The best Italian restaurant in the U.S. (and why I was made to love her)

When Tracie P and I talked about one last “babymoon” before the last trimester of our pregnancy (when she can’t fly anymore), she expressed her desire to dine at Frasca in Boulder. And so on Saturday, we headed for the Rocky Mountains and one of the best meals we’ve ever had.

It’s so hard to get properly sliced prosciutto in this country and I have told Tracie P about Chef Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson’s obsession with reconditioned vintage Berkel slicers and how their beveled blades make all the difference (it’s in the diffusion of the heat, Lachlan explained to me last year when we traveld in Friuli together). When our server asked us about what we wanted to eat, the first thing out of (and into) Tracie P’s mouth was: P-R-O-S-C-I-U-T-T-O!

Co-owner Master Sommelier Bobby Stuckey graciously offered to select the wines for us and it was only fitting that we start with 2010 Malvasia by Venica & Venica: Lachlan, he, and I tasted the wine together last September at the winery in Collio not long after it had been harvested. We loved the spice in this vintage of Malvasia by our good friend Giampaolo Venica.

Lachlan’s frico was off-the-charts good.

Bobby surprised us with this 09 lees-aged Sauvignon Blanc by Borgo del Tiglio, a winery I’d never tasted or seen in the U.S. I love the muscular style of Sauvignon Blanc embraced by certain Friulian producers. If ever there were an international grape variety to grow in Italy, it would be Sauvignon Blanc in Friuli, where winemakers can obtain sublime expressions of this aromatic grape. The 09 Tiglio had a crazy spearmint note on it and it was amazing to see this intense wine evolve over the course of the evening. (Note how Bobby decanted it for us.)

Lachlan’s cooking is a benchmark for Italian cuisine in the U.S. His gnocchi had that perfect balance of substance and lightness.

His ravioli were stuffed with a “deconstructed ratatouille,” in other words, all of the ingredients of the classic French dish, but prepared separately. Again, the quality of Lachlan’s pasta is a benchmark for Italian cuisine in the U.S. (Note the yellow color.)

1997 Schioppettino by Ronchi di Cialla was one of the most incredible wines we’ve drunk this year. Unbelievable minerality with this bright, fresh grapey note and under 13% alcohol. Simply incredible… It was gorgeous with Lachlan’s roast pork loin.

After dinner, Lachlan gave us a tour of the kitchen and revealed some of the secrets behind his Neapolitan pizza, served at their new pizzeria next door. Believe it or not, we actually went next door after our 3-hour dinner and ate again! I’ll post on the pizza later this week.

At certain point during our dinner, we were having so much fun that we were nearly overwhelmed by the joy of sharing food and together. Almost simultaneously, we looked into each other’s eyes and it was as if the same thought had just come to our minds at the same moment. I looked at Tracie P and told her I loved her and that it’s a miracle that we found each other: there’s no one else in the world that I could share an experience like this.

See that glimmer in her eye (as she enjoys a Sanbitter before dinner)? It makes me melt like prosciutto on her tongue…

IMHO, Frasca is the best Italian restaurant in the U.S. and you really can’t go wrong there. But it’s so much better if you go with someone you love…

There’s so much more to show and tell about our dinner in Boulder but it’ll just have to wait… Stay tuned and thanks for letting me share this special evening with you!

15 thoughts on “The best Italian restaurant in the U.S. (and why I was made to love her)

  1. Great post, Jeremy. So happy for you two (three?)! What amazing food and wine–that is definitely a “must try”! Just wish it were in ATX–did you mention that? ;)

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  3. Glad you guys had a great time. There is no doubt that what Lachlan and Bobby are doing is sublime. Next time you are in Colorado, please drop me a line. I would love to meet in person.

  4. I am glad that you had such a great dinner. The Frasca experience really is intoxicating, and I have had similar feelings of joy there–feelings that go beyond simply the extraordinary food and wine…

  5. You’re killing me with this romanticism!!! It reminds me of an evening meal at the brick barrel vaulted Locanda dell Amorosa in Tuscany with my most wonderful wife, Connie. Life can be defined by such extraordinary moments. Congratulations to the both of you! See you soon in Austin!
    Allen Green

  6. You are right, Frasca is a sublime experience. So simple in some ways, yet so…..multi layered. I went to their Ridge wine dinner earlier this year and it hit all the right notes for me. The couple we were with thought it was too simple and they did not get enough wine…..I thought it was perfect! It’s all about the flavor and they deliver.
    The pizza is not to be missed. I live 2 hours from Boulder and try to make excuses to get down that way whenever I can. Next time go for oysters at Jax fish house first………eating your way through Boulder is a good thing.

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  8. such a great experience from the sanbitter to the pizza digestiva! so glad we got to go!!

    i don’t know anyone else in the world who fly out to boulder with me just for dinner :) i have met my match! love you 2B :*

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