A restaurant meal is incomplete without its after-dinner mint, which cleanses the palate before patrons gnaw a subterranean tunnel home. Chew the scenery with today’s Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Italian fare and wine at Antica Roma Trattoria & Bar in Boulder.
Antica Roma Trattoria & Bar's menu of petite plates, juicy steaks, and piping-hot pizza complements an award-winning wine list. Inside the dining room—reminiscent of an Italian piazza with a babbling fountain and exposed brick walls—a selection of small plates fills pre-entree belly space with the likes of cozze quazzetto, steamed mussels in a garlic-white-wine broth ($6).
The fettuccine aragosta's lobster, shrimp, peas, and sun-dried tomatoes hunker down amid swirls of pasta in a rich lobster-cream sauce ($23), and the filetto cardinale's garlic mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus artfully arrange themselves into fractals alongside a seven-ounce filet mignon in brandy cream sauce ($24). Lunch dishes include the Veneto panini with house-made meatballs ($9) and pizzas ($9.50–$12) cooked in a wood-burning oven. A variety of white and red wines ($7–$10/glass) can be enjoyed on the outside patio, weather permitting, with views of fashion-conscious birds window-shopping at the Pearl Street Mall.
A fountain gingerly gurgles at the center of Antica Roma's main dining room, whose exposed-brick walls and flower-adorned window edges recreate the atmosphere of an Italian piazza. Behind the picturesque scenes, chefs prepare authentic Italian dishes that complement the Old-World environs, drawing upon fresh ingredients from Antica Roma's own garden to whip up bowls of housemade minestrone and margherita pizzas. They adorn spaghetti with their own handcrafted meatballs, bake regular or multigrain penne with eggplant, and toss gluten-free fettuccine with tiger shrimp poached directly from Siegfried and Roy's underwater show.
Within the elegantly rustic digs or out on the veranda overlooking the Pearl Street Mall, diners can accompany classic Italian meals with an imported or domestic red or white vino from Antica Roma's award-winning wine list.