By Brittany Anas | Photos by Jonathan Castner
The menu at Farow, a relative newcomer to Niwot’s restaurant scene, reads like a seasonal greatest hits list with co-owner and chef Patrick Balcom rotating dishes based on what’s available. Think: parsnip latkes with apple chutney, fennel and sage-crusted pork chops and rutabaga cacio e pepe with black truffles headlining the restaurant’s mid-winter menus.
Come summer, it’s time for the stone fruits to shine, along with Colorado bass layered over summer squash, gazpachos and cherry rhubarb shortcake.
A point of pride for the restaurant? Roughly 90% of the restaurant’s ingredients are sourced from within a 10-mile radius, which underscores Farow’s ethos that local and seasonal foods simply taste better.
Patrick Balcom and his wife Lisa, an acclaimed pastry chef, both bring their extensive restaurant and hospitality experience to the so-called table at Farow. Before opening in Sept. 2021, the couple drew inspiration from Boulder County’s bountiful farms.
“We have access to so much grain, butter, dairy, cheeses and meats—it’s something that’s pretty special,” says Lisa Balcom, who even sources the restaurant’s flowers from a local farm.
Farow guests will also find freshly milled flour in their homemade breads, locally raised meats from ranchers that prioritize regenerative agriculture and produce from farmers paid fair wages.
The restaurant’s signature burger, for instance, is made with Buckner Ranch beef, topped with cheddar, pickles and onions and served with steak fries. The restaurant brings in produce from local farms, like carrots from Longmont’s Jolly Radish that are then roasted with a touch of honey and served with a spiced yogurt, toasted pepitas and cilantro chutney.
From the famous daily rotating focaccia bread to artisanal pasta to desserts crafted by Lisa Balcom, nearly everything is made in-house by Farow’s culinary team. Definitely save room for dessert, too, with sweet treats like a chocolate-banana tart and vanilla bean crème brûlée with cara cara oranges. In the summer, Lisa Balcom loves getting creative with peaches.
“There’s nothing better than a Palisade peach, and I love to play with those in summer pastries,” she says.
Farow—which is upscale with elements of fine dining service, yet still has a relaxed feel—has won several awards, including the Slow Food Snail of Approval for a commitment to ethical sourcing.
Patrick Balcom thinks of the cuisine as modern American, while recognizing that America is a melting pot, so the farm-to-table dishes really draw from all over the world. Regulars love that every week there’s something new to try.
The Balcoms also launched Pie Dog, a new delivery and pickup-only pizza concept that operates out of their kitchen. They make pizzas with fresh milled flour, a simple tomato sauce and melty mozzarella that’s imported from Puglia, Italy. Every pie is fired in a gorgeous pizza oven that was left from the restaurant’s previous tenant, Lucky Pie.
A community restaurant, Farow also hosts monthly bar classes, like one focused on Italian amaros and another where guests will learn how to create their own signature cocktail. The classes are capped at 15 people and tickets are sold on Eventbrite.
Looking forward, Farow is also planning to partner with local farms for a summer dinner series, with four-course meals served with wine pairings, plus welcome cocktails and farm tours.
Farow Negroni Dell’ Etna—Cheers!
Amaro is a fabulous swap for Campari, and especially this Amaro dell’ Etna as it has really bright orange undertones combined with bitter herbs and roots, according to the Farow team. It plays nicely with whiskey and is super fun to drink when the weather cools off.
1.5 ouces Colorado’s Abbott & Wallace Rye Whiskey
1 ounce Amaro dell’ Etna amaro
1 ounce Lustau’s Red Vermouth
Combine all ingredients and stir over ice in a mixing glass. Strain over a large cube and garnish with an orange peel.