Corrections or additions?

This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the

December 12, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights

reserved.

Dining Out: Cafe Colore

Cafe Colore is offering a hot lunchtime deal in a cool

oasis — the South Brunswick Shopping Center on Route 1 South.

T2 Ventures, the Momo brothers’ company, chose a strip mall for its

newest restaurant, but decorated it so that arriving diners soon

forget

they are in a shopping center. Just inside the front door of this

12-table restaurant is a wall of glass blocks, which quickly sets

the dining room apart from the parking lot. Immediately catching the

eye are two large wooden farm tables running down the middle of the

room, each providing six well-spaced place settings. Smaller tables

run along the walls, but they too are nicely separated.

Walls are a cool, pale green, accented with deeper green molding.

The effect is restful. Aside from small, dark, framed pictures on

the walls, the only decoration is a tall vase of fall flowers set

in a glass container filled with multi-colored bow-tie pasta.

To introduce its lunch service, Cafe Colore is offering a $6.95

special.

Coupons in newspapers entitle lunchtime diners to a choice of soup

or salad plus (!) a choice of sandwich or pasta. Normally a lunch

combination such as this would cost twice as much — or more.

I didn’t learn of the coupon until after I returned from lunch, and

so I spent some time puzzling over how the foursome at the table next

to mine had managed to eat a copious amount of food for $28. I had

watched them work through their courses, and tease the one member

of their party who managed to finish her meal. When the plates were

cleared, a typical what-shall-we-tip conversation began. That’s how

I learned of the $28 tab.

On that unseasonably warm afternoon in early-December, when many were

taking their lunch breaks outside, Cafe Colore was busy. In addition

to the group of seniors — who promised chef Michael Coury they

would be back — the dining room was peopled with a lone

businessman,

a duo of businesswomen, and several family groups. Italian ballads

provide a backdrop for conversation.

There were two soup specials, potato leek and white bean, at $6 each.

Served in large, white bowls, the soup would have made a meal, but

I paired the potato leek with a salad of field greens, grilled chicken

and orzo. The salad was $7, as are most others on the menu. Pasta

dishes average $9, and panini sandwiches are $10. Desserts include

several flavors of sorbet, riso creme brule, and a caramelized Chianti

poached pear, all at about $7. There are daily specials, and I

overheard

Chef Coury telling the group next to me that a new winter menu is

on the way.

Service is relaxed. During my visit just one waitress was on duty,

with Chef Coury helping out when he could. Considering the small staff

on that day, service was attentive. One diner had to signal a couple

of times to get his check, but otherwise, everyone seemed content

with the pace.

Cafe Colore boasts one thing that many downtown Princeton restaurants

do not — lots and lots of free parking. And it features something

else that many strip mall restaurants do not — a liquor license.

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

Cafe Colore, 4095 Route 1 South, South Brunswick Square,

Monmouth Junction, 732-355-0410. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.,

Monday through Thursday, and stays open half an hour later on Friday

night. On weekends open at 4:30 p.m. Closing time is 10:30 p.m. on

Saturday, and 10 p.m. on Sunday. Take-out available.


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