Pizzeria Locale, the Boulder-based Neapolitan pie eatery and sister restaurant to Frasca Food and Wine, opened its Denver location at the end of May. This location is different in many ways from its Boulder counterpart, all of which were fully disclosed by the owners, master sommelier Bobby Stuckey and chef Lachlan Patterson. There was no table service, no hostess, no reservations, no fancy wine list, no cocktails, no big dessert selection, and perhaps most significantly, no wood-fired oven.
The team behind the more casual and more approachable version of the original Pizzeria Locale wanted to explain itself through a video.
It is different, but different does not mean inferior. Here's what the word on the street is about it.
The Great National News: strong>Kate Krader, reporting for CNN's Eatocracy blog, highlights Pizzeria Locale as one of the best new pizza places in the country alongside another Denver-area pizzeria, Bonanno Brothers. Krader had this to say about Locale Denver: "There's a section of Neapolitan classics (the Maiale has sauce, mozzarella and prosciutto crudo); American classics such as pepperoni; and build-your-own, with toppings like artichokes and smoked prosciutto. Depending on how fast you choose your toppings, it could be the best three-minute pizza you'll ever eat." [Eatocracy]
The Comparison News: "If I was just doing a straight-up review of Denver Locale, it would reflect that the place is a smart choice for a quick and tasty, made-to-order Neapolitan-style pizza," says critic Liz Moskow in her review in the Daily Camera. "But in comparing the faster, smaller, cheaper pizza served at the new location to its Boulder sibling, the Denver specimen pales," she adds. Moskow also points out that having been at Locale in Boulder is a big problem: "therein lies the problem of the comparison between a top-notch, high-caliber restaurant and its lower-priced, quick-service offshoot."
The Negative Yelper News: Yelper Jeff C. is disappointed in how it compares to the Boulder original: "I was pre-selling the Denver location to all my friends for months before the opening....looks like I need to issue a retraction. The Boulder location is so great and you can definitely feel the Frasca attention-to-detail spill over to the Boulder pizza joint. Unfortunately, the magic fell out of the truck on the drive from Boulder to Denver. [...] I think the biggest error was carrying the "Pizzeria Locale" branding over to this new Denver location. People have certain expectations of "Pizzeria Locale" from visits to the Boulder location and are tragically disappointed with the Denver experience." [Yelp]
The Lukewarm Yelper News: "Maybe because I don't have the Boulder experience to compare it to, but I enjoyed this place. Then again, my man has been to the one in Boulder and enjoyed this experience as well," Brittany B. says in her three-star review of the eatery.
The Positive Yelper News: Amanda M. gives Locale Denver a perfect five-star score. "I've been here 3 times now with my husband, and we just can't get enough. I think the prices are very reasonable, considering you are overly full after finishing a pizza (think $5.50-9). [...]" [Yelp]
The Space News: Blogger Peach Melba Toast, loved the pizza but loved the design of the space even more. "Maybe the best part about Pizzeria Locale was the atmosphere. I'm a sucker for subway tile, and man, does this place have subway tile. And the hexagon tiled floor. Swoon. The space was bright and airy, and it felt friendly, even with all the fancypants professionals around." [Peach Melba Toast]
The Professional Food Blogger News: Writer Ruth Tobias of Denveater praises Pizzeria Locale for keeping with Italian traditions. "I appreciate the fact that Locale holds the dairy while applying the anchovies to its Campagnola pie—as well it should. The combination of those salty little fishies with equally salty chopped green olives & capers, atop a tomato base as intensely tangy-sweet as its color suggests, is pungent enough by far to pique & sustain the palate," Tobias says. [Denveater]
Top Service News: A Facebooker recounts his experience at Locale Denver: "Staff are welcoming and very helpful. The pizza is incredible, the crust is platform for letting the fresh toppings and ingredients shine. Highly recommend." [FB]
The Harsh News: A Foursquare user seems unhappy across the board with the experience: "Crap. Cold pizza. They don't accommodate take out well at all. Sausage was totally pink. Paid $1 for 6 basil leaves. What a joke." [Foursquare]
The Fast and Hot News: Thrillist irreverently explains how Locale Denver speeds up the pie-making process. "It may take Jared Leto only 30secs to get to Mars, but it's way more impressive that Pizzeria Locale's Denver location (a fast-casual offspring of its successful Boulder spot) only needs 120secs to bake their Neapolitan pizza using a customized gas oven heated to a balmy 1000 degrees." [Thrillist]