Built in 1888, St. Francis Assisi, was the first church in town. It is now home to one of Castle Rock’s most delectable eating establishments. From the moment you walk in the door, you are greeted and made to feel like a real VIP. Upon arrival, we were met with smiling faces even though we came just after 2pm, typically a down-time coveted by restaurateurs to clean and get set up for dinner. But Logan and Daniel immediately put there prep-work aside to attend to our hungry stomachs and eagerly describe their favorite items on the bar menu.
The prices for most items on the limited ‘after-hours’ menu were surprisingly affordable, roughly ranging from six to ten dollars. As calamari is one of our favorite appetizers, we quickly decided on that along with a sampling of other suggestions. The calamari promptly arrived, tossed in a light Thai chili sauce, accompanied by a plate of hot wings whose meat literally falls off the bones and an out-of-this-world brussels sprout dish that will make you change your mind about how you felt when forced to eat them at the dinner table as a youngster.
Immediately we were impressed by their presentation, as every dish that arrived at our table looked appetizing enough to lick the plate. A special mention goes out to the Spanish Piquillo Pepper appetizer. Served in individual, tapas portions, the flavorful red chile comes out warm, stuffed with cream cheese and topped with a toasted almond and a sprig of herbs. We were given the challenge to add a draped anchovy (which of course we took!) over the chile, for rock-your-boat flavor…and boy were we glad we did! And we were pleasantly surprised by the flavors in the lentil falafel. Chef Mike Vantraburt dresses it with goat cheese, creme fresh and a refreshing bit of crisp cucumber.
Of course, our yearning for something sweet after our meal did not leave us disappointed. We sampled two of the restaurant’s most sought after deserts. The warm, blueberry bread pudding melted in our mouths, paired on a plate with jalapeno ice cream and slices of fresh piquillo peppers. It was a quite creative endeavor that works to leave you satisfied. And the goat cheese pineapple panna cotta was the perfect way to end a wonderful meal. It’s creamy richness tasted of butter, and it was presented with strategically placed black sesame seed wafer. Hands down, The Old Stone Church Restaurant has won us over to become regular diners at their table.
To find The Old Stone Church Restaurant, you won’t have to look too hard because it looks like… an old stone church!