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Boulder, CO Recommendations

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Heading to Boulder for a getaway in two weeks. Was looking for some recommendations. We tend to like Italian and Farm to Table type places. thanks

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  1. This is a good thread to start with: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/679036

    Italian places that I am fond of are Arugula and Radda. Frasca (which is often referenced as the best there is here) is Italian as well, albeit a regional Italian cuisine that many are unfamiliar with. We also have some fantastic authentic Neapolitan pizza here, Pizzeria Locale (part of the Frasca empire) is top notch, and Pizzeria Basta and Pizzeria Da Lupo are also excellent.

    Farm to table places abound in Boulder, most of the higher end places will indicate their sources for most of the offerings. The Kitchen is great, but others like Salt, Cafe Aion, Black Cat and others will also fit.

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    Black Cat
    1964 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

    1 Reply
    1. Frasca is one of the top 40 restaurants in America, if you can get a reservation it's an absolute MUST, but it is pricey. Their Pizzeria Locale is also simply outstanding, but be prepared for pizza like you've never had before, it's pure Neapolitan, NOT Pizza Hut! You are expected to use a knife and fork, eating Neapolitan pizza with your hands is gauche! Also, Carelli's is excellent, as is Laudisio (very noisy).

      Farm to table, don't miss Black Cat - the owners own two farms, one where they raise their own vegetables, the other for animals (pigs, lamb, chickens, cattle, etc.). Again, Frasca is totally into local sourcing and the "slow-food" movement, as is their pizza place - and they just opened a third, Frasca Caffe, sandwiches, soups, etc. Several others, The Pinyon is great, especially if you like beer, and 1010 Brasserie on Walnut.

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      Laudisio Restaurant
      1710 29th Street,, Boulder, CO 80301

      Carelli's Cafe
      645 30th St, Boulder, CO 80303

      Black Cat
      1964 13th Street, Boulder, CO 80302

      2 Replies
      1. re: keninboulder

        I don't normally quibble with recommendations unless I strongly disagree, but I strongly disagree with Carelli's. I have had some bad meals there and some mediocre ones, but even if I ignored the bad meals, I don't think there's anything "foodie" about it. It's mostly the "standard" budget Italian model of red sauce and cheese; it's just a slight cut above Pasta Jay's (not that the reference will mean anything to the OP).

        Radda and Arugula are so head and shoulders above it that I can't imagine going to Carelli's, ever, and I live fairly close to Carelli's and kinda far (by Boulder standards) from the others (I only go there when I don't have a say in the choice). I know that Carelli's has a following amongst some, but quite frankly, I have never been able to figure it out.

        I haven't been to Laudisio in years, not since they moved to the 29th St location, so I can't comment on that one.

        1. re: keninboulder

          I'm with LurkerDan on Carelli's. Only been there twice but both times I left thinking that I can't believe I paid that much for mediocre-at-best food. One example: the special one night was a pasta with sausage, and the sausage ended up being the little uniform balls of chewy, tasteless gristle you get on cheap pizza - pretty clear that they came frozen straight out of a Sysco bag. Given that there are so many places in town that are similarly priced and pride themselves on things like housemade sausage (Pizzeria Basta's is very good, for example), that just seems unforgivable to me.

        2. Thanks for your comments, LurkerDan, I haven't had any problems at Carelli's, and always quite good food, but it's true that Arugula is more "Boulder," and probably a little more authentic as a "foodie" kind of place. As for Laudisio, historically it had the best Italian in town for years, but since they moved the new location is so loud that it's hard to appreciate the food, and you can't carry on a normal conversation. Really horrible acoustics.

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          Laudisio Restaurant
          1710 29th Street,, Boulder, CO 80301

          Carelli's Cafe
          645 30th St, Boulder, CO 80303

          1 Reply
          1. re: keninboulder

            "LOUD" is a four-letter word, and Laudisio's (Loudisio's ???) isn't the only culprit. Agree that Carelli's is, at best, uneven. Cafe Aion on The Hill (i.e., near the university) is also very good. The Flagstaff House is an iconic fine dining restaurat (40 years old this year) w/ a contemporary menu, outstanding wine list, exemplary service and dynamite views. For Italian, Alba is also a good choice. And John's is a low-key, underrated charmer. The Dushanbe Teahouse, given to Boulder by our sister city in Tajikistan, is a real beauty -- tiled and carved and exotic. Great for lunch.

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            Laudisio Restaurant
            1710 29th Street,, Boulder, CO 80301

            Flagstaff House Restaurant
            1138 Flagstaff Dr, Boulder, CO 80302

            Carelli's Cafe
            645 30th St, Boulder, CO 80303

          2. Just got back and appreciated everyone's recommendations. First night, we ended up eating at Radda which was perfect for someone who practices meatless mondays... they had a terrific variety of grilled and roasted vegetables along with some great polenta. For breakfast, we tried Lucille's for breakfast, which is not for the faint of heart. New Orleans style breakfast with a wide selection of omlettes and gigantic buttermilk biscuits and homemade strawberry/rhubarb jam. The next night we went to Salt as the weather changed from 70 degrees to snow and we needed someplace close to walk to from the hotel. Warm and cozy with a very friendly staff, we had another delicious meal with a terrific roast chicken and grilled salmon which was perfectly cooked at medium rare. Will definitely go back to Boulder to try some of the other places -- great food scene!