How Many? Just One, At The Bar. Dining Solo at Pizzeria Locale Boulder.
Rather foolishly I assumed Pizzeria Locale wouldn't be crowded on a Sunday evening. I had barely thrown the parking brake in the truck, when the crowd loitering on the sidewalk in front of Locale caught my eye. A beautiful sign of summer is seeing the patio door fully retracted, allowing the most magical wafts of the union of dough, sauce, and cheese from their glorious wood fired oven outside, gracing the passersby. I may have stepped off of the sidewalk to avoid kids on bicycles, a few leashed dogs, and adults chatting away, gathered along the iron railing before arriving at the front door. I immediately scanned the bar to see if there was any space available before the host could even welcome me.
Good Evening, how many?
Just one. I'll take the pizza bar.
Tonight I was drawn to the pizza bar seating, one piece of glass separating production from consumption, work from pleasure. Tap water filled my glass, my first Limoncello Spritz arrived shortly after, followed by the Mercato (seasonal salad), and the Maiale with a second Limoncello Spritz. Menu here. My eyes were busy watching the chefs at work. Effortless movements of the pizzaiolo's hands back and forth gently opens the dough before it reaches the marble counter, another chef evenly fills a spoonful of sauce onto each perfected round dough, another set of hands brings in the cheese, toppings, and a simple twirl of olive oil. The flow is almost rhythmic as the same hands work together to swiftly place the dough on a wooden peel, while his other half gently moves it into the hot Steffano Ferrara, first in front almost like a gentle coaxing, then in back to the hottest point with a 180 flip in between, then it's removed to a small rounded shelf just outside the oven opening, but the pie isn't quite ready to be served, it's swooped up on a metal peel and floated inside the oven for one last touch of perfection. It's those small details, like the swift return to the oven that make Locale brilliant. From hands on the dough to the pie being placed on the counter for pick up is simply a matter of minutes. Tonight I make no attempts at conversation with the pizzaiolo, as the restaurant is bustling, although I do allow my eyes and smile to convey my gratitude. The music is loud enough that no one can hear my audible moan, it happens every time. There's just something about their Neapolitan pies that make me swoon. Every time I walk through the door at Locale, I seem to be swept away to another world.
I rarely dine alone, but when I do, I enjoy every moment of a leisurely meal at Pizzeria Locale.