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Archive for the ‘Palmer Lake’ Tag

La Rosa By Any Other Nombre   1 comment

Rosatacos

There’s not much to the small town of Palmer Lake just west of Monument; in fact, there isn’t even a lake – just the imprint of its past existence. Yet, the range of good places to eat is impressive. La Rosa Southwestern Dining is the newest on the scene with fresh takes on standard New Mexican fare.

The restaurant boasts an extensive selection of tequilas and Mexican beer. The house margarita was the perfect blend of sweet and tangy.

The special the night we visited consisted of three tacos filled with chicken, chorizo, pineapple, grilled vegetables and lots of cilantro. It was refreshing and light, a contrast to the heavy, but palate-pleasing Chicken Mole.

Rosamole

When mole is on the menu I lose my sense of taste adventure: I can’t ignore the allure. La Rosa’s mole is a thick blend of spices and chocolate with enough of a kick that I was doubly grateful I had a margarita nearby. The rice and beans, in their simplicity, complimented the flavorful sauce. The only issue with the dish is the difficulty in cutting the chicken, which is a half still on the bone. It also detracted from the overall visual appeal of the dish.

Rosarelleno

The Chile Rellenos and Fish Veracruz were other dishes sampled by our group, and each offered distinct, rich flavors. I’d like to return to try some of the other entrees, but will have to ask for a menu where the mole has been removed. Otherwise, I won’t be able to resist.

La Rosa Southwestern Dining
Four-and-a-half Plates
25 Highway 105
Palmer Lake, Colo.
http://larosasouthwesterndining.com/

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Bella Bellissima   Leave a comment

Most Italian restaurants go in for overkill in the dining room: red-checkered table cloths, Chianti bottles coated in streaming tears of wax, accordion music playing in the background. At Bella Panini, however, the emphasis on all things Italian takes place in the kitchen – where it should.

The friends who introduced us to Bella warned us that on a Friday night we’d be in for a lengthy wait to get a table. Somehow, we timed our arrival just right and were seated immediately. Although our companions are regulars,  we all received a warm welcome.

The restaurant features an impressive beer and wine menu, but it’s the food that commands your attention. An array of pastas and Paninis are available, as are soups and salads. The thin crust pizza was tempting, but I was more attracted to the Stuffed Pasta Roll and the nightly fish special: Sea Bass Topped with Etouffee over a bed of Linguini.

The pasta roll is stuffed with sausage, spinach and mushrooms covered with a sun dried tomato pesto sauce. It’s lasagna gone round. The fish was equally creative. Who would think of Etoufee in a place called Bella Panini? The classic Louisiana stew made with shrimp and crawfish was just piquant enough to make sure I was awake to enjoy it. The mild, flakey sea bass was the perfect neutralizer.

The one nod to the décor is in the subtle murals evocative of rural Italy. That’s easy enough to dine with. Mangiare!

Bella Panini
Four-and-a-Half Plates
4 Highway 105
Palmer Lake, Colo