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Robin-

No idea. I did an archive search on the Camera website that did not yield any other articles by Mr. Wexler. Perhaps a question for Lori, but why would you take away what is likely to be the top restaurant review of the year from your main dining critic? That is, aside from the fact that I personally think that Christiansen is not a very accurate reviewer. Every review goes something like this *** or **** followed by a review that is full of criticisms of the food or service . .it was really good, if you overlook the the fact that my medium steak was charcoal gray or service was great, if you have 2 hours to kill and you don't mind really slow service. ?!

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Perhaps a question for Lori, but why would you take away what is likely to be the top restaurant review of the year from your main dining critic?

Amy--

 

I don't have a clue as to who Mr. Wexler is. It's not a name I recognize, but I agree it's odd that Cathy didn't review it. I review Frasca in the June issue of Colorado AvidGolfer. Better late than never!

 

-LM

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We were excited about the Andrew Will wine dinner since we are familiar with their wines. What better way to enjoy them than paired with Frasca's cuisine. We had one of the reds under the Cuvee Lucia label at the short-lived wine bar Pour (formerly next to Superior Liquor Mart). Mr. rlm found me a bottle of the Champoux under the Andrew Will label in the wine room at Hawaii Liquor in Broomfield.

 

It's the first time we've been to Frasca in a while without eating at the bar. I must admit, I think I prefer sitting at the bar. Steve is always so nice and does a great job explaining the food and wine selections available. The bar and salumi bar were already full at 6:00 though so I'm glad we had a reservation.

 

David Oldham from Andrew Will was there and stopped by several times to chat about the wines. I have to give him a plug, since he is absolutely the nicest wine rep we've ever encountered at a wine dinner. Very down-to-earth and answered all of our questions without being smarmy or sales-y. Sometimes wine reps have a way of making you feel like you're not "good enough" to occupy their time, but he wasn't that way at all. He said they are not planning on expanding their production since quality is more important to them. It is a small, family-run operation that is not open to the public. I asked about the owners and he broke the sad news that Chris Camarda's wife Annie died two weeks ago.

 

We chose the Baccala (salt cod) for the first course. This was a simple preparation served with pours of the '04 Pinot Gris "Celilo Vineyard" (Cuvee Lucia label). Next up were the '03 Sangiovese (Cuvee Lucia) and the '02 Champoux (Andrew Will label). Champoux ("shampoo") is the name of the guy who owns the vineyard the grapes came from, and it is a Bordeaux-style blend (predominately Cab Sauv/Merlot). We had the always-divine Gnocchi. Dessert was a Banana "Milkshake" with a chocolate chip cookie. The cookie was crisper than I prefer, but very tasty. (I grew up with a mother who always had hot, fresh cookies coming out of the oven so I'm a little pickier than most people.)

 

Walked into Borders afterwards and they were playing my favorite Morphine album (Cure for Pain) so it was a perfect evening.

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just returned from dinner (the less said about the drive through the snow the better). our second experience considerably inferior to our first:

 

first of all, they need to figure out some way of making the reception area manageable. i say sacrifice the two-seater mini "bar" area to the immediate left of the door and shift the coat closets down. trying to fight your way through the coat crowd to get to the host/ess is not a good way to begin a fine dining experience--especially with people milling around the bar. our table wasn't ready when it was supposed to be. this was no fault of theirs since some people were dawdling (and were in fact still there when we left) but there were two four-tops that were open when we got there and one of which we were finally sat down at after 15 minutes (they did have two two-seaters open in very crappy, cramped locations that we turned down--though we were told neither of these was "our" table). not sure why they didn't just give one of those four-tops to us to begin with (it was a 9 pm reservation). the flash woman did offer to buy us a glass of wine each but we demurred.

 

sat down--tried to order wine and was carded. i suppose i should be flattered but mostly i was annoyed (if one of your staff is offering me a glass of wine, why is another asking if i am old enough to drink? especially when the person in question himself looks like he was only recently weaned). by the way, who is the third bloke in civvies who flutters around the dining room? a short, balding gent? anyway, he it was that took our wine order and then having taken it walked off to the front of the restaurant to have a long chat with some folks who were presumably regulars. i waited a while and then flagged down our waiter and re-ordered the wine. 5 minutes later original gent returned with my first glass, to be followed 2 minutes later by waiter who did a good job of masking his surprise at the presence of wine on the table.

 

first courses: i got the warm spinach leaf and fresh garlic soup. this was incredibly boring to the point of being bland--basically hot water with slices of garlic and some spinach leaves. mrs. jones got the shaved leg of lamb salad and this was excellent. my jealousy knew no bounds.

 

mains: i got the 21 orders cannelini bean agnolotti--excellent. mrs. jones got the frasca meatball--very far from excellent. the meatball was extremely salty (and we are not salt-phobic people). for some reason instead of sending it back we swapped and i ate half of it. (i seem to remember mikek saying over at the society that his meal there was also marked by excess saltiness.) a glass of the negroamaro with the 21 orders (mrs. jones was not drinking)--i am tempted to say that this was "appropriate" but i have no idea what that means.

