Friday, November 19, 2010

Cafe Provencal

If you're looking for a cozy spot to enjoy French comfort food a good spot to consider is Cafe Provencal in Kirkwood.
Eddie Neill has created a warm environment with a really nice menu and wine list that's affordable and very tasty as well.

We were there last night and enjoyed our visit alot. It happened to be a wine tasting party night and the place was jammed. Since my Honey is a non drinker we didn't partake of the wines and the amazing buffet of foods that were available to the participants, but it sure looked good.

However, we were well taken care of by the staff.  We had a lovely table in a quiet alcove, an attentive waiter, and a responsive kitchen.

I had a really cold, crunchy and well dressed Caesar Salad to start, and Chuck had his favorite Escargot. The menu describes the dish as follows," Six Naughty Little Snails, Swimming Naked in a Pool of Fennel Garlic Butter." I think the word "naked" does it every time-no shells to wrestle with, the snails are served in a round snail dish with six round depressions filled with these very nice sized snails and plenty of that delicious fennel garlic butter that can be sopped up by the excellent bread that is on the table.

For dinner Chuck had Poulet DeBergerac,Chicken Breast in Puff Pastry and White Wine Cream Sauce.  I had Porc Grille Poivre Verte which consisted of Grilled Pork Loin with Green Peppercorns and Red Wine Reduction.  Both entrees were served with a medley of broccoli, carrots and asparagus.  This is homey, delicious food that was perfect on a cool Autumn night.

We opted for the 3 course dinners at $34 per person.  Dessert was our next choice.  I had a wonderful, soothing Mousse au Chocolat with Creme Anglais and my husband had the Creme Brulee. 

This is a pleasant and peaceful place to have a really nice dinner and actually be able to talk and hear your companion(s), and relax.

Cafe Provencal
427 South Kirkwood Road

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rue Lafayette Cafe' and Boutique

Yesterday was one of those gorgeous Fall days we've been having lately: blue, blue skies, warm temperatures, plus the maples have finally turned brilliant colors. How can you beat it?

My friend, Peggy and I decided to try this cafe' on the edge of Lafayette Park. It was the perfect day to take advantage of this glorious weather by having lunch outdoors at Rue Lafayette Cafe' 2026 Lafayette Ave. that overlooks the gazebo in Lafayette Park.

We had a delightful experience, not to mention a very good lunch.

We both chose the same lunch; Homemade Chicken Salad on a fresh Ciabbata Roll.  It came with a side of delicious Potato Salad.  The chicken salad was unlike any I've had.  It had pimientos, herbs, eggs, and a wonderful dressing.  The potato salad was also unique with a mustardy dressing, herbs, bacon; really, really good.  The portions are generous.  Peggy and I both commented that we should have shared our sandwich.

The menu is small and changes often, so there's no menu per se, but next to the register that is behind a case of delicious looking ( and sounding!) sweets, where you place your order, is what looks like little rectangles of paper with what is available that day.  We had our choice of a quiche and a pulled pork sandwich besides the chicken salad. There was also a pomegranate green iced tea available that they refill at no extra cost. Since it was a warm day there was no soup available, but it will reappear with the cooler temperatures, we were assured.

There's a big board on one wall that lists their coffee drinks. The coffee is wonderful. It's Caffe' Trieste, North Beach Blend from San Francisco.  It's full bodied yet mellow, a great combination.

We met and talked to the beautiful owner, Araceli Kopiloff-Zimmer, who comes from Uruguay, and her son, Pablo, who is the chef. They have traveled all over the world.  Araceli is a fashion designer who used to work for  Levi-Strauss in San Francisco and her job made international foodies out of them.  
So much so that they import Chocolate Croissants from Paris which they finish baking and glazing in the cafe' and serve warm. Yum!

We asked her what brought them to St Louis.  She came here to work for Macy's, met her future husband here, who is a St Louis native, and they moved into the Lafayette Square neighborhood which they love it.

What they have created here with very good food and a charming, eclectic shop, is a treasure.  Be sure to meet them both and hear their great stories. It will only add to your enjoyment of this delightful place.

