Located just a jump away from Kalamazoo College next to the railroad tracks on West Main, Comensoli’s Italian Bistro and Bar seems slightly out of place surrounded by roads on all sides. It stands alone, allowing for it to stick out, a small cozy looking restaurant away from dilapidated apartments and old buildings.
A large patio, bar, and dining room allows for plenty of eating space. The black, burgundy, and deep red decorum with brick walls make the room feel warm and inviting. The waiters, dressed all in black, give a nice professional touch to the restaurant.
Coming at the start of the dinner hour is not advised, as the staff seems to be unprepared. With the sight of customers, waiters and cooks hustle off to finish their tasks that should have been done before customers arrived; lightening candles, changing the radio from talk show to music, dimming the lights, and finishing setting the tables. The service is not up the standard of what some may deem acceptable for a higher-end eating experience. But even so, the food makes up for it.
Once everything seemed to get on track as far as service goes, Comensoli’s has a very natural feel about it, everything seems to run fairly smoothly. Getting baskets of bread mid-meal is not normally how most think of an appropriate meal rule.
No one will go hungry with the unlimited choices at Comensoli’s, having the option to create your dish with their Pick-A-Pasta that includes eight types of pasta, nine sauces, and six meat options. Gluten free pasta is available, a distinctive option that most Italian restaurants don’t have or make known. The huge variety of choices allows for anyone to be satisfied with their dining experience.
The Feta Bruschetta is something that cannot be ignored. Not only is the plating done in a tasteful fashion, but the mixture of the salty and crumbly feta and the savory tomatoes and onions are an exquisite combination. It’s a true “melt-in-your-mouth” dish. Every last bite of the juicy toppings will be scooped up even if all the toasted bread has been devoured, with nothing left on the plate to be disposed of.
After a long time contemplating the multitude of choices, dinners should be sure to try the Exotic Mushroom Pasta and Tomato Basil Pasta. The Exotic Mushroom is served looking like the normal Fettuccini Alfredo, but it tastes nothing like it. With a lavish cream sauce over linguini, accompanied by crimini and portabella mushrooms, the sauce was much lighter than heavy Alfredo and the mushrooms gave the pasta an additional texture and unique taste to break up the taste of the dish.
The Tomato Basil Pasta, with its olive oil and white wine sauce over angel hair pasta, accompanied by tomatoes, basil, onions, basil and garlic with a light coating of parmesan cheese, is the perfect combination of all great Italian ingredients in once meal. It is surprising how fresh everything tastes for it being so late in the growing season, just another plus for Comensoli’s excellent meals.
All sorts of pastas are listed on the menu, from the classic Baked Manicotti and Ravioli to Lasagna and Gnocchi, which allows for no hunger to stay unsatisfied. They veer away from the basic dishes with Frutta di Mare, a white wine, cream based seafood pasta, Veal Marsala, and Cudighi, a homemade sausage sandwich with marinara sauce, mushrooms, onions and mozzarella. The choices at Comensoli’s almost seem unlimited and each dish seems to be perfected even with the large amount of meals on the menu.
Flavorful. That is the word that comes to mind while thinking about the food at Comensoli’s. Every bite is overly garlic-filled, has a perfectly salty Parmesan taste, and each dish was an overabundance of food. Splitting seemed like the most practical idea with such large portions.
Even with a rough start and slow table service, Comensoli’s sure knows how to impress with their appetizing and tasty creations. If you are looking for Italian food close to campus that won’t weight down your wallet and is rich in flavor, Comensoli’s is the perfect choice.