I turned 41 years old yesterday. Still in Denver for Passover, I convinced my family that dinner at Frasca Food & Wine in Boulder was in order.
Frasca is perhaps the hottest restaurant that Colorado, outside of Aspen, has ever seen. The chef, Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson, is one of the hottest chefs in the country and you reportedly need to make reservations two months in advance if you want to eat there on weekends.
Even on a Tuesday, three weeks out, I was given the option of 5:45 or 8:45 for a party of 8 (mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law, sister, niece Tahirah and nephew Harrison — and me).
My family is not impressed by a restaurant’s hotness, but 5:45 is actually a good time for them, because Tuesday is a school night, after all, and Tahirah, 12, and Harrison, 8, need their rest (Alia, who will be 2 in July, stayed at home with a sitter).
The dinner was a huge success for me because I introduced sister-in-law Helen to Moscato d'Asti for dessert, which she loved, and gave my mother her first taste of amaro as a digestive, which she also loved. And what greater joy is there than introducing people to something they like?
What I ate and drank:
Salumi of prosciutto di San Daniele, speck (from Alto Adige) and Fra'Mani Salame Toscano (from California).
Asparago bianco fritta (tempura-fried white asparagus)
Frico caldo (a sort of potato-and-cheese pancake)
Hawaiian big eye tuna crudo with pickled ramps, English peas and lavash
Tamarack Farm veal-stuffed mlinci (Frasca draws its inspiration from Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, on the border with Austria and Slovenia, and so they use terms from those countries, too) with olive oil-poached fennel, oregano and watercress
Snake River Farm Berkshire pork belly with warm farro salad and apple
Tasting of house-made chocolates
Corte Sant’Alda Valpolicella “Ca Fliu,” Veneto, Italy 2005, which my parents found a bit light, so we got a super-Tuscan of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah: Tenuta Argentiera “Poggio Al Ginepri,” Tuscany, Italy 2006
Then I had Meletti Amaro