Rue Lafayette Cafe' and Boutique

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sidney Street Cafe

When was the last time you tried Sidney Street Cafe'?  My answer until last year was maybe 15 years. Why was that?  Sidney Street had consistently been on the top favorite restaurant lists in St Louis publications, yet it wasn't on mine.  Then one night a year ago last April, Chuck and I decided to try it again. We walked in without a reservation, sat in the bar, luckily found a table and were blown away by the food, and the service.

What had changed?  Well, for one thing the restaurant had been sold to Kevin Nashan, a young chef with ambitious plans. Those plans were to keep the best of this popular place, like the menu favorites, the professional wait staff that had been with the restaurant for years and years, and then gradually add his own touches in the daily specials, but to do so slowly; to wait and watch.

When Chuck and I walked in that first night, Kevin had owned the restaurant five years and his touch was already working.  Since then he has added a vegetable garden in raised beds at the edge of his parking lot that he planted with the aid of his Sidney Street neighbors, whom he enlisted in the project. They even helped him weed, pinch, and harvest, which helped keep those beds from being vandalized.  Kevin has also remodeled the kitchen and added a smoke room in the basement so he can smoke his own meats and make his own sausages.

We've been back many times since. Sometimes we make reservations, sometimes we take our chances in the bar.  I love the bar area; it's a great people watching area, the light is a bit higher and the noise level most nights is lower.

We went again last night and here's my report.  This is a must-go-to place.  Not only is the food outstanding but the wait staff is amazing.  These are dedicated people, not people who are waiting tables until something better comes along. You only see this kind of devotion to the philosophy of a restaurant very rarely.

I was very hungry last night, Chuck had a late lunch and he was not, so he had an appetizer for dinner.  His was a Confit of Sweetbreads on a Bed of Celery Root Puree' with Apple Cider reduction, Spiced Pecans on Swiss Chard greens.

I had Grilled Honey Mustard Shrimp consisting of 5 bacon wrapped shrimp and a yummy honey mustard dipping sauce.  My Honey had a couple of those and we both loved them. Instead of the usual bread basket, they serve a basket of hot beignets that are addictive.

My main dish was Pecan Encrusted Rabbit and Rabbit Sausage on a bed of the most incredible Farm Vegetables; Brussell Sprouts, carrots, radishes, turnips, etc., in a delicious au jus with micro greens from Claverach Farms on top.  This was a remarkable dish.  I've never had better rabbit.

I'm perfectly aware that there are folks who cannot tolerate the thought of eating rabbit, so allow me to assure you that there are many, many more scrumptious dishes to be enjoyed at Sidney Street Cafe'.
Take a look at the menu on their website which you will find at the end of this entry; you won't be disappointed.

For dessert we opted for the Maple Flan with Chestnut Blini, Bourbon Pecan Compote, Apples and Maple Sugar.  a perfect Fall dessert.

This is a special place.  Kevin's wife, Mina, who is lovely, is there every night to see that everything runs smoothly.  His brother, Chris, is the manager, and we've only had the most friendly and accomplished waiters and waitresses.

So, if, like us, you haven't been there in a while please give it a try.  Let me know what you think.

The Sidney Street Cafe'
2000 Sidney Street

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Mosaic Bistro/Market

My computer's hard drive crashed when we were in Vermont and it's taken me a bit of time to replace it and try to "pick up the pieces" of what I've lost.  Some things will never be found again, alas.

However, I'm happy to have a new computer now, so we can continue to let our friends know about restaurants that I feel deserve your patronage.

Mosaic Bistro/Market
14 North Central Avenue 
is such a place.  It is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.

The decor is contemporary and very smart looking.  The walls are grey and orange.  There's a charcoal banquette with cheerful throw pillows in black, white, and orange (for those of us who are not so tall to put behind our backs) plus great looking chairs.  The bar is very attractive and has about a dozen black stools.  The kitchen is open at the back of the restaurant and is a hive of activity; really fun to watch.

There's also a Chef's Table in the front of the restaurant and on the other side of the front door is a seating area with comfortable chairs, a bookcase and a cowhide rug.  Behind the Chef's Table are shelves that had a few items for sale like white truffle oil and demi-tasse cups filled with chocolate espresso, when I was there last.  I understand that more items will be added soon.

The Bistro is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  All three menus look delicious.  We've only had lunch and dinner there so I'll tell you about those.

