Recently I had the opportunity to dine at RARE Italian, a new restaurant in Fort Collins. I went with a friend of mine, and we had amazing meal. We met with Daniel, the general manager, and Alex, the head chef. Both made sure we had a night to remember in their restaurant. Alex has worked in many restaurants, with some of the most known chefs in the country. He traveled to Italy and learned to cook, real Italian food, for a few years, before coming to Colorado. Daniel also used to be a chef, and spent years in Italy learning how Italians cook and eat food.
We started the night with a specialty cocktail called the Cellothyme. It is housemade Limoncello, ginger shrub, prosecco, and thyme. It was perfectly light and refreshing. Definitely something I could see sipping on all summer long.
RARE makes almost everything on their menu in house, and tries to get as local of ingredients as they can. I am not a big cheese fan, but we tried their house made Mozzarella cheese, and it was amazing. If I liked it, you know it has to be good. The Antipasti platter is a great way to sample some of their cheese and meats that they make in house. You can customize the platter to your liking too, and there are so many great options.
After the appetizer we moved onto pasta and risotto. Now, I have to tell you I am a huge risotto fan. It is hard to find a good one, so I am pretty picky about risotto. Their risotto is served with a little braised beef, garlic bread crumbs and finished with a gremolata. The risotto might be one of the best things I have ever eaten. It was rich, creamy, and so good. The braised beef is heavenly, and the bread crumbs are such an unexpected twist. I will be going back for the risotto alone! The pasta is made fresh (we actually saw them working on making more pasta later in the evening), and their sausage is flavored with rosemary, which is one of my favorite herbs.
RARE is known for their wood-grilled meats, and we tried the House-aged Bistecca Alla Fiorentina, which is the Italian version of a Porterhouse steak. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and served with 4 dipping sauces. The aged balsamic vinegar was definitely my favorite, but the truffle butter was a pretty close second. The meat was so tender and delicious. You may remember that I had the opportunity to go to Ohio in October and visit with Certified Angus Beef. I was super excited to find out that RARE uses CAB beef! It is one of the first places I have found locally that uses it.
For dessert we were treated to the Flourless Chocolate Torta and the Rosemary-Olive Oil Cake. You know I am a chocolate girl to the core, but I loved the olive oil cake. It was dense and so delicious.
Daniel (and all of the staff) are a wealth of knowledge. Daniel taught us about wines, and different regions of Italy, and what goes best with each course. So if you have questions, ask! Daniel personally selects every bottle of wine that is offered, and he educates his staff about each one of them. We tried a couple of white wines and a couple of red wines with different courses of the meal. And at the end of the night Daniel encouraged me to try Vermouth. I have to say, so much better than Port! And a great way to end the experience.
I truly hope that you have the opportunity to go to RARE. They do a brunch on the weekends, that I am excited to try; Rachel’s Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes sound so good! They also are open for lunch, so if you are in Old Town, go there for a panini or a pizzette. Daniel and Alex are great people, and they are doing a great job bringing the authentic Italian feel to Fort Collins.
Thank you Daniel and Alex for such a great night! I can’t wait to come back.