It’s not fancy, and it’s not necessarily unique in concept, but The Garlic Knot, a franchised pizza/pasta eatery on the corner of Drake Road and Lemay Avenue in Fort Collins, serves up some pretty tasty food.
The one-room restaurant is small, casual and comfortable. It seems perfect for families with small kids or just those who want some serious carbs.
Pizzas, pastas and calzones dominate the menu while a few salads and sub sandwiches make the cut as well.
The recipes are described as “generations old” and the garlic knots as having a “cult following.” My husband and I, with our 12-year-old daughter in tow, were intrigued by both descriptions.
Of course, we had to begin with the signature item — the Garlic Knots, which are served with or without melted mozzarella cheese ($3.49-$3.99 per 10). We tried both.
I don’t know if I will join the cult, but I will concede that these were delicious little twisted balls of soft, warm, bread dough. The addition of buttery garlic is artfully laced throughout the entire knot, and the mozzarella cheese version turns it into a bona fide mini pizza.
Speaking of which, we enjoyed our “Specialty Pies” half-and-half pizza as well ($18). Half being the red sauce-based Mott Street with chicken, mushroom, spinach, onion and garlic. The other half being the white, ricotta cheese-based San Gennaro pizza, with fresh basil, tomato and garlic.
The crust is a hand-tossed, medium thick version — somewhere between Colorado extra thick and New York thin. We liked it because it didn’t overwhelm the toppings, but it provided a hefty base for them, too.
The Mott Street side was very good, though could have used more red sauce. In fact, the layer of sauce was so thin, it was almost undetectable to taste.
The San Gennaro had a definite ricotta texture and taste to it. It made for a unique flavor that I liked, but didn’t love.
We did especially like the Chef’s Special Penne dish ($8.95), which consisted of a piping hot bowl of penne pasta smothered in a rich, “pink cream sauce” along with chunks of white meat chicken, mushrooms, broccoli, romano cheese and a healthy dose of jalapeno to give it an extra kick.
The combination worked extremely well with a sauce that was velvety rich, but not too thick, and a spiciness that enhanced the other flavors, but did not burn your mouth.
We were too full to try dessert, but the cinno-knots with vanilla icing sure looked like a good reason to come back. That, and the fact that we had not even scratched the surface of all the New York titled pizza pies that littered the menu.
With names like The Brooklyn Bridge, The Stock Exchange and The Rockefeller, you can eat your way through New York City here without leaving Fort Collins.
Shannon Teslow has lived in Windsor since 1995. If you have comments you’d like to share with her, email Shannon at: firstname.lastname@example.org.