Odd title, I know, but when we got to Cafe Concerto the sun was setting and it was very confusing as to where this place was exactly. There was a chain link fence covered in vines and one couple inside telling us to go around to the back! Huh? So we walked around the building thru an unattractive and stoney parking lot, back thru to the alley and around some cars to a door, and I am looking around trying to fiqure out what is going on here. But we opened a screen door and were welcomed inside by 3 people, and older, grayer man with a white apron, but no shirt, a younger man in white with shirt on, and a young woman dressed in black. I kept thinking this could not be a restaurant as there was no food in this room, if this room was indeed the kitchen! The older man was rinsing out the giant sink and counter and was splashing water all over, and young man was scrubbing the floor! THAT IS THE CLEANEST KITCHEN I HAVE EVER SEEN! It was amazingly clean! Nothing was out of place, because there was nothing out! So between the front gate being closed and no food in the kitchen i really wasn't at all sure we were in a restaurant at all! Based on my kitchen walk through, I thought if they cook like they clean this is gonna be terrific, and it was!
Turns out the Old man, who had by now put on a shirt is the owner/chef. Very heavy Italian accent, makes much of the pasta fresh daily! My DH who loves gorgonzola cheese, found the ravioli with Gorgonzola. He was in heaven. I had ravioli with pesto! ZING! Enough garlic to open my sinuses, but really de-lish, The DS, who is a teenage boy with a hollow leg ordered just spaghetti, with red sauce. No meatball, He was served a plate with a generous helping of pasta but there was just enough sauce to make the dish pink. He looked dubious. His report was it was really good and very satisfying. The DD had some fresh pasta with something she felt qualified as vegan and she enjoyed it.
We had a desert which was listed as something between a panna cotta and creme brulle, It was panna cotta, and we made short work of it.
We came when the restaurant just opened for business that day, so there were only 4 tables of diners when we left. But the food was most wonderful and the best i have had outside of Italy. And the cleanest commercial kitchen I have ever seen.
just inside the fence and this is just a regular cyclone fence, the pavement is uneven, I mention this if you have someone mobility impaired or with a wheelchair it could be a bit of a challange, but inside the actual building the floor is even and tables and chairs will not rock. If you happen to be in Hilo and like Italian, Cafe Concerto is worth a try and I would be really interested in reading what you all have to say!
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