobby as sommelier and Lachlan as chef de partie under world renowned chef Thomas Keller. Bringing their expertise to Boulder, Frasca was born out of their passion for the vitality and soul of Friuli Italy. This inspiration is best explained by the co-owner himself, Bobby Stuckey.

DOWNTOWN BOULDER: What is the inspiration/ motivation behind Frasca?

BOBBY STUCKEY: Frasca is motivated by the classic restaurants of Friuli Italy. These are family restaurants that have been at it for over one hundred years and still seem classic and fresh. If Lachlan and I can work on just one restaurant and have it keep getting better then we will be following our inspiration.

DB: Why did you choose Downtown Boulder as the home of Frasca?

BOBBY: Boulder excited us because of the chance to work with a great farm community. The fact that we can have John Long drop off such great pork and the local farmers can follow him up with wonderful greens is great.

DB: Tell us more about your philosophy behind wine and spirits at Frasca and your extensive wine cellar.

BOBBY: The philosophy is based on offering a great glass or bottle of wine in the right class and at the right temperature for twenty dollars over retail. What that translates to is people driving up from Denver or driving down from Aspen to enjoy the wines of our list because they can’t afford not to. We now see a lot of collectors in the wine industry come back the very next night to drink something off the list because they say they can’t afford to leave the wine on our list for someone else.

DB: Has making the 2006 Gourmet Magazine Top 50 list created more buzz for Frasca within Boulder and/ or the Denver Metro area?

BOBBY: Gourmet’s top fifty list is great because it shows me that if you want to start a restaurant with humble beginnings you can go as high as you want. You just need to show up and cut some Prosciutto and bus some tables and pour some Tocai. The best buzz that it has created is that peers of mine now want to come to the Denver metro area and open national caliber restaurants.

DB: What is your favorite menu item?

BOBBY: My favorite menu item is the Salumi plate. Artisan pork from John Long is right with it.

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