The Kitchen Consigliere
A Collingswood, NJ Restaurant Review
Fare: Traditional Italian
Price: Moderate - Expensive
One of the top "Red Gravy" traditional Italian restaurants in southwest Jersey
Italian family dining ambiance
On site parking, a plus for Collingswood
Tables are closely spaced
Poor acoustics. Noise level can get to be very high
Noise Level: Moderate - High
Recommended For:Budget conscious diners who enjoy excellent "Red Gravy" Italian food with Italian neighborhood friendliness and ambiance
Not Recommended For: Diners who prefer, eclectic, non-traditional Italian food with fine dining amenities.
Recommended dishes: When available, Sausage Bolognese: The Shrimp Scallops And Collosal Crab meat; and The Lasagna.
Kitchen Consigliere is a neighborhood gem and one of the top traditional "red gravy" Italian restaurants in southwest Jersey. This is a restaurant with "Italian ambiance" that can easily fit into the neighborhoods of South Philly or Little Italy in NYC.
Owner and Executive Chef Angelo Lutz a product of South Philadelphia (Lutz is a shortened version of his father’s name: Luzzi) brings a winning combination of warmth and well prepared food to Collingswood. Lutz has paid his dues doing time in prison for the mob and often jokes about his past experiences on the "street".
His menu is influenced by his mother and grandmother along with his family traditions of joy and laughter that round out the Italian-American family dining experience.
His dishes are authentic southern Italian home style cooking with an emphasis on the peasant dishes from southern Italy
Chef Lutz emphasizes the three components of Italian "Red Gravy" cooking that forms the foundation of his cooking style and embody the traditional Italian style menu:
- The Red Gravy (tomato sauce with meat) - The key is using high quality, more costly, San Marzano tomatoes and extra Virgin olive oil and Romano cheese.
- The Meatballs – Uses a combination of freshly ground beef, veal and pork mixing in eggs, cheese, heavy cream, salt, pepper, garlic and parsley with bread crumbs for binding and fried before simmering in the gravy
- And of course Garlic (Every fine Italian kitchen would not be complete without the aroma of garlic) He uses it finely minced and sautéd to maintain it's flavor.
The affable Chef Lutz, continuing in the family tradition carrying out the dining experience with joy and laughter, can often be found out in the dining area mingling with the diners for fun conversation and entertainment. He knows how to tell a story and loves being center stage.
The decor is attractive though a little kitchsy. There walls are adorned with photos and artist renderings of mob guys, both real and fictional, from the prohibition era with mafia photos of Al Capone and others, to actors playing mafia roles such as Pacino and Deniro. Large wall-mounted TV's with the sound turned down show mob-themed movies including the Rat Pack, Godfather, and more.
Kitchen Consigliere has two sections. The bistro style area has counter and table seating with tables set without linens. The other dining area on the right side, further away from the kitchen, has tables set with linen. This dining area is recommended for more cozy and quieter dining.
The wait staff is friendly, personable, and attentive, though during busy times they to rush you out the door.
Kitchen Consigliere is open six days/week. Tuesday -Thursday from, 4:00 pm-9:30 pm, Friday:4:00 pm-10:00 pm, Saturday:12:00 pm-10:00 pm and Sunday:12:00 pm-9:00 pm
On site parking is available
(updated: October, 2015)
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