Boulder Italian restaurant team strikes out for Longmont

By Alexandra Janney

For the Times-Call

POSTED:   06/30/2017 03:14:36 PM MDT

UPDATED:   07/01/2017 04:40:44 PM MDT

Editor's note: This article was updated to reflect that the address for Caprese Trattoria is 1067 S. Hover Road, Longmont, 80501, and its phone number is 303-485-6240.

A Boulder restaurant team that includes an Italian-born chef and a three-time Emmy-award winning TV Producer, has set its sights on Longmont with the opening of Caprese Trattoria. 

The team includes Boulder Chef Marco Monnanni and his wife Elodie Lisle, who started Bacco and Sforno in Boulder, among others, TV Producer Art Annecharico, known for his widely successful sitcoms including The Munsters, Dragnet, and Adam-12, and Boulder financier Ken Budde.

Budde joined the team as an investor after working with Monnanni to finance Sforno.

" We saw that Longmont was exploding in growth but there was a lack of truly good restaurants. As a result, I was confident that despite the risk of investing in an area with a very different clientele base, our restaurant would be a success," Budde said.

For a chef and entrepreneur, Budde says Monnanni has a well rounded understanding of how to run a business. 

"Marco's business models are incredible. During slow periods he will make sure to slow down spending so we can continue to have positive cash flow. During the busier times he makes sure to have adequate staffing and great choices on the menu including wonderful specials," Budde said.

Longmont's Caprese Trattoria is one of three entities in which Monnanni is chef and co-partner. After years of traveling and working around the world, the Italian chef settled down in Boulder because of the town's ambiance and "foodie" spirit. 

The menu at his new eatery is simple. It features a variety of dishes inspired from Monnanni's heritage and experience as a chef in Rome, such as house-made Mozzarella and traditional Italian pasta's. For his daily specials, he carefully selects among ingredients such as fresh fish, lobster, and meats. 

For Longmont, Monnanni has added new small plates, more meat choices, and a quality beer and wine selection. Caprese is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. 

Monnanni's restaurant venture has been able to capitalize on Colorado's appetite for eating out. Since 2010 revenue at privately owned restaurants has increased 38 percent from $8.4 billion to $11.6 billion in 2015, according to the Colorado Restaurant Association. The number of restaurants has grown as, reaching 11,526 in 2016, up from 10,355 in 2010.


"In Colorado, activity is high.," said Carolyn Livingston, communications director at the Colorado Restaurant Association. "We are growing at a faster rate than any other state."

Of the team, Annecharico was first to see the energy from the city's development as an opportunity to reach large-scale audiences in an increasingly urban market.

Ironically, the producer was the last to expect he would launch a second career as a restaurateur.

"I had retired and it was never my intention to pursue a career in the restaurant industry. However after eating Marco's food for the first time, the first words I said to him were 'let's open a restaurant'," said Annecharico.

Annecharico said it was Monnanni's superior cooking that initially inspired him to go into the business. With their latest development, Annecharico emphasized the desire to remain authentic.

"Ultimately," Annecharico said, "our goal is to create a space for customers that really tastes and feels like you are in Rome."

Marco Monnanni