The lunch menu has two soups and four salads.   Two of the salads are available in two sizes, the Caesar and the Bibb Lettuce Salad (which by the way is made with strawberries, goat cheese, candied walnuts and white balsamic dressing). The other two salads are more entree sized.  Salad Lyonnaise has curly endive, radicchio, bacon lardons, chilled asparagus, and a soft boiled egg with mustard seed vinaigrette and Seared Salmon Nicoise with arugula, fingerling potatoes, haricot vertes, olives, toasted fennel and blood orange vinagrette.

There are five sandwiches that are served with a choice of salad or locally made chips. They run from a special BLT that has avocado, French brie, and a smoked garlic aioli in addition to the normal bacon, lettuce and tomato, to paninis that all sound terrific.

Then there are regular entrees; Dry Aged Strip Steak, a Wild Mushroom Ravioli, a Goat Cheese Tart, and Prince Edward Island Mussels.

I had the Bistro BLT.  It is a huge sandwich.  It could easily be shared. My Honey had the Pressed Croque Monsieur with Black Forest ham, Gruyere cheese, and Dijon Mustard.  He was a happy camper.
We both had the Bibb Lettuce Salad as our side.

Dinner was really special. I started with the Goat Cheese Tart with caramelized onions, goat cheese, olives and arugula salad and then had Chilean Sea Bass with a roasted red pepper puree, beluga lentils, baby spinach and a parsley emulsion. Everything was delicious and attractively served. My husband had the Prince Edward Mussels and then he had Day Boat Scallops with bacon,spring pea and rosemary puree, baby carrots and apple saba.  I'm not sure what apple saba is, but he liked his dinner a lot.

The rest of the menu looked equally delicious, so you must go in and check it out yourselves.

Mosaic Bistro is owned and operated by the Schmitz clan, Ellen, Frank and Claus. They also have Mosaic Restaurant downtown, BARcelona almost next door to Mosaic Bistro/Market in Clayton, and I believe they're opening a steak place also in the downtown area, plus they have plans for a restaurant in the Centenne complex.

My good friend, Gretchen Morfogen, is directing things in the kitchen, which makes me very happy.  She's a special lady.

Be sure to visit Mosaic Bistro/Market soon.

Take a look at their website:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Crossing

Last night my husband and a dear friend, Catherine Neville, met for dinner at The Crossing.  It was a Monday night, mind you, and I am happy to announce that The Crossing was very busy; every table was full.  There's a good reason that this is a popular restaurant.  The wait staff is very knowledgable, the kitchen is excellent, and the menu is not only good, but intelligent as well.
Here you can order a la carte, or a four course tasting menu for $32, or a more elaborate tasting menu  for $45, or a Chef's Tasting Menu, consisting of 9 courses, for $75.

I just love the blue cheese souffle' with the warm crisp homemade toasts that is waiting for you as you sit down at your table and start to peruse the wine list.  It never disappoints.

 Cat and I chose the $32 tasting menu.  We both started with their famous Beet Salad; tiny cubes of perfectly cooked beets combined with puffs of goat cheese, sprinkled with pine nuts.  It's a winner every time.  We followed that with Spaghetti alla Chitarra.  This was a lovely course with basil, tomato and pine nuts in the perfect portion; small yet choice.

At this point Jim Fiala, who is a good friend, brought out a plate with two incredible pastas for us to try.  One was a large garganelli pasta tube filled with creamy ricotta with a roasted tomato and butter sauce. The other pasta was a mini garganelli noodle with Moroccan spiced lamb ragu.  They were yummy.

Catherine had the Tilapia entree with Carrot Puree', Spinach, Mushrooms with a Beurre Blanc Sauce.  I had the Braised Missouri Lamb, Crushed Potatoes and Pea Shoots. 

My husband elected to have a small cup of Sausage Gumbo and the Amish Free Range Chicken with Shitake Mushrooms, Crushed Potatoes, with Roasted Jus.

