Try this week: Locale pizza, Bookcliff’s chamboursin, and more

Four courses to try in and around Boulder County

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Matt Cortina | Boulder Weekly

Solano Pizza
Pizzeria Locale, 1730 Pearl St., Boulder, localeboulder.com

The original Boulder location of Pizzeria Locale is special. Even as the Neapolitan-style pizzeria and bar expands operations, its flagship restaurant stays its comfortable, yet classy self and slings out fresh, unique pies and oven-baked dishes. First and foremost, the crusts on Locale’s pizzas are perfect — billowy and chewy around the rim, sturdy and crispy in the center, and blackened just right. And its menu features something for all tastes. We had the solano recently — eggplant with roasted Anaheim and shishito peppers. It’s spicy, savory and, ultimately, satisfying. $14.

Chambourcin
Bookcliff Vineyards, 1501 Lee Hill Drive, Boulder, bookcliffvineyards.com

Boulder’s Bookcliff Vineyards grows plenty of grape varieties at its Palisade estate, but what makes the catalog of single-varietals and blends so exciting is you’re liable to learn about a grape you’ve never heard of. Such is the case with the chambourcin, a light, French-American hybrid grape that’s a little earthy, a little spicy and has hints of cherry and red licorice. It’s a grape commonly grown on the U.S. East Coast, but as it turns out, Colorado suits it well. It holds up with tomato-based dishes. $12.99 at Bookcliff.

Chimichanga
Efrain’s II, 1630 N. 63rd St., Boulder, efrainsrestaurant.com

What’s better than a burrito? How about a deep-fried burrito? Efrain’s take on the Southwest staple can’t be beat. Chicken breast is simmered in herbs and spices, then wrapped in a four tortilla and deep fried, creating just a bit of crunch that complements the tender meat sublimely. The dish is served smothered with pork chile verde, cheese, sour cream and guacamole. It’s as filling as it sounds, which is why we opted for a side salad rather than rice and beans for lunch. There’s a reason why Efrain’s is always packed… the food is so good that feeling full doesn’t stop us from finishing the plate. $8.95.

Duck Tagine
Ash’kara, 2005 W. 33rd Ave., Denver, ashkaradenver.com

Created by of Daniel Asher, the chef behind Boulder’s River and Woods and Lafayette’s Acreage, Ash’kara is a mix of Israeli and Middle Eastern fare served up in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood. The dishes are made for sharing, whether as small plates or as a feast for multiple people. The duck tagine is exceptional. Served in a traditional clay, coned tagine from North Africa, the duck meat perfectly falls off the bone, each bite just as succulent as the next. A combination of grains, root vegetables, dates and pomegranate seeds mix together in a savory-sweet combination that’s to die for. We can’t overstate how good this meal is. $42 (serves 2-4 people).