I often am asked if I like blogging and what it is about blogging that keeps me going. The answer is quite simple and I can answer in one word. Sharing. I love sharing everything from my experience at restaurants and recipes to my photos of my friends and family eating something delicious. Food is something more than just fuel; it is something I am passionate about. And why not share something that you love?
So when others recommend recipes or restaurants, I usually take the advice pretty seriously. Which is why when I was recently in Collingswood, NJ (one of my favorite little towns!) in my favorite little jewelry store (Aenigma) and an employee recommended Kitchen Consigliere , I had to go.
Jay and I had attempted to bring friends here one night and when we decided to call last minute, there was no available space! It made me want to visit even more. If it was so loved that we could not even get in for dinner…this place had to be good.
When we first walked in on an unusually cold night in April, the temperature in the room was not the only thing that felt warm. We were greeted with open arms and sat a perfect table where I knew I’d be able to get some great photos.
Collingswood is a dry town which I think is a great thing for those dining. It helps to lower the bill and you can bring that favorite bottle of wine. But at Kitchen Consigliere you don’t even need to BYO (unless you’re really thirsty that is) because a complimentary glass is served with dinner. And a really good glass at that!
After browsing over the menu for a few minutes we realized that the menu was rather simple but included all of the Italian favorites. Little did we know, the list of specials was incredible. So for those who desire something more unique than a classic Italian dish, listen carefully because you might just miss what you’re craving.
At this point in the meal Jay went to the bathroom and came back giving me a weird look. You see, the most research I do about a restaurant is checking out their menu. But little did we know, the executive chef and owner, Angelo Lutz, is a former criminal who was involved with the mob. There is an article posted on the wall inside the restaurant that further explains Angelo’s story, or you can check out his cooking show, where he talks about his experiences in each episode. Since serving time, Angelo has proven now more than ever that he really is a “cook, not a crook”.
Most meals included the house salad which is dressed with an olive oil and vinegar dressing. I was really excited to see that there were chickpeas on the salad. I always feel like they had an extra meaty flavor that just makes the salad come together. I thought it was the perfect size and everything was very fresh and crisp. A perfect start to the meal.
And what kind of Italian meal would it be if there wasn’t bread? A basket was served along with olive oil and vinegar, as well as butter.
I wound up choosing one of the specials which included tortellini, shrimp and sundried tomatoes in a creamy sauce. The pasta was cooked perfectly and the creaminess of both the cheese in the pasta and the sauce melded flawlessly with the bite of the sundried tomato. And texture of the shrimp was just right, firm but not chewy, which is especially important.
Jay had chicken parmesan which was served with a side of pasta.
As we were eating we kept watching other tables eat ginormous slices of cake so once the idea was planted in our head, we knew that dessert was most definitely on the menu for us that night. I started with a cup of coffee while we talked and digested a bit.
Then we had a piece of homemade chocolate cake. Holy delicious. It was rich, moist, chocolate cake with a melty chocolate middle and garnished with white chocolate chips and a chocolate candy. It was mouth watering and big enough to feed a family of 5, or maybe the mob.
There was even some left over.
Coming from an Italian family, I would say that I am a bit judgmental when it comes to good Italian food. But Kitchen Consigliere really exceeded my expectations with not only the food, but the hospitable atmosphere. It is a place where I feel like I could come back week after week, try something new and really feel at home. And I wasn’t even threatened by the mob to say that.