It was April, unseasonably warm and beautifully green. We had such a wonderful time swimming in the hot springs that we didn’t realize how late it had gotten. Hungry, we went looking for The Italian Underground which we had heard good things about. However, it turned out, was closed for the next week. We wandered over to the BBQ place on the corner, which was closing for the evening. It was almost 9pm. We had waited a little too long to go to dinner, but that can happen in Glenwood Springs because there is so much to do.
We were about to give up, when we saw Picco Ninos across the street. I was afraid they might be closing too, but I went in and asked and they said they would seat us. They stay open until 10pm. It is a good thing too, because soon after we were seated two more groups came in behind us.
Picco Ninos is another old family business. I love this type of restaurant. They have been in business for two generations, and have stood the test of time. I had not heard of them, but since eating there and sharing my experience, others have told me positive things about them as well.
Hanging on the red-painted walls are a portrait of the original owner and black and white family photos. They use cloth table cloths and have candles on the tables. Interesting glass bottles grace shelves on the walls. The food smelled incredible. The music is old school, from the 30’s and 40’s and really added to the charming atmosphere.
We had an appetizer of calamari, which was slightly overcooked, but not bad. The marinara sauce for the squid was incredibly good. It had chunks of tomato in a rich sauce, seasoned with basil and oregano. Its richness enhanced the flavor of the fried calamari. Between the three of us, my dinner companions and I cleaned the plate.
For the soup or salad course, my daughter had the Ceasar salad, which she liked. I had the beef barley soup. It was delicious, mostly because of the rich broth and seasonings. In my experience, beef barley soup is something that cannot be rushed. The way you get that rich broth and soft barley kernels is by slowly simmering the soup for a long time. One of the things I like best about this restaurant is the “slow food” quality to its offerings.
This is especially true of their special that night, lobster ravioli, which is what I ordered. It was clearly homemade, with thinly rolled pasta, exquisite filling and very cheesy Alfredo sauce. I had it with a snappy Pino Grigio, and the sharp contrast between the slightly sweet lobster ravioli and the slight bite of the Pino Grigio was just right. My dinner companions were as happy with their selections as I was with mine. Lucky for me, they were willing to share. My daughter had chicken Alfredo, and my hubby had the chicken Parmesan. The chicken was juicy and flavorful. Hers had the same rich sauce that mine had, and hubby’s had more of that wonderful marinara that we ate with the calamari.
For dessert, my daughter and I shared a slice of chocolate cake that used ganache instead of frosting. The resulting cake was moist and very, very chocolaty. It was rich and went well with black coffee. Hubby had the lemon bread pudding. It was served pressed into a little disk with raspberries on top. We were all well satisfied and we still took home a couple of boxes. I recommend you try out Picco Ninos for your late night dining experience in Glenwood Springs, CO.