Thursday, May 28, 2015

Kul--Kol, Rapid City

Looking for a super kul establishment to feed the body and sooth the soul?  A place to have an awesome cocktail because you want to?  Or better yet, somewhere to have a fabulous dessert because you can? Kol, on the corner of Mount Rushmore and Main in Rapid City, is such a spot.

Almost two years and over a million dollars in the making, Kol is a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant centered around its large and pricey coal-fired oven.  Owner Tony DeMaro (also of Murphy’s, just down the street) has thought of every detail in this new concept for the Black Hills.  From the open, modern space to the warm stone and wood accents, Kol has a wonderful ambiance.  It is just seriously so kul.  A kul place to eat.  A kul place to drink.  A kul place to hangout. 

Kul scenes of the interior of Kol--Rapid's newest restaurant.
Currently, the limited menu boasts one-of-a-kind pizzas made in the beautiful oven.  Other menu items, including appetizers and skewers, center on the idea of dichotomy, choosing between health-food choices that can “fuel the body” or comfort-food choices that can “sooth the soul.”  For instance, when ordering the chicken skewer, you can have it in the balsamic reduction sauce—healthy—or the mushroom cream sauce—comfort.  Then one of four different sides can be chosen.  (I ordered the chicken skewer in mushroom sauce with roasted potatoes and pearl onions—delicious!)  When selecting the shrimp appetizer, you can have the spicy chili sauce—healthy—or lemon, goat cheese stuffed and wrapped with prosciutto—comfort. 

Great food from Kol's coal-burning oven and unique menu.
Even though the menu currently offers fewer items due to the official opening, the food options could be almost endless.  These possibilities will continue to change as Chef Blake (also of Murphy’s) continues to expand the number of entrees until the full menu size is reached.  He will focus on increasing seafood options, including daily specials, and implementing an ever-evolving menu that will showcase his cooking talents and the coal oven’s capabilities. 

Though the fare coming out of the huge, room-sized furnace is impressive, other delights are also available.  Salads, such as the apple and endive (apples, endive, pistachios, pistachio puree, feta, and apple vinaigrette), mix sweet and savory for the perfect taste.  Other salads include Beets by Blake, Fig in a Pear Tree, and Spin and Straw.  If none of these pique your interest, there are several soups as well.

Yummy salads.
Although these selections are amazing, make sure to save room for dessert!  Kol also has a very talented pastry chef creating a rotating dessert menu that must be tasted.  On this particular evening, the berry crisp and blood orange tart were both absolutely fantastic.  Though traditional crème brulee was also an option, I had to try the other creative sweet treats.

Delicious desserts.
Though I’ve talked all about Kol’s food choices, it is first and foremost a full-service bar with some of the kulest cocktails ever, in addition to whatever you might want to order.  The White Cosmo mixes elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and white cranberry juice over a stunning orchid flower ice ball.  The Bradshaw features passion fruit, tequila, and lemon juice in a beautiful Champagne flute.  Both of these looked delicious and amazing, making me wish I would have ordered a cocktail to be a kul kid instead of a glass of wine from the list.  My only recommendation of the entire evening actually dealt with wine--quality stemware was the one detail left for Kol to cover, and cover it they did.  Riedel glasses have since been added to the bar.

Kul cocktails.
Rapid City’s newest restaurant, Kol, is oh so very kul.  With an ultra-modern environment that mixes the best of the city and the hills, excellent food that all will find appealing, and drinks that will intrigue any imagination, Kol is the next must-see (and be seen) place to stop.  Go first because you have to. Next because you want to.  And again and again because you can.