First Look: Frasca crew will open Pizzeria Locale next Wednesday...with a one-of-a-kind oven
All photos by Lori Midson. Chris Donato, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson, Bobby Stuckey and Jordan "Bruiser" Wallace.
"We're the slowest movers ever," quips Bobby Stuckey. "We waited six years to do a remodel of Frasca and more than nine years to do something away from our little corner in Boulder." Stuckey, along with Chris Donato, Lachlan MacKinnon-Patterson and Jordan "Bruiser" Wallace, are the dream team behind Frasca Food and Wine, which opened almost a decade ago in Boulder. It's unsurpassed success was then followed by Pizzeria Locale, a Neapolitan-style pizzeria, which sits directly next door to the Friulan wonderland of foodstuffs, and, finally, after years of lusting on the part of Denverites, the foursome will open a second Pizzeria Locale in the Golden Triangle in Denver next Wednesday.
But don't expect a full-service, sit-down restaurant like Pizzeria Locale in Boulder -- and don't expect the same kind of vaulted wine roster either. And because of those marked differences between the two restaurants, there are some cranky opponents who claimed early on that the Denver outpost would be a "dumbed-down" version of the Boulder original, but according to the crew, that's not the case.
"In Boulder, the food costs work; we can share a wine cellar, cutlery, glassware, the dish station, even managers, because Frasca is right next to us, but we don't have that luxury here," says Stuckey. "So we had a come-to-Jesus moment a while back and asked ourselves how do we do a great restaurant with great ingredients and the same Neapolitan-style pizzas -- but not be a white tablecloth pizzeria? We asked ourselves what we'd have to give up."
If frivolities like a host stand, three POS machines, the absence of servers and starched white tablecloths are what encourage you to go to dinner, than, yes, you'll be cranky, because those don't exist here, but the unassailable product quality remains the same: "We're absolutely not cheapening our products, and the pizzas here capture the same sentiment as the pizzas at Locale in Boulder, insists Stuckey.
And, echoes MacKinnon-Patterson, exec chef of Frasca, in some ways, the pizzas, which are categorized into "Italian Classics," "American Classics" and "Create Your own," could be even better, thanks to a one-of-a-kind, gas-fired oven coupled with a seventy-degree, temperature- and humidity-controlled dough-proofing room commanded by Wallace, the chief pizzaiolo at Locale in Boulder, who will spend a significant amount of time in Denver.