Bobby Stuckey gets it right with Pizzeria Locale in Boulder
While I was in Boulder, despite how busy I was with the drudging tasks of a house sale, I made sure I visited Pizzeria Locale, the new endeavor by the restaurant dream team of Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson who brought Frasca to Boulder–pretty much my favorite restaurant ever.
Pizzeria Locale, right next to Frasca, opened after I moved from Boulder–a loss for me. Whenever I live in my native United States or a random country like Qatar, I spend most of my time missing Italy. If I still lived in Boulder, I’d be a swooning regular customer at Pizzeria Locale, for one because it’s more affordable than Frasca, and two because of their commitment to authentic pizza Napoletana.
Convincing Americans to adapt to true Napoli style pizza wasn’t necessarily easy. Mackinnon Patterson relates that he has had to explain to customers why the pizza is so gooey and the crust so thin.
If I’d not spent so much time in Italy I wouldn’t get it either. But being the total convert to the Italian way of anything food related, I was inwardly jumping up and down about Pizzeria Locale. They’ve got Colorado’s first Stefano Ferrara Pizza Oven, and they sent their sous chef to Naples for over six months.
Bobby Stuckey has been meticulous about getting it right at Frasca– taking yearly research trips to the region of Friuli–even taking the entire staff there five times. (His meticulous approach appeals to me–as a historian and travel planner I love research and tend to be ultra precise,) but even more so, it’s his extra attentiveness to achieving the true Italian way that impresses me.
I chose to go to Pizzeria Locale on the evening that Katie Parla was hosting a “Combining Italian craft beers with pizza” event. Her blog is right up my alley since I love reading about and participating in Rome’s food scene. It was fun to meet her in person.
Observing Bobby’s attentiveness to customers that evening brought it back to me, what an excellent hospitalian he is.
(A term he uses in this Ted Talk where he describes how hospitality is different from service.) I re-introduced myself, reminding him I’d brought my Florentine Renaissance classes to Frasca on the last night of class 7 years ago when I’d been teaching the course in Boulder. He has a way of being very present, with each person he talks to.
I walked out without some belongings that a waitress had stored in the back for me. When I came back to get them, I was going to ask her, but Bobby stepped up, found out what I needed, and insisted on getting my things himself. I’m not a restaurant critic and I don’t dine at high-end places often but I can tell you, there’s something different about Bobby Stuckey’s approach, and I wager that a lot of it comes from his years of careful study of the Italian way.
1730 Pearl St, Boulder, CO
Open daily for lunch and dinner