Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the
December 12, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights
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
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
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
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
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
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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