We were all "happy campers". Then, as a special treat, Jimmy brought out a sample of Roasted Mangalitsa Pork.  This pork comes from the "Wooly Pig" that Jim says will not win any beauty contests, but has a flavor like no other.  It was imported to this country by Heath Putnam, and is processed in Illinois by Swiss Meat Processors.  What we sampled was remarkable.  There's a sweet, buttery flavor to this meat with a rich undertone, hard to describe, but absolutely delicious. I will definitely have this the next time we have dinner at The Crossing.

I love this restaurant.  The atmosphere is warm and friendly.  One can feel equally comfortable going there casually or for a special occasion.  Jim Fiala has a philosophy of using local purveyors for the highest quality products available in portions that are sensible for today's living style, and hiring dedicated personnel both in the kitchen and in the dining room.  

Take a look at  you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stone Soup Cottage Redux

We obviously can't stay away from this charming restaurant, plus we wanted to introduce some of our friends to this exciting establishment.

Tonight's menu did not disappoint

Our amuse bouche ( or a little taste present from the chef ) was a freshly picked squash blossom, stuffed with a blue cheese mousse, deep fried and served with a garlicky rouille (garlic, olive oil aioli ) that was absolutely delicious.  The wine served with it was fabulous; Aveleda Vino Verde from Portugal.  It was light with some tiny bubbles like Prosecco, and very little alcohol content that went beautifully with that squash blossom gem.

The first course was a Rabbit Consomme' with Smoked Rabbit Confit ( which means that the rabbit is slowly smoked and then poached gently in its own fat-but don't worry, it's not a bit fatty or oily, it's delicious)

This was followed by Butternut Squash Souffle' with Heirloom Micro-Greens and Hot Pancetta Vinaigrette. It was a masterpiece: fluffy, creamy and savory all at once with a crisp parmesan tuille stuck in the top of the souffle'.  A real winner.

Next came Grilled Alaskan Coho Salmon with a Ginger Buerre Blanc and Fresh English Peas.  Granted there's no salmon streams anywhere near St Louis, and this is not pea season, but the combination was wonderful none the less.  Living in the center of the country we have to be aware that locovare can only take us so far.

Dessert was an Apple Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Bean Gelato.  It came to the table pipping hot with the caramelized sugar just starting to set, then the vanilla gelato was spooned on top to cool the tart just enough so the sugar wouldn't burn our mouths.

Our friends were delighted with the meal, the ambiance and the McConnells, and you will be too. 
This place is truly special.

The four course Tasting Menu is $49.95, the six course is $69.95.

The menu changes bi-weekly.  Go to their website and make reservations.  You won't be sorry.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Remember that amazing meal you had in that tiny, dear country inn in Europe where the wife did the cooking and the husband was the host and served your meal? Will you ever forget it? Would you like to repeat it?

You are in luck!  Tonight we went to Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville; just 35 minutes from downtown Clayton, and we were transported back to just such an ideal spot.

Owners Nancy and Carl McConnell have created this little piece of Heaven for us all.  Here Carl does the cooking and Nancy is the hostess in a charming stone cottage that they have made into a warm and welcoming place to dine.

Candlelight gives a soft glow to the diningroom that seats only 24 people.  The menu is seasonal and changes bi-weekly.  Norman and Ruth Wiese of the Farm Wiese Nursery grow the produce that Carl uses to create his garden to kitchen menus.

The tables are covered in damask tablecloths and the silver is lined up like soldiers; but since you have your choice of a four or six course chef's tasting menu, you will likely need to use every fork, knife and spoon.

Our dinner tonight started with an amuse bouche (a tidbit to enchant you for the meal that is coming) Steak Tartar with a Blue Cheese Vinagrette in a tiny puff pastry shell with lemon juice, sea salt, and oregano and micro-greens from the Wiese's garden. This was served with a glass of a 2007 Napolean champagne.

We opted for the four course tasting menu but if you belong to the "hates to miss club" you need to try the six course and in both instances there are wine pairing options.  The four flight wine pairing is very reasonable at $35.

Let me give you the menu we had tonight.  Remember that the menu changes often, so you might have a very different experience, but I promise it will be wonderful.

For the first course tonight we had Late Harvest Summer Squash Soup with Candied Squash Seeds and Creme Fraiche.  It was magnificent.  The soup was velvety with both sweet and salty tones thanks to those candied seeds and the perfect hand of the chef.

