Sunday, August 31, 2008

Fantastic Dinner at Colori Kitchen Downtown

Saturday night of Labor Day weekend we met two of our favorite dining companions, a couple as equally obsessed with food as we are (maybe a little more so, but luckily they don't think I am weird for taking pics of what we are eating), for an early pre-theater supper at Colori Kitchen downtown. Truly a hole in the wall in all senses of the word, and housed between a low brow beauty salon and an underground hostess bar. You're going up several notches on the commercial scale simply walking into Colori. Revolving art hangs on the exposed brick walls and enthusiastic young Italians attend to your needs ("I'm not a waiter, I'm a musician.")

With no liquor license it is BYOB with no corkage, woot! We sucked back a couple of bottles of nice red, a California merlot and a French red courtesy of Silverlake wine. However the food was so good the wine was very secondary. My mouth is watering in anticipation of telling you all about it!

They started us off with bread served with hummus for dipping. Non sequiter, yet delicious.

Next we shared rounds of appetizers. Crustini. Very fresh and tangy. The bread was not to thick and not too soppy.

Yellow tomato bruschetta. Very nice late summer tomatoes. I always love my bruschetta made with burrata...but this bufala mozzarella was very nice.

The standard tri colori.

And both my choice and my favorite, beef carpaccio. I love what they did with this. Two things. 1) Very generous portions of beef, so much that we didn't finish it, and 2) the thin slices were draped over a large pile of lightly dressed greens. Delicioso!

The mains were what amazed me. I cannot believe everything at the table was this delicious at these prices. All entrees had a hearty, rustic approach, just beyond wonderful. I honestly cannot remember having had Italian this wonderful...Dattilo's in Hemet comes to mind. But that was some time ago and quite a commute for home cooked Italian and gnocchi made to order.

The most beautiful entree was a giant bowl of cioppino. Wow. The broth was delicious, but I would have liked my squid a hair less chewy.

I ordered the black cod en papillote. This dish was stellar. Diced tomatoes on top and julienned vegetables underneath, and the paper wrap left the fish so moist it melted in my mouth.

Both D's ordered the waiter (musician) recommended canolini which was earth shatteringly delicious. He said the noodles were nice and soft, but I actually found them to be perfectly al dente. Inside was a wonderful spinach and ricotta mixture.

They serve a wonderful coffee that must come from an espresso machine. It had that slight foaminess on top, and was steaming hot.

For dessert, the adorable waiter (musician) strongly recommended the canoli and a bread pudding. Ya'll know I am not a sweet eater, but the bread pudding was nice, The canoli fell a little short for all of us. I thought it was because I just don't understand canoli, but our friends have traveled through Italy and they were not thrilled either. Oh well, no one if perfect.


gourmetpigs said...

I love yummy and cheap places! Nice review, now I have to go there and try the canolini!!

Anonymous said...

I notice you said the place was inexpensive, but that is often a relative term. Can you give us some idea of the average entree price?

Food, she thought. said...

At lunch, you can eat for around $10. Dinner entrees are between $14 and $18, IIRC. Bringing your own wine with free corkage sweetens the deal.