Frasca: The front of the house is friendly to kids, too!

Categories: Cafe Society

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Frasca Food and Wine scored "Best Front of the House" in this year's Best of Denver, and with good reason. The employees are like epicurean Navy SEALs, making sure every guest's needs are met instantly and unobtrusively. But what if that guest is just recently out of diapers? Does Frasca's celebrated service extend to pint-sized foodies as well? At recent dinner with our three-year-old in tow, my wife and I found out.

We were nervous about taking our pre-schooler to one of the fanciest restaurants around -- nervous about the dismayed looks we might get from servers and other diners alike. Ever since we'd had our son, we'd held off on Frasca, one of our favorite dining experiences, and it was high time we got back there. Plus, several years of regular restaurant trips had schooled our kiddo in how to behave when he's out to eat. Sure, he's not as poised as he will be a decade from now, but he's surely less unruly than your typical gathering of twentysomethings after their third bottle of Chianti or the lawyerly type at the corner table who assumes everybody enjoys listening to the conversation he's having with his Bluetooth ear doohickey.

So, after making sure to reserve a table as early as possible -- both to ensure the place was relatively empty (at least by Frasca standards) and to avoid the late-evening fidgetiness that comes over little kids when it's past their bedtime -- we held our breath, crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

And you know what? The best was on full display. Frasca's front of the house staff didn't blink at the prospect of a pre-schooler in their midst. They treated him like any other diner -- which means with the sort of care and respect usually reserved for heads of state. They weren't goofy or patronizing, mind you: no silly voices or clowning around. Just effortlessly attentive.

They offered to bring out a bowl of noodles and butter for him instead of the usual fare, and damn if they weren't the best noodles and butter any of us had ever tasted. They offered to let our son keep his paper menu so that he could draw on it. And when we protested about that, they said it was okay. They surely had a billion more copies in the back and, besides, they were bound to print up new ones the next night.

It helped that our son, who is never much trouble, was on his best behavior. Maybe it was because we kept distracting him with additional pieces of Frasca's killer bread, or maybe it was because he was mesmerized by the folks doing strange, magical things with the wine decanters of all shapes and sizes.

As our meal was winding down, our waiter stopped by to ask to see if our son would like to visit the kitchen -- something that made his eyes go wide with excitement. And when the kiddo returned, he was proudly sporting a paper chef's hat, signed by one of the chefs.

All in all, it was one of the best dining experiences we'd ever had. Sure, it may be a while until we return -- our son usually opts for what he calls 'Potle, which is easier on the wallet -- but when we do, we know all of us will be in good hands at Frasca.

Still, a request: Next time, can I be the one who gets to go on a field trip to the kitchen?

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Frasca Food and Wine

1738 Pearl St., Boulder, CO

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
Monopod
Monopod

It sounds like Joel did what a parent should do - assessed whether his child was ready for the experience, planned accordingly (early dinner time), and kept an eye on the situation as it developed, which resulted in a successful dinner for his family that in no way detracted from the other diners' experiences. How can that possibly be a problem for anyone? Does the mere existence of a person shorter than everyone else, no matter how well-behaved, disrupt the other diners' experience? We can all agree that a toddler who can't behave appropriately shouldn't be at Frasca, but I can't see why a perfectly well-behaved little man or lady doesn't belong.

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

Honestly, have you ever met a three year old that you could rely upon to behave well over a three hour dinner in a fancy restaurant? Puleeze. Unless the child was sedated - no way.

Whoa
Whoa

you clearly only spend time around brats hopped up on too much sugar. I could have easily done this as a 3 year old. I loved to be taken out to eat when i was a little kid. dont assume every kid is a nightmare just b/c most are nowadays.

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

Well, good for Frasca I guess but honestly if you can afford Frasca you can afford a babysitter. No one wants to get to know your three year old at these prices. Seat a party with toddlers in tow next to me at a price point like Frasca - I'm out of there.

Dawn
Dawn

That's awesome! We just took our almost 3 year old to lunch Colterra in Niwot. They were also very accommodating. Even took her to see where the bread came from, when she asked for more bread. I love it when restaurants are great with kids - and most Boulder-area restaurants really seem to do a good job.

And it sounds like you were being quite considerate of other diners, so good for you!

bdiner
bdiner

Way to be considerate of other diners trying to enjoy an adult night out. I hope a creepy pervert shows up at your Chuck E Cheese birthday party.

Joel
Joel

bdiner, if I am reading you correctly, you hope that my child and others are exposed to a pervert. Way to stay classy, my friend.

Uncledave8
Uncledave8

I certainly don't wish a pervert upon anyones' child. I do wish you'd leave yours home with a babysitter when you go to a fine dining restaurant though. That would be classy my friend.

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