Rialto Cafe & Tilted Kilt
So the other day my friend and I enjoyed a long and lazy lunch downtown stopping by the Rialto Cafe and Tilted Kilt, both located along the 16th Street Mall in the heart of Downtown Denver. I had high hopes for Rialto, I had walked by several times in the past and looked over their menu and seemed delicious. Between their happy hour, late night deals, and their infamous brunch I had heard good things. So with excited anticipation I gladly met my friend there for lunch.
Now aesthetically, the Rialto Cafe is a gorgeous restaurant. Its dining area is open from front to back, but segmented into different sections based on table type, such as hightop tables, booths, traditional tables, and their full service bar. This layout provides a great balance for enjoying your lunch in a social setting, but not having to talk over your neighbors or feel like your stuck in a corner. (Great for people watching too). The decor is fairly modern, with sleek booths and a gorgeous full service bar area on the righthand side as you enter. Looking over the menu, which is quite varied, I couldn’t seem to decide on what I wanted. There was a great selection of traditional sandwiches with subtle twists, like their BLT or Reuben. They also had a good selection of burgers, including ones made of Kobe beef or buffalo meat.
However, it was the Cuban Pork that caught my eye; slow roasted pork with shaved ham, provolone cheese, sliced pickles, and spicy mustard served on a grilled rustic roll. I ordered it with a cup of the soup of the day and a side of coleslaw. Thank goodness for that, as the soup and coleslaw were the best parts of the meal. The cheese and broccoli soup was made with a blend of several different cheeses, including Harvarti, which added a unique and enjoyable flavor to the soup. The chunks of potato and broccoli were just the right size and complemented the soup’s consistency. The coleslaw was nothing special, but lived up to what a traditional coleslaw should tasty like. Moist, but crunchy, and spicy in the sense of dill. Now the sandwich on the other hand did not live up to my expectations. The bread was good, but certainly dominated the sandwich, and was a bit tough on the ends. The “slow roasted” pork was indeed moist, but lacked flavor and spice, making each bit relatively dull. The shaved ham tasted as if it was came out of a Lunchables Box, and the mustard was hardly spicy at all. All in all the only thing that lived up to its title was the provolone cheese, which melted over the ham and bread gave the sandwich a hint of good flavor. That being said, I’m sure their other menu items may be better. My friend ordered their encrusted and seared tuna with a jicama salad, and aside from the relatively small size of the portion, was delicious. Also, we both sampled some of their house lemonades and I found mine, the Pomegranite Lemonade, to have a robust flavor and just the right amount of carbonation.
Moving our lunch along we stopped off at the Titled Kilt, only a few blocks northwest of Rialto Cafe, for a lunch beer and a place to continue our conversations. Now late lunch at the Tilted Kilt certainly isn’t their element, and aside from other folks enjoying a brew the place was mostly empty. But their beer selection was quite good, featuring more than 16 on tap, and double that in the bottle. I settled on a Laughing Lab Scottish Ale, made locally by the good folks at Bristol Brewing Company in Colorado Springs. If you’re ever head down that way, make sure to stop by and talk shop with their founder Mike Bristol. This dark ale was almost like a light brown ale in it had a hint of sweet, malty flavoring and a deliciously smooth finish. but for being dark it certainly was not heavy and its drink-ability was top-notch, definitely a good call to enjoy our conversational banter with.