Restaurants & Bars

La Piazza, STL: a report [very long]

Share:

Restaurants & Bars

La Piazza, STL: a report [very long]

wayno | Feb 21, 2002 12:09 PM

Having read some positive comments here [and a good review on Sauce.com, which I take with massive grains of salt because I'm not sure the "Guru" ever has been in a restaurant he didn't like, at least an Italian one], and because Brazie's and Marcella couldn't take our res, we tried La Piazza last weekend. Very pleased with what we experienced. The flatbread apps [ours had chopped figs and proscuitto] were excellent, which bodes well for the acclaimed pizza, which we unfortunately didn't try -- but it certainly looked good. Against my better judgment, we ordered the crabcakes, and my reluctance was well founded. Don't go there. But, the breaded, fried ricotta cakes with a pretty nice marinara sauce were very good. The bibb lettuce salad was only so so; I didn't care for the threads of raw white onion on top [and don't think it was disclosed in the menu description] -- but the Caesar at another table looked good. The lasagna -- which I rarely order other than at my own house -- really was good: rustic, but not gloppy. The noodles retained their proper texture, the ricotta was identifiable from the mozarella, and amount of sausage mixed in was fine. My wife had the pappardelle with "traditional bolognese". We were expecting the featured meats in the sauce -- pork, veal and beef -- to be ground, but they came in chunks, which surprised us. But, the result was terrific because the underlying "gravy" was so flavorful and the meats nice and tender. Definitely a recommended dish. We didn't order desserts because the 2-item list was uninspiring. The wine list was excellent in terms of its substantial and varied offerings; but, the prices were high [maybe I'm spoiled having moved here recently from Northern Calif.]. I didn't check the corkage fee, but bringing your own wine is probably an option [and one I usually exercise]. Most of the