Welcome to the Neighborhood

Farro Italian Restaurant

I get excited when I hear of a new restaurant opening close to home. Anticipation builds when I hear the chef/owner is Matt Franklin. He’s built quite a reputation in the Denver area as chef for several years at 240 Union. Weeks before the restaurant opened I hear Franklin talk with Warren Byrne on The Restaurant Show, confirming he’s opening Farro, an Italian restaurant in a shopping center at County Line and Holly. I feel like a kid waiting for Santa.

A couple of weeks after opening we head to Farro for Sunday night dinner. The room is warm and comfortable, booths are roomy, tables well spaced. Staff is attentive and knowledgeable about the menu and preparation. As the evening unfolds we’re especially impressed with how the staff works together as a team. Operating partner, John Richard, is very much in evidence – from greeting to busing tables with a smile.

tuscan-meatloaf2But, let’s get to the food. Bob ordered the Tuscan style meatloaf, topped with porcini mushroom gravy, served on garlic mashed potatoes, accompanied by sauteed veggies. The meatloaf slice was thick and generous – enough for lunch the next day. The potatoes perfect and the gravy exceptional. I selected a pasta dish of capellini, shrimp, tomato cream and basil – heavenly. I was certain I would take some home  for Monday lunch but didn’t put my fork down until I picked up my spoon to get the last sips of sauce. We finished the evening sharing the fall fruit bread pudding with frangelico caramel  – lovely.

After tasting Bob’s  on that first visit I’ve lusted for my own serving of Tuscan meatloaf. Last night, after Bob’s art show when we wanted a comfy dinner to celebrate his Best of Show, Farro felt like the perfect place. Friday night at 7:30 they were filled but the wait was only 15 minutes. The hostess was most accommodating, giving us a choice of table or booth as they became available.

Sorely tempted to order the evening’s special of roast pork loin with butternut squash risotto, I stuck to my plan for meatloaf. It was as good as I remembered from that one bite weeks ago. I even liked the squash in the sauteed vegetables. That’s an accomplishment, Matt. Bob feasted on salmon, capers, pine nuts and pancetta with spinach risotto and veggies. His report was glowing. We shared Tiramisu in a Jar for dessert, I could have eaten the entire perfect balance of flavors all by myself. Not that I needed it. Every bite disappeared.

Farro is the kind of place you can comfortably take the kids, or grandma or meet another couple for wine, dinner and conversation. We’ll be going back to work our way through the menu of pizzas, pastas, menu entrees and specials. A restaurant well fitted to the neighborhood is a treat, when the food is this good it’s a treasure.

When You Go: Farro Italian Restaurant, 8230 S. Holly, Centennial, 303-694-5432. Open daily at 4 pm.

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