The next course was Seared Foie Gras with Elderberry Conserve and Micro-Greens, a melt in your mouth sensation; perfect in every way.

The third course was House Smoked Prawns with an Heirloom Tomatoe Coulis. I thought the prawns could have used another minute in the smoker, but the tomato coulis was delicious with a buttery, rich finish.

For dessert we had our choice of Jonathan Apple and Talagio Cheese Souffle with Cinnamon Creme Anglais or a Fromage Plate with Dried Fruit and Toasts.  Our table opted for the souffle.  It came in individual souffle cups buttered and sugared before baking so that the oozing souffle clung to the sides of the cups in the most appetizing manner.  Carl then came around and broke the quivering tops of the souffle with a large spoon and poured an ample amount of the warm cinnamon Creme Anglais into the center.  It was the perfect end to a lovely meal.

These two young people have created something unique and wonderful.  They are extremely personable and make you feel not only welcome, but a very valued guest.  The Stone Soup Cottage celebrated its one year anniversary in June. I predict they will celebrate many, many more.

The Stone Soup Cottage is open Thursday through Saturday with one seating at 6:30PM.  On Sundays they serve a Sit-Down Champagne Chef's Tasting Brunch at 12:30PM.

Check out their website for menus and reservations- and go soon, you'll love it.

Carl McConnell
Executive Chef, Owner

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Farmhaus

This tiny restaurant is one of the best things that has come to St Louis this year. Kevin Willmann, chef and owner, has created a foodie's oasis on Ivanhoe Avenue between Bradley and Fyler.

His concept is simple; the best ingredients he can find, used in fresh and imaginative ways, served beautifully and when ready.

The place holds about 50 people.  There's a bar room that has about 3 more tables of 4 and there are stools at the bar that might hold 8 more.  During the warm months he has a few tables on the sidewalk in front.

Eating here is an unbelivable treat. The menu changes daily, so what I describe here may not be available when you look at the menu, but that is part of the charm of this place.

Eric Scholle is the manager and a great personality for the front of the house.  He knows all the ingredients, where they come from, and he's wonderfully helpful when you just can't make up your mind.

I have to admit that we've been there for dinner at least once a week since Kevin Nashan, chef and owner of Sidney Street Cafe, told us about it,  unless we've been out of town. I can't wait to see what's on the menu.  It's all delicious.

The menu selections are so enticing that I find myself ordering all sorts of small plates because I don't want to miss anything. For instance last week I had the Roasted Ozark Forrest Mushroom Salad.  It consisted of Terra Bella Farms greens, with goat cheese and toasted pecans and was served warm with a hot bacon vin. Then I chose the Peach Salad, after all, this is peach season and it doesn't last nearly long enough.  This was made with Grandpa's  Berry Farm peaches, house ricotta, with a raspberry-honey vin balsamic reduction. My next choice was the Fried Green Tomatoes; Fournie tomatoes and okra, with a bacon goat cheese dressing. I never got to the fish or the Chilled Roast Beef with Horseradish panna cotta, that came with a truffle espuma ( whipped cream with truffle juices), I was just too full. 

Fortunately for me, we were with friends and they shared their Blue-Green Snapper(Uku) that was roasted in duck fat, and was served over the most melt in your mouth creamed corn I have ever tasted, with tomato comfit, oven dried tomatoes and a choron sauce (which is a hollandaise sauce tinted pink with tomatoes). The other entree was the Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with mashed sweet and Yukon Gold poatatoes, sous vide pearl onions ( that means that the pearl onions were cooked for a very long time at a low temperature until they becomes creamy and yummy), and tomato sauce.  Both guys at our table loved it.

By that time we could only share dessert, and the choice was a peach dessert in a flakey pastry with a homemade peach sorbet.

This will not be my only report about this fabulous restaurant.  We have a date to introduce some other friends to it next week.  Keep tuned, and take a look at their website.

The Farmhaus
3257 Ivanhoe Ave
St Louis, MO 63139

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Terrace View

Last night was one of those rare, beautiful evenings when the temperature was perfect, there was a soft breeze, and we had a glorious view of the City Garden. It doesn't get much better than that.  This little jewel of a restaurant is a lovely spot day or night.
Jimmy Fiala and his chefs have created an oasis of excellent dining in downtown St. Louis. The menu offers all one could want if you're looking for fresh, local foods in reasonable portions for moderate prices. And who isn't?

