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Best French and Italian in Boulder, CO

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I'm staying in Estes Park for my honeymoon (yay!) in October and haven't found many good looking restaurants there, but I found a ton in Boulder. Can you all help me narrow the choices down?

French: Brasserie TenTen, Radex, Mateo, L'Atelier

Italian: Colterra (is this kind of French too?), Alba.
So sad, Frasca is closed for renovations during this time.

I think we'll also go to Zolo one night and try French and Italian on 2 other nights.

Also, if you have any Fort Collins recs, I would love them! Thank you!

1739 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302

210 Franklin St., Niwot, CO 80504

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  1. L'Atelier is fabulous, at least it was the 2 times I ate there. TenTen is a more casual bistro style, but very good. Never been to Radex (same owner as L'Atelier), and never really thought of Mateo as "french" (though it certainly is from the menu!) but very much enjoyed the one meal I had there.

    Colterra is excellent for sure, not sure it is clearly Italian more than French. Radda (not on your list) is very good. Haven't been to Alba, but ate a couple of times at their previous location (Full Moon Grill) and it was very good. Arugula (also not on your list) is another very good option.

    So, that doesn't help, does it? I just added to your choices, didn't take away. But if you're looking for "fine dining" I would say L'Atelier and either Colterra or Alba, depending on what you think of the menus. If you're looking for delicious food in a slightly more casual atmosphere (it's Boulder, ever the finest restaurants are fairly casual), maybe Ten Ten or Mateo and Radda or Arugula.

    I love Zolo, so think your plan is a good one.

    What dates is Frasca going to be closed?

    1739 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302

    210 Franklin St., Niwot, CO 80504

    6 Replies
    1. re: LurkerDan

      From something like September 30-mid-October. The whole time we're in Colorado!

      1. re: sarahinthecity

        Agreed on L'Atelier, Arugula, Alba. Frasca aside, certainly the A-Team for this family of cuisine.

        Not sure whether this matters, but know that Colterra (Niwot) and SALT (Boulder are under the same ownershp); Radda and Mateo are under the same ownership; L'Atelier and Radex are under the same ownershp. These .four are all in Boulder.

        Again, if it matters, l'Ateliier, Arugula and Colterra are the most armospheric. For ambiance, mountain views, splendid service and more, go to the Flagstaff House for drinks and perhaps a light bite -- even if you don't spring for their full-on sinner -- modern American/entemporary continental rather than French or Italian.

        IMHO, the most avoidable Italian restaurant in Boulder, other than the Olive Garden, is da Gabi.

        1739 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302

        210 Franklin St., Niwot, CO 80504

        1. re: ClaireWalter

          I'd personally say Gondolier is the most avoidable Italian restaurant in Boulder, with Pasta Jay's close behind. Compared to those two, Da Gabi is decent. Laudisio is another one I'd personally avoid; the prices are just too high for the level of the food (which is OK, but nothing spectacular).

          1. re: monopod

            I would respectfully exise DaGabi from this list. The food is often flavorless, the service spotty and the place (esp the patio) is often grubby.

      2. re: LurkerDan

        Mateo's more generally Mediterranean than specifically Italian or French. I prefer it to Radda, personally.


        1. re: tatamagouche

          I should've been more clear...It's technically Proven├žal, making it borderline French-Italian.