Downtown STL, Washington and Tenth.
First time there, went Friday night with the wife for and early V-day.
Arrived at 5:45 for 6m reservations. Complementary valet was on top of us before we were out of the car. (Always a plus when you are parked in front of a hydrant.)
Seated right away, though had to ask for a re-seat. We were brought into the bar area to sit, despite the noise, smoke and crowd. Asked to be moved to the dinner area, which was quiet, empty and smoke free. It filled up soon after, so I didn't feel too bad about it. I guess we were the first of the dinner crowd.
Opened with drinks. Blue Moon on tap (always a winner), wife went with the watermelon mojito. This was followed later by a blueberry version, both of which were excellent in her opinion.
First round of plates: fresh mozz and tomato plate (for her), flight of soups (for me).
Mozz plate was good but unspectacular. Mozz wasn't a smooth as expected, and tomato could have been riper, but it is February, I suppose.
Soup flight consisted of vegetarian chili, potato bacon and the signature butternut squash soup. Chili was ok (wife thought it tasted like a spoonful of salsa, which I guess it did). Potato bacon was good, but would have been better if served alone. It suffered on the flight because the butternut squash (with vanilla bean) may have been the best soup I have ever tasted. It was dead on, from flavor, temp, texture and consistency. Top notch. Only drawback may have been the sweetness so early in the meal, but I was ok with it. Thought about ordering a bowl for dessert. Seriously.
Next round was flash fried baby artichoke hearts with chip aioli and chili sauce, both excellent. Good texture, good flavor. Then came the tandoori chicken. Great color and flavor, tender and juicy. Came with side of couscous (I think), which was unremarkable at best. Also had edamame wontons. Great texture for the filling, otherwise pedestrian.
Dessert was dulce de leche ice cream with basil creme for me, choclate bread pudding for her. Both were very good. The basil cream was the highlight of the round, by far. Perfect flavor and amount, just the right touch. Almost made me forget about the soup. Almost.
Overall, 4.5 stars of 5. Every dish looked great. There were no misses (except maybe the couscous, which really just suffered the fate of being boring compared to everything else). Service was excellent (including some very wise advice on the dishes) and the food was across the board high quality. Great for a nice evening out. Evening billed out around $85 after tip, which I consider a reasonable price for a great meal with drinks, coffee and dessert.
The only caution I would add is to order slowly. Our server advised 2 to 2.5 plates per person. When the first round came out, we doubted 5 plates would do it, and picked out 7 or so to try. We never made it to the last few. Just another reason to return.