Last night I chose thin slices of white raw tuna, dressed in lemon and olive oil with a collection of tiny red and yellow cherry tomatoes.  The tuna was delectable and the olive oil was of very high quality. It was simple and utterly delicious with tiny bits of a local yellow watermelon to give it a sweetness and texture that contrasted well with the tuna.  I followed that with scallops with a tomato and basil salad.  The scallops were crispy brown top and bottom and served on individual pieces of thick smoked bacon.  The textures and the flavors were perfect, with the tomato salad giving the whole a sweet, acidic flavor that enhanced the entire dish.
One of our friends had the gnudi, that I can only describe as a pasta that literally melts in your mouth. You must try it.

We chose a dessert called "Monkey Bread" and it was the best bread-type pudding, ever; dense, sweet and buttery.

The menu changes often with the offerings of the farms around this region.  We are so blessed to have a restaurant of this quality and moderately priced in our city that overlooks the lovely City Garden, Gateway Foundation's amazing and beautiful gift to all of us.

The Terrace View
810 Chestnut Street

Monday, August 23, 2010

Stellina Pasta Cafe

Last Friday my husband and I tried Stellina Pasta Cafe for lunch.  Years ago when the Clayton Farmers' market was on Central Ave between Forsyth and Maryland, Stellina had a booth there and I loved his pasta.  It was always fresh tasting with fascinating fillings.  Now he is located at 3342 Watson Rd. near Fyler.  All the pasta is handcrafted and it shows in the flavor and texture.

However, Stellina has other selections on its menu so we decided to try something new.  I am into salads, big time these hot summer days, so I ordered the BIG SALAD, which consists of romaine,spinach,cucumber,red onion,carrots, turkey,ham,bacon,white cheddar,sunflower sprouts,and a sweet onion dressing.  It was a fabulous salad, and so beautiful. Every component was delicious in its own right. It came with grilled bread and made for a perfect lunch.

My husband chose the HOG WILD sandwich. A great combination of shaved ham, bacon,granny smith apple, white cheddar,sweet hot mustard on a peasant bread and grilled.  He loved it.  It came with a homemade slaw that was crunchy and creamy with a touch of sweetness.

Stellina has been touted for its SOUTH SIDE SMOKE  sandwich; pulled pork with caramelized onions, smoked gouda cheese on a sea salt ciabatta.  It looked awesome.

By all means you must try this restaurant for lunch as well as dinner.  Naturally, the dinner menu has more formal entrees and I read somewhere that their wine selections are wonderful and they run specials on them from Tuesday through Thursdays.  Give Stellinas a try-soon!

Stellinas Pasta Cafe
3342 Watson Rd

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garduno's Mexican Food

My friend Peggy and I went to Cherokee Street last Wednesday. A couple of weeks ago St Louis was featured in the New York Times Travel Section called 36 Hours in St Louis where they mentioned Cherokee Street as a fun place to spend the afternoon.

I had read some time ago about a Mexican restaurant that is a favorite with many Mexicans and that many a lunch time there's a line waiting for tables. My husband doesn't like what he calls "Foreign Food" meaning anything that isn't Italian, French or American Regional ( and PS he doesn't eat all of those either!), so I had been looking for a buddy to check this place out.

So Peggy and I made this date to investigate what Cherokee Street had to offer, and to go to this Mexican restaurant for lunch. Here I need to make a confession. The restaurant I thought I was going to was not where we ended up. We ended up at a place called Garduno's Mexican Restaurant 2737 Cherokee Street 314-776-2315.  There were about 10 booths for 4 covered in orange "leather", and about 4-6 tables down the center of the room. While we were there the TV was tuned to a Spanish station. It was neither loud or obtrusive.

We each ordered a combination platter so we could try different things.

Peggy's was a Burrito, an Enchilada, and a Tamale. You have your choice of hot or mild sauce; Peg chose half and half.  I orderd a Taco, Chile Relleno, and Burrito with hot sauce. We also ordered a small Guacamole.

