Italian cuisine comes to Chelsea

Heidi Colwell and her husband, Jim, plan to open Pelotoni’s Italian Restaurant in Chelsea. (Reporter photo/Christine Boatwright)

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

CHELSEA – Chelsea residents will soon have a way to satisfy their cravings for Italian food.

Heidi and Jim Colwell plan to open Pelotoni’s Italian Restaurant in the very near future.

The restaurant’s name came from bicycle racing enthusiast Jim Colwell, Heidi Colwell said.

“The main group in a bike race is called a peloton,” Heidi Colwell said. “The bikers know they’re stronger in a group than when they’re on their own. They draft, just like in NASCAR.

“It’s about teamwork,” she added. “We’re greater as a team than as individuals.”

The Colwells met when they were assigned as partners in a cooking class lab in college.

“The instructor thought we were a great team and should date,” Heidi Colwell said. “We’ve been together ever since.”

After weathering Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, La., the Colwells uprooted their family of five and decided to move north. Six-and-a-half years ago, they settled in Chelsea.

The Colwells have worked in contract food services in hotels, retail food service and management, as well as food services in colleges and hospitals.

“I have commuted for work so much, and I need to be here. I need to be part of the community I live in,” Heidi Colwell said. “We wanted to find something to fit Chelsea.”

Colwell said some of her heritage is rooted in Sicily, and she has tweaked a great aunt’s original Sicilian recipes for the restaurant’s meatballs, bolognese sauce and cannoli filling.

“We’re making everything we can from scratch,” Colwell said. “The bread on the tables starts as flour in the morning, and is bread by the evening.”

Colwell uses ingredients such as unbleached all-purpose flour in place of bleached flour as a healthier option in ravioli and pizza doughs.

The Colwells also try to use recyclable and biodegradable to-go cups and napkins to be environmentally responsible.

Over the weekend, Colwell said she invited a group to test the restaurant. The diners’ favorite dishes were lasagna and Bella’s cannelloni, Colwell said.

“They were going bonkers over it,” she said, laughing.

On Oct. 1, Colwell said the restaurant will open “as soon as possible,” as they are still working out the kinks.

Search for Pelotoni’s Italian Restaurant on Facebook for updates on the grand opening.

Pelotoni’s is located at 100 Chelsea Corners Way in Chelsea. For more information, visit Facebook or call 678-2650.