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Marco’s Portal to Italy: Sforno Trattoria Romana

Marco’s Portal to Italy: Sforno Trattoria Romana

Scott Rowland  • January 8, 2015 • Lifestyle • 

Among the array of shops and eateries in Boulder, CO stands Sforno Trattoria Romana, a restaurant serving authentic Italian cuisine on Pearl St. while mimicking an atmosphere reminiscent of Rome; the birth place of Master Chef, Marco Monnanni.

Monnanni started his apprenticeship in Italy at the young age of 14. Throughout his career, he enhanced his craft in kitchens located in places like Germany and Switzerland before bringing his talents to Colorado and working directly with local Chef Beau Raffensperger to create the Italian delicacies found on Sforno’s menu.

Boulder, CO - Sforno Trattoria Romana dining room

Sforno Trattoria Romana

Follow the brick walk way of the Pearl St. mall and pass through the doorway of Sforno into a restaurant decorated like the exterior dining area of a quaint Romanian bistro. The walls are enhanced with the rough texture of crumbling cement painted a gamboge color with Victorian style black-bar windows. A balcony sits just above the wood-fire oven, separating guests from the magic sautéing in the kitchen. Even the ceiling is properly designed, as it has been painted a subtle blue to mimic an open sky, engaging a feeling similar to dining on the common grounds of an ancient aristocratic society.

Sforno Trattoria Romana - Carote appetizer Boulder, CO


While the hostess leads the way, the calming sound of flowing water from a stand-alone floor fountain in the center of the dining room becomes predominant. Upon arrival to the wooden finished and comfortably rustic table, the full scope of Sforno’s atmosphere unravels.

Sforno takes pride in their authentic, freshly made ingredients prepared to match cuisine served in Italy.

Boulder’s Capellos, a gourmet food company specializing in gluten-free, grain-free products, makes Sforno’s artisan breads. As a traditional segue into the evening meal, the bread is paired with Italian-made olive oil and a delicious combination of herbs.

For an appetizer, Carote is my preferred choice. Its sweet drizzle complements the locally-sourced yellow and orange carrots while caramelizing the pistachios to perfection. Sforno also offers an array of unique house-made cheeses including mozzarella, Burratta and a sheep’s milk ricotta, cured meats imported from Italy, and an assortment of antipasti and bruschette.

With dinner options like Quattro Formaggi, a four-cheese pizza topped with prosciutto di parma and prepared in the house wood-fire oven, Melanzane Parmigiana, a serving of baked eggplant served with a rich, creamy alfredo penne, and Abbachio Scottadito, an all-natural Boulder lamb grilled loin chop served with roasted potatoes and asparagus, there is a wide range of Italian inspired options designed to satisfy any set of taste buds.

crème brûlée at Sforno Trattoria Romana in Boulder, CO

Crème Brûlée

To wrap up this delicious meal, the server recommended what would become my favorite dish thus far: a divine Crème Brûlée! The sweet, creamy custard is topped with a micro layer of caramel spread evenly across the entire base and garnished with strawberries, whipped cream, powdered sugar and a chocolate drizzle. I found each bite disappearing faster than the previous.

Monnanni and Raffensperger have developed a unique presentation with this portal to Italy. From first look to last bite, Sforno embodies the feel of a quaint eatery serving not only authentic cuisine, but a taste of Italian culture.

Between the elegance of Sforno’s decor and Monnanni’s exquisite recipes, the theme of sophisticated dining lingers through the entire evening. For an Italian-inspired experience, make a stop at Sforno to reward your pallet and adventurous nature for their fine sense of taste.

Sforno Trattoria Romana
1308 Pearl Street,
Boulder, CO 80302


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