The Tamale was authentically wrapped in a fresh corn husk and was quite good. The Burrito and Enchilada tasted pretty much the same-we couldn't distinguish the difference between them. The taco was crisp but also indistinguishable, but the Chili Rellenos was wonderful. I also liked the Guacamole. It came with fresh tomato and chopped onion on top and was well seasoned. Although we were in the"wrong" place, we had a fine time. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Real Find!

My husband and I went to a new restaurant today that's a real winner! It's on Manchester in Maplewood next to the hardware store. Yes, there's a lovely, old fashioned hardware store still operating in Maplewood.

The name of the restaurant is NOSH. This is what I have to say about this wonderful find. The food is delicious, beautiful and fresh, fresh fresh. We had a fabulous lunch there.

We started with the Grilled Clams drizzled with a house made organic herb lemon gremolata and topped with feta cheese, toasted pistachio nuts atop toasted sour dough. There were 8 clams to the order; my husband and I shared it and it was hard to stop when the clams were gone. The Market price today was $10. My husband had the Lobster Lollie for lunch. This consisted of a Rock Lobster tail seasoned with fresh herbs and spices then grilled on an open flame and lightly brushed with garlic butter and served with a blueberry, lemon, feta couscous, Market Price $12.
I had lightly seasoned and breaded fried calamari with a spicy Tandoori Sauce for $9. I also had the Watermelon Salad that was absolutely delicious and refreshing. It consisted of cubed watermelon, organic local blackberries macerated in Vom Fass strawberry vinegar( a neighboring oil and vinegar emporium), topped with feta cheese, organic basil and mint, $8. The portions were perfect.

The lunch menu has about 4 appetizers: a hummus platter, the grilled clams, the calamari, and the lobster lollie, 3 different kabobs, chicken, beef and shrimp, four interesting salads and five sandwiches-2 of which are vegetarian. The dinner menu includes the lunch menu and specials such as lamb chops and pork tenderloin, etc. whatever is farm or ranch fresh and available. So the menu will be changing with the produce and meats to be found locally. There is also a full bar and music on Friday and Saturday nights.

Nosh also serves breakfast. That menu looks fantastic! for instance, 3 scrambled farm fresh eggs with smoked pit ham, caramelized onion,heirloom tomatoes, house potates and rustic toast for $9 and Banana Nut Bread French Toast loaded with Missouri pecans, soaked in custard, then grilled and served with local Missouri syrup and fresh fruit $9. That's just a sampling. There's a dozen more selections and they all sound delicious.

Nosh is owned by Paula Anderson, who is the chef. Paula was in the first graduating class of L'Ecole Culinaire. she's studied in France and has a fine resume'. Her executive chef is Angela Komis and her daughter, Carlin Starr ( daughter of Bud Starr ) is the General Manager. Ask Carlin to show you her cupcake tattoo!

The restaurant seats about 50 people. It has chocolate brown walls with gold tablecloths and terra cotta colored napkins-it's most attractive. Unfortunately their website is not quite ready but I will publish it as soon as it's up and running.

For now: Nosh Restaurant
7322 Manchester Road

Tell them that "BOO" sent you. You're in for a treat!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two Delightful Neighborhood Restaurants

My husband and I have had a date every Friday since he's retired to find charming and fun restaurants for lunch while we attempt to do the Friday New York Times' Crossword Puzzle (which is a "bear"!). Lately we have found two such places.

One is the Piccadilly at Manhattan 7201 Piccadilly 63143 314-646-0016. This is a family owned and operated establishment, very attractive with both indoor and outdoor dining. We had yummy fried chicken and meatloaf the day we were there, however the menu is varied and everything is home made.

The other is Mama Josephine's 4000 Shaw 63110 314-771-4001. Mary is the proprieter, Josephine is her mother, whose photograph is prominently displayed on the restaurant's wall. Mary has reproduced her mother's recipes. Josephine was some good cook, and so is Mary. This is a real neighborhood place and to encourage that, Mary has asked her neighbors to submit their favorite family dessert and if it is a hit with her patrons it goes on the menu. The day we were there we had lemon chess pie and fresh peach cobbler. Yum.

Both of these eateries are charming and serve delicious down home food. We recommend them to you. We are lucky to have these two terrific restaurants in St Louis.