I told you I have generous friends.
One of those friends received a couple of free pizza cards to the new Pizzeria Locale in Denver – and I consider this a true sign of love – and invited me to come along with her.
With all the press about its anticipated opening, and its actual opening, the majority of opinion was it was much, much different from the original Boulder location – and in a few opinions, less exciting.
Having now experienced it for myself, I disagree.
Emotionally, it feels the same.
Aesthetically, it feels the same.
Flavorally, it feels the same.
The interior – its hexagon tiled floor [striking and special with white tiles and black grout], subway tiled walls, lovely light fixtures, and the identical chairs as the original – is the same level of fantastic as in Boulder.
Every good interior designer will tell you to have a stunning focal point in a room, but in this room, there are actually two: the massive wood fired oven and the prosciutto slicer.
Both are things of true beauty.
There’s no seated service, but I never quite understood this in the first place [both instance and location].
I don’t think of that when I want pizza, so in many ways, the Denver location – to my mind – is more natural for what they’re doing.
You walk through a Chipotle-esque line and order your pie, watching the pizza magicians pile your fresh toppings on, place your delightful dough on a pizza peel and then slide it immediately into the oven.
I ordered the Mais [which I pronounced as Mays, but is actually pronounced Ma-ees, and the fun-loving staff helped clarify].
Anytime you want to put corn on anything, I’m in.
You want to add crème fraiche?
Sign me up.
Ham, mozzarella and garlic?
They have the Italian classics: margherita, marinara, campagnola, bianca and maiale, plus 4 other American classics: cheese, pepperoni, veggie and supreme.
You can also build your own with a red, white or arugula base, choosing from no less than 26 toppings, including interesting ones like tuna, zucchini and broccolini.
They also have a few salads, pork meatballs and prosciutto di parma to order on the side.
And the highlight of the entire visit – one which is so fabulous, it was mentioned in the New York Times [!] – the butterscotch budino.
I don’t love the location.
It’s in a hectic strip [more accurately, an L] at the corner of Broadway and 6th, with too little parking and too much frustration.
But, this a destination kind of place, and people – including the two of us that day – will be willing to brave it, to get their hands on some of the best pizza in one of the coolest interiors in town.