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Just Like Home


Good gawd, what a month! My friend wrecked his motorcycle, another buddy lost his job and wrecked his motorcycle, and I overdrew my account, almost wrecked my motorcycle and quite possibly lost my job. No, not this one, the primary occupation that actually pays the bills. Heck, I probably came close to getting canned from this gig, as this mess of a month caused me to blow off deadline.

Needless to say, a soothing drink seemed like the only way to calm the nerves. I needed to get away, hide from the hubbub of Boulder, drink a few problems away and just relax for an hour (This is by no means an endorsement to use booze as a pain reliever).

Not ready to lose two jobs in one week, I figured checking out Ciao Bar in Lafayette could serve two purposes: relaxation and finding a new bar to write about.

Ciao is attached to Pulcinella Ristorante on Public Road. It’s housed in an unassuming location in a square brick building that somehow seems too modern for Old Town.

There are no pool tables, bar-top videogame-quiz machines or scofflaws sneaking cigarette puffs; this is not the typical tavern I frequent. Nope, Ciao is a colorful, classy joint serving the suburban Lafayette professional set.

After the Rockies finished pounding the Padres, the place quieted down while I tried to make like a local by talking some sports. My athletic knowledge was more aged than the fine wine list—I found myself talking to the bartender about old San Diego Chargers (Fouts, Chandler and Winslow) and he the new Rockies
(Tulo, Holliday and Atkins).

Showing me his junior high school ID card, Daniel, my bartender/getaway host for the evening assured me that age was of no consequence. Neither was my job, nor my problems, whatever they might be.

Let’s just say it felt great to sit in the warm, comfy confines of this upscale lounge that serves beautiful martinis and is one of the best happy hour hotspots in town.

Daniel treated my companion, Maria, and I as if we were in his home. Conversation flowed lightly. In between talking sports, we sampled authentic Italian meatballs, ravioli and some amazing Cordon Bleu from the kitchen next door. Everything we tried was wonderful.

“How’s the tiramisu?” I asked.

Daniel’s look was all we needed.

“You need to try this, too…” our bartender declared, pouring a shot of organic vodka from Kazakhstan. Being a martini bar, the vodka selection is vast.

We began to feel like we were on a cruise ship, with Daniel playing the parts of Captain Stubing and Isaac Washington rolled into one. We sat back, sampled the vodka and enjoyed the ride.

Regardless if you’ve visited before, Ciao feels like home. That is, assuming your abode has huge modern oil paintings hanging on deep red walls lined with comfy, sinking leather couches. It makes for a mellow hour or so sipping drinks out of trendy glassware.

As Daniel and Co. began shutting the bar for the night, I stalled. I wanted to stay. I needed more comfort.
I wanted to talk more sports. I wanted to complain about how many crappy jobs I’ve lost and how many times the world has wronged me.

Alas, I ran my finger along the edge of the plate, licked my finger, savored the mascarpone cheese and said my goodnights.

I remember Daniel claiming the tiramisu to be the “second best in the world.” I’m on a mission now to find the first. I’m also on a mission to find a new job. Give me a call if you have a need for someone with a vast knowledge of the 1982 San Diego Chargers and a penchant for enjoying a good night at the local bar.

Ciao Bar [300 S. Public Road, Lafayette, 303.604.2888]

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