 

dessert: we decided not to risk it and went for the cheese plate. none of these were from cheesemonger's place of business (i asked) but were all very good anyway. we particularly liked the red pepper jelly accompaniment which is apparently made in-house.

 

the damage was not terrible--about $100 with tip--but i have to say that if this had been our first meal there we wouldn't have been in a rush to go back. has anyone eaten either the soup or the meatball? do you know if our reactions to these is anomalous?

 

coats were once again fetched by flash woman and again i could not bring myself to tip her (despite bolderite's detective work after our first trip). mrs. jones noted that no one seemed to be tipping at all--not even the non-exec staff dude seemed to be getting tips from the other diners.

 

oh, our waiter had not put the cheese plate on our check--apparently we restored his faith in humanity by pointing this out to him.

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dessert: we decided not to risk it and went for the cheese plate. none of these were from cheesemonger's place of business (i asked)

 

:blink: I delivered cheese there last night!

 

 

 

who is the third bloke in civvies who flutters around the dining room? a short, balding gent?

 

This is Nate- to whom I delivered the cheese. Just out of curiosity, from where were you told the cheese came?

 

I'm sorry that your experience was less than stellar- shounds like you had a hit and miss time, but I did enjoy reading about it none the less.

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This is Nate- to whom I delivered the cheese. Just out of curiosity, from where were you told the cheese came?

some place in denver which apparently is a direct importer or something. our waiter did say that they do "sometimes" get cheese from the boulder cheese shop. wonder why they're being so shy about acknowledging the connection to you.

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coats were once again fetched by flash woman and again i could not bring myself to tip her (despite bolderite's detective work after our first trip).

I thought bolderite pointed out that the "flash" woman is Bobby's wife and tipping her would be inappropriate (even though we tipped her before knowing who she is).

 

[More inappropriate might be the fact that I left a tip at a counter-service "greasy spoon" called Munchie's today, even after the lady that brought my order out dropped some of my onion rings, stared at them, and walked off.]

 

Never had either one of those menu items, Mongo. I had a brodo once that was a little boring, but I've never had anything bad or over-salted there.

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coats were once again fetched by flash woman and again i could not bring myself to tip her (despite bolderite's detective work after our first trip).

I thought bolderite pointed out that the "flash" woman is Bobby's wife and tipping her would be inappropriate (even though we tipped her before knowing who she is).

later she added:

 

Danette told me that at first when people would offer her a gratuity, she would refuse but because the staff pools tips, she will, if offered, accept a gratuity as it is "on behalf of" the employees.

 

so, who is this nate person? and why this cheese controversy?

 

so has anybody else had either the meatball or that soup? the soup i think might be new'ish but the meatball has been on the menu a long time.

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so, who is this nate person? and why this cheese controversy?

 

Nate's a good guy, he came from French Laundry with Lachlan and Bobby. He's my primary contact, and he's been nothing but supportive and gracious to me. I did discuss with this him, while dropping off *more* cheese today, and he was miffed that you (mr and mrs mongo) were being given mis-information. It seems that the staff hadn't been properly updated since the switch of a few months ago, but all should be fine now.

 

No more cheese controversy, I hope. Just bad communication. I'm not above coat-tail riding.

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A little more on Nate Ready . he is on his way to becoming a Master Sommelier (only one more part of the exam to pass) which would, i believe, make Frasca the only US restaurant with two Masters -- there are only 65 in the country.

I never tried the meatball because it just doesn't sound too interesting compared with the other items, same with the garlic soup. I think sometimes you just have to go with your gut after reading something and say, am I inclined to like this.

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well, having liked everything we tried the first time we were hopeful. neither the soup nor meatball as presented to us belong on the menu of a restaurant that is getting those kinds of reviews. maybe we had an anomalous experience, but now we are somewhat wary about trying new things there.

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maybe we had an anomalous experience, but now we are somewhat wary about trying new things there.

There are some dishes we have definitely preferred over others (the pork dishes have all sent me into fits of ecstasy, for example), but I can't say I've had a bad experience there. Or even a sub-par experience. In fact, I'm so much harder on other Colorado restaurants now that I keep sizing them up to Frasca. I went back to one of my Colorado faves, Six89 (in Carbondale), last week, and realized the clunky glassware was reserved for those ordering by-the-glass wines, whereas the tables near us ordering full bottles were brought out nicer glasses. Frasca brings out a big-bowled Riedel even if you're ordering just a glass of Pinot. Maybe you have to be a dork like me to care about such things, but I like Frasca's attention to detail.

 

We usually eat out during the week instead of the bustling weekends since I've found we have better experiences food-wise and service-wise. Try going during the week, Mongo, and order the pork belly (mmmm....delicious piggy).

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