RARE Italian Restaurant in Fort Collins

About RARE Italian

RARE is an Italian steakhouse located in the heart of Old Town in Fort Collins, Colorado. Inspired by travel experiences in central Italy, RARE offers a rustic, farm to table approach to dishes often found in Umbria and Tuscany. RARE’s menus feature fresh, homemade pasta and cheeses, the best, in-house dry-aged steaks in Northern Colorado, and an extensive list of New and Old World wines. We are proud to offer local ingredients, are committed to seasonality and serve only the best cuts of beef that we dry-age in-house for a minimum of 21 days. The RARE experience is intentionally warm and welcoming, and our focus is simple, elegant dishes made the right way. We invite you to join us for a meal and let our exceptional staff take care of you as though you were family. Prego!

We offer physical Gift Cards for purchase!
After 4pm, please call 970.294.4544 or come in for Gift Card purchases. If purchased by phone, we are happy to hold a Gift Card in our safe for your loved one to pick up upon their visit to RARE Italian.  

Our Team

Nate Booth, Executive Chef

Nate’s mother was a baker, so he began his career early – first by sweeping up flour, and later by working his way through various kitchens during high school and college. He then went on to apprentice at Wolfgang Puck through the American Culinary Federation. Upon completion in 2003, he moved to Texas where he was an Executive Chef for Truluck’s Seafood – opening new locations for the award-winning restaurant group in Texas and California. From 2009-2014 he was the Chef Partner for Artins in Plano, TX, then Executive Chef at OAK in Dallas, TX from 2015-2017, a James Beard winning restaurant. From 2017-2021 Nate worked with the restaurant group, Whiskeycake, in the role of back of house lead trainer and opening Chef for all new locations, in addition to running one location and creating seasonal menus for the group. In March of 2021, Nate chose to move back to his home state of Colorado where he joined the RARE team as Executive Chef.

Collin McDowell, General Manager

Collin has been the GM at RARE since September 2020. He has been in hospitality since age 13 when he got his first job washing dishes at the Raintree Plaza Hotel & Convention Center. By 17, Collin was a Sous Chef and managing the culinary operations in three restaurants on the Raintree campus. Collin became the youngest Executive Chef in that company’s history and spent the next 25 years running steakhouses, nightclubs and specialty concepts for CraftWorks Holdings (formerly Rock Bottom Restaurants & Breweries). Collin was a three time General Manager of The Year at The Denver ChopHouse & Brewery and was distinguished four times for outstanding leadership, integrity, values based leadership and community partnership. As Director of Operations for CraftWorks, Collin oversaw seven different brands across the country while Chairing the CraftWorks Foundation’s Board of Directors. Between then and now, Collin was Vice President for a restaurant consultation group – Restaurant Sherpas – where he coached, developed and supported the wild world of new restaurant ownership. The pandemic allowed Collin to reconsider a simpler path in his hometown at his family’s favorite restaurant – RARE Italian.

Greg Elkin, Sous Chef

Greg gained his culinary education at the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Greg developed his techniques while working in the top kitchens of New York and Los Angeles including The Four Seasons, March and Picholine. For love of the mountains and looking for new adventures, Greg moved with his family to Colorado in December of 2021.

Cody Bulaga, Sous Chef

Cody grew up in California and Colorado. His first restaurant job was in 2013. Cody started school for restaurant management in 2015 at Colorado Mountain College. He’s worked various positions in both front and back of house since 2013, and in 2021 Cody helped open and design the second location of Backdoor Grill here in Fort Collins. Cody was Head Chef at Backdoor until getting his foot in the door at Rare as Lead Prep Cook which quickly turned into a full-time position as Sous Chef in 2022. Away from the kitchen Cody enjoys participating in various outdoor sports, playing guitar and exploring new places with his dog and fiancée. Cody is also interested in computer science and engineering and does a bit of programming and coding on the side. 

Chris Williams, Bar Manager

Chris has been with RARE since the beginning – December 2014. Moving to Colorado in 2012, he has worked at many different posts within hospitality, everything from washing dishes to being a line cook and of course, tending bar. Over the years he has taken over more aspects of the bar program including menu curation, and the making of our in-house limoncello.