When I first visited Treppeda’s nearly three years ago, it had only recently begun navigating the dangerous waters of dinner service. A popular gourmet lunch counter for years, food quality wasn’t the question.
What was at issue was the degree to which the transition from day to night would come off: Would there be enough atmosphere in Treppeda’s dining room to entice not only the very local Niwoters, but also the fickle Boulder and Longmont diners? During my most recent visit, it was clear that the move has been beneficial for both the family business and the community it serves.
Treppeda’s continues to pull off an elusive trick: elegance and flavor in a local, friendly atmosphere that relies on solid consistency rather than flashy marketing. Based around the classic Italian dishes that have made Treppeda’s a favorite in this charming downtown for more than 10 years, the dinner menu offers a delectable selection of appetizers, salads, pastas and meats to satisfy nearly any craving. With a wine list to match and service befitting friendly Niwot, Treppeda’s offers an above average night out for both casual eats and a big, fancy hoo-ha.
With a warm basket of bread and a first course of Insalata Caprese ($10) made with local hot-house tomatoes, we sampled two glasses of the house Barbera d’Alba ($9 each), a surprisingly bright and nicely acidic red. The Caprese, which came highly recommended from our effusive server Adam, was indeed satisfying, as the tomatoes were ripe and the buffalo mozzarella delicious.
A bit more fresh basil, however, would have been welcome.
Next we tried the Mushroom Farrotto and Gorgonzola ($10), an ample appetizer that features farro barley (sort of like a couscous on steroids) prepared in the same fashion as risotto with earthy mushrooms and a rich Gorgonzola cheese. This dish was innovative (the use of farro was a huge textural success), full of comfort and flavor, and was our favorite. This is the sort of dish you come back for once or twice a week.
Equally impressive was the Squash and Apple Gnocchi ($15), a delicious combination of the titular components (the butternut and delicata squashes are local) tossed with honey and caciocavallo cheese among soft-but-crispy potato dumplings. Every bite of this dish will curl your toes, though the richness may be a bit much for some and we would suggest a nice, crisp glass of Soave ($8) as a palate-cleansing pairing.
Our second entrée was a Lamb Siciliana ($18), which featured at least six ounces of tender lamb loin grilled and served with seared polenta and a sauce of sundried tomatoes, carrots, fennel, onions and marsala wine.
Alongside a smoky glass of house Cabernet ($8), this dish was a delight and a steal at this price.
Adam was an attentive and energetic server, and we appreciated his humor, food and wine knowledge, and contagious energy. Some of the T’s were left uncrossed in terms of fine dining, however, as our silver was left unrefreshed between courses and the lamb failed to attract a steak knife. These nitpicks aside, however, we were quite pleased with how we were treated on this busy Tuesday night.
This visit just reaffirmed that quaint Niwot has more than one fine-dining option once the sun sets that should keep even the most fickle gourmands more than content.
300 2nd Ave., Niwot
Bottom line: Treppeda’s continues its successful run as Niwot’s day-and-night anchor for locally inflected authentic Italian cuisine.