It almost feels like ski-town treason to walk out of a pizzeria anything less than stuffed from the magical marriage of crust, cheese, and sauce. I had never actually done it until I dined at the new Neapolitan-style Flatbread Pizza Company in Breckenridge’s La Cima Mall.
I went in with a friend after a powder day in February, a couple of weeks after the restaurant opened. With twelve-inch, mostly thin-crust pies setting you back around $15 for a specialty pizza, Flatbread isn’t tailored to the ski-bum set, which is one reason I was skeptical. (I’ve always preferred eighteen-inch pies that leave enough for breakfast.)
We sat down at a table next to pine-sided walls harvested from Cucumber Gulch up Ski Hill Road. A giant mountain-bike chainring was mounted above us, one of Flatbread’s many eclectic accoutrements made with a plasma cutter and ionized gas by master metalworker Lou Bibeau of Breck’s Inferno Metalworks. (Most notable: the chandelier in the middle of the room that runs twelve volts of electricity through the spokes of a sliced-in-half wheel, so the bulbs don’t require wires.)
We ordered two of the restaurant’s specialties: the Breck Bomber, a kaleidoscope of pepperoni, sausage, mozzarella, gorgonzola, sweet white onions, mushrooms, and zesty, house-made red sauce; and the Medicine Wheel, which pairs white sauce with sliced pears, mozzarella, gorgonzola, red onions, and toasted walnuts. Every pie at Flatbread is hand-rolled to order, then crisped in a Forno Bravo brick oven, which burns peach and apple wood to reach a toasty 715 degrees. Our pizzas arrived at our table within five minutes. They lasted about five more until nothing remained but crumbs.
Flatbread Pizza was conceived and founded by Daniel Lewis, who got his start slinging pies out of a portable brick oven at local weddings and Breck’s Oktoberfest. Lewis has since sold the restaurant to Ryan Froman, a transplant from Orlando who took over in May. The concept and the recipes (including a gluten-free crust and quinoa salad with apples, celery, and Gouda) remain the same, and Lewis still works there part time.
“Flatbread Pizza is for someone looking for a nice healthy meal, not to be too full,” Froman says.
True to that mantra, although I came as a skeptic, I left hungry for more.