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Radda1265 Alpine Ave., Boulder, 303-442-6100
Relax into Radda Trattoria's Etruscan vibe and you might forget you're in north Boulder. At least, that's what chef Matthew Jansen is hoping for when you come in for his rustic Tuscan fare—and you won't be disappointed. This isn't spaghetti and meatballs or stuffed shells; rather, Jansen works to educate diners bite by bite about simple, regional Italian cuisine. Having spent several months in Radda, a small town in the heart of the wine-rich Chianti region, Jansen features the hearty, traditional dishes of the Italian countryside: penne with wild boar ragú, farro-and-vegetable soup, and pizza with house-made fennel sausage.
Radda serves all three meals, and for each menu Jansen sources the freshest, most local ingredients he can find. Regulars stop by for breakfast to read the paper over a cup of espresso, buttery brioche, and a farm-fresh egg. The sun-drenched windows pull in the lunchtime crowd for a plate of gnocchi alla bolognese or the Caesar with grana padano cheese. Dinner crowds clamber to find a spot (Radda does not accept reservations) in the airy dining room, and they're willing to wait upward of 90 minutes to enjoy Jansen's spot-on cuisine, a spectacular glass of wine—and a fleeting slice of Italy.
Opened February 2007
Best Bites Wood-oven-fired prosciutto crudo pizza
Hot Seat Grab one of the two-top tables next to the demonstration kitchen, where you can watch the chefs' every move.
Don't Miss The opportunity to sit at the bar and chat with ex-Frasca bartender Steve Peters while savoring a glass of spectacular Vin Santo and Radda's homemade biscotti.