wolf pizza

Something fabulous happened to Crockett and I last week. You know how we’re regulars at the Empire? The chef/owner of the Empire is this fellow named Jim Cohen. Jim – Mr. creator of the calamari salad himself – has cooked with Julia Child on an episode of her TV show. He was nominated as the James Beard Best Chef: Southwest. He has been on the Today Show and in Food & Wine magazine. Oh,  and? He knows us.

Small towns are awesome.

I digress. Jim and a partner opened a new restaurant in Boulder called Pizzeria Da Lupo, and we were invited to the soft opening. If you’re unfamiliar, that means you go and try out different menu items and put the waitstaff through their paces. You pay for your drinks and you earn your food through feedback. It’s the first one I’ve ever been to, and it was awesome.

We were early in the rotation, so not a lot of folks were there when we walked in. We went right up to the counter to see what was going on. There’s a gigantic red meat slicer-shaver thingy and a huge pizza oven, a single burner and lots of prep stations. Everything comes off the burner or out of the oven.

The room is positively charming. It’s not huge – I would go so far as to say cozy, even. The floors are gorgeous.

The walls are covered with framed retro art. The piece behind Crockett’s head when we sat down was an italian Vespa poster that looked like it was from the 60s. I coveted.

The ceiling and chandeliers … ok, you don’t really care. Let’s get to the food.

We were seated at a four top by the window. Obviously, that was so our smiling faces would make the place that much more appealing.

‘Ok, give me my phone back.’

They have a limited bar right now – two beers, a handful of wines, and a few liquors. Crockett was hoping for an old fashioned, but they were lacking many of the ingredients. Our waiter suggested a Campari and soda for him, a suggestion at which I scoffed. Not for Crockett, that sour bitter awesome deliciousness. For me, though? Yes indeedy.

We started with two appetizers: proscuitto and toast, and burratta with pistachio, lemon confit and caper agrodolce. The burratta was all about me. I’ve been hearing about burratta for months now and this was my first opportunity to have some. Burratta is a ball of mozzarella with a creamy center. Also, burratta is amazing and can have my babies. Or I’ll have its babies. Hell, I’ll be its surrogate. We got a nice large portion and I ate 3/4 of it. The confit and agrodolce they served it with brought the perfect amount of contrast to the creamy cheese. In general, I’m not a huge pistachio fan, but here they worked. If you go here and eat one thing, make it the burratta. Seriously.See how it’s drippy and stretchy and delicious?

I ate the prosciutto and it was delicious, but clearly I enjoyed the cheese more.

In case that wasn’t clear.

At this point, more people started to come in and they turned the lights down. The pictures are a little fuzzy from here on out, but I’ll do my best. We followed the cheese with.. more cheese. Because, really, why not. This was an endive salad with arugula, more pistachios, and Maytag blue cheese. It had a bright lemony dressing, and was (as you can see), sort of deconstructed. I liked being able to build each bite individually, but we ended up with more endive than anything else. I don’t know if it was a matter of the original ratios or if we just preferred everything else. We ran out of cheese early, too, but that was probably me.

What, I was in a cheese mood.

Crockett had put me in charge of the ordering, and I hit a wall when it came to pizza. There was an option that included shrimp, which was not what I was in the mood for. There was a sausage and rapini option, which I was interested in, but we ended up going classic.

Margarita.

The true test of a pizzeria.

Here’s the thing. The tomatoes and cheese and basil were lovely.

The crust was divine.

See how I ate it all first?

I feel like the toppings got the short end of the stick.

Our waiter had suggested that we order cecina as well. A cecina is a little bread made of chickpea flour instead of regular flour, so it’s gluten free. You could order it with toppings, but the recommended topping included eggplant and that would have caused me to seize and die, so we went for the sea salt and olive oil version.

I wasn’t a huge fan, but Crockett really liked it. He ate the whole dish and has since referred to it as ‘that cozy bread’.

They were in no hurry to pass our table to someone else, so I had a glass of my favorite white wine (Basa) and an espresso.

Both of those were a mere prelude to dessert.

This budino (chocolate pudding cake) was essentially a rich chocolate mousse served on an intense soft chocolate cookie, sprinkled with sea salt and drizzled with olive oil. See how I said rich AND intense in the same sentence? That’s because it was both. It was small but any more would have been too much, at least for Crockett and I.

Overall, I could not have been happier with the food, the place, and the service. SO good. I’m so glad we got to go.

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3 Responses to wolf pizza

  1. BD says:

    Did it ever occur to you that restaurant reviews are something you might be able to do for a living? Or at least comped meals?

    BD

  2. Amy says:

    Just found you via Jim’s PDL Facebook post. At the risk of sounding slightly stalkerish…love that I discovered a Louisville foodie like me. All hail small towns. Especially those in Colorado with great local haunts! Love your stuff.

    • emma says:

      Thank you! Louisville isn’t a bad place to be a foodie… we should have a secret handshake or something, don’t you think?