Other entrees were equally appealing. I particularly enjoyed the two giant portabello mushroom caps, grilled with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and served with a fabulous rice pilaf studded with grains and pine nuts. Though the mushrooms could have used more fire, I appreciated the undercooking more than I would have limp, overcooked mushrooms that have given up their juice to a misguided grill.
The table favorite was easily the "light fry," a fish-and-chips-type meal prepared with yellowtail snapper and mahi-mahi. Fish choices change daily but the banana chutney, I hope, won't disappear. The warm, cinnamon-flavored bananas were an apt partner for the batter-covered fish.
Of the main courses, one of Kolibri's prides is the Tuscan oven-cooked pizzas and calzones. Available toppings include fire-roasted onions, grilled eggplant, Greek black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and treats such as poached fennel. Other Tuscan options are oven-based items such as the lemon-and-garlic-rubbed game hen, which, in keeping with the consciousness of the clientele, will soon be replaced by a free-range bird. Indeed, customers can expect more menu rewrites. For instance, the manager forecasts more vegan choices; a lunchtime sandwich of portabello mushroom sounds especially enticing. The market, deli counter, and bakery attached to the restaurant will also be expanded, featuring gourmet items as well as low-fat and vegan choices.
Kolibri, which, with minor spelling variations, is the word in Spanish, German, and a few other languages for hummingbird, took over the space that a Jewish deli, Marshall Major's, occupied for nearly two decades. General manager Forment admits to some identity confusion, claiming customers still wander in looking for roast beef on rye. "We're hardly that," he says of the restaurant where not only do they serve no red meat, but have actually dropped suppliers for failing to provide the right vegan essentials. Even the accidental customers in search of stuffed cabbage, however, won't leave Kolibri disappointed; they'll simply find a sort of nectar -- indeed the food of the hummingbird -- in place of their expected deli staples. And like the flowers of the orchid tree that lure hummingbirds during a Key West winter, Kolibri is what will draw the flocks back.