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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Monaco Trattoria in Loveland

Tonight we decided to eat out again. (That is twice in as many weeks, unusual for us!) We went to an Italian restaurant in Loveland called Monaco Trattoria. I don’t know how long it has been open, but I heard from a work colleague that it was good.

The atmosphere was good. It is not an intimate place, the seating is all in one room side-by-side, but not inappropriate for an Italian restaurant.

I think a lot of people think of pasta and tomato sauce when they think of Italian food. But, the Monaco serves authentic Southern Italian food. The chef, Guiseppe, is from the Sorrento area, I think. There are painting of the Blue Grotto on the walls and a great mural of what could be Sorrento.

The service was good. I think they are still working out some of the kinks. But, we were taken care of in a professional manner. We never wanted for anything, all the wait staff pitched in together to make the service pleasant. And, we were not put though the pain of personal introductions and trading names…what a relief.

The wine list is enormous, and about 95% of the wines are Italian. At leasat 1/4 of the wines are available by the glass—a good thing if they are getting the volume they need to keep the open bottles fresh.

The menu is very ambitious with many great choices for appetizers, pasta, meat, fish, rissoto, and salads. They have a wood-fired oven which they use for great foccacia and for pizzas at lunchtime.

The food was good. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give them a 7. Not a bad score for Northern Colorado and not bad given the ambitiousness of the menu. We had a wonderful fresh calamari appetizer—just fresh calamari, lightly breaded, quickly fried, and topped with a squeeze of lemon and some salt—too much salt for my taste, but apparently the chef likes it that way. Lynne had a breaded veal scaloppini and the breading was not crisp but a bit mushy. Still the garlic-lemon sauce was great. I had some red snapper, braised in some capers, olives, a little lemon juice and some wine—excellent.

In summary, a very pleasant meal. Good service. Nice atmosphere. And, I’m sure we’ll be back.

Monaco Trattoria
218 E. 4th Street
Loveland, CO 80537
(970) 461-1889

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Posted under: Food and Cooking • by Rick on 06/23/2005 at 09:44 PM
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