I want to tell you about Farow’s Moroccan carrots, charred and served over pistachio tahini and warm, toasty spices, and the super tender steak, raised up the road in Longmont and served with sweet caramelized onions and a strata of marrow potatoes, but, because husband and wife team Patrick and Lisa Balcom change up the menu so frequently depending on what’s available around them, it would be kind of rude of me to flaunt dishes you may not be able to eat yourself, wouldn’t it? The good news, though, is that you might find something even better, or, at the very least, just as local, fresh and mouthwatering, since nearly everything coming out of the Niwot restaurant’s kitchen is a winner.
The quick description of Farow is that it’s a contemporary American, small plate restaurant, where the vast majority—the restaurant aims for 90 percent—of ingredients come from within 10 miles of their Niwot spot. But anyone who knows anything about growing and preparing well-cared for and well-executed food knows that there’s not really anything quick about it.
Take the focaccia bread. Lisa spends three days on it, using Moxie Bread Co.’s organic heirloom flour to achieve the airy pockets of buttery, rosemary goodness. And it’s not like a strata of marrow potatoes assembles themselves, people. Patrick and Lisa, who worked at Blackbelly (Patrick as executive sous chef and Lisa as pastry chef) before opening up Farow on their own this past September, work hard to ensure that their food is not only tasty, but that it supports the kind of local, sustainable food system that we need.
Hence that Longmont meat from Buckner Family Farm that you’ll always find on the menu—although the accompanying strata of marrow potatoes isn’t a guarantee. (Sorry.) And while Farow’s menu is small, when I visited there were just 13 total items on the dinner list, the vegetable selection is mighty. Besides those carrots with the pistachio tahini, there was also a parsnip and potato soup, a cabbage and radish heavy red posole, a mixed greens salad, mushroom cavatelli and a cacio y pepe made with spiralized rutabaga “pasta.” Staff advises two to three plates per person, or there’s also a $75 six-course tasting menu, which, thankfully, includes dessert.
If you eat one thing at Farow, make it dessert. And if it’s available, make it the almond pound cake with sherry roasted dates, whipped crème fraiche and sweet sherry-butter sauce. The slab of rich, almondy cake soaks up all that sauce, and it’s topped on one side with decadent dates and on the other with ethereal cream. If you’re in the area in the a.m. hours, Lisa’s doughnut of the day, seasonal scone and coffee cake all look pretty incredible, too.
Again, my apologies if I’ve got you craving pound cake, pistachio tahini carrots, and marrow potatoes and you drive on over to Farow only to find other, non-pound cake, non-pistachio tahini, non-marrow potato dishes (that I trust will be just as good) on the menu. But here’s an advantage you’ll have over my freezing, snowy January dinner: that patio. Once the weather warms up, Farow’s spacious patio is going to be where you want to be all spring and summer long. Maybe I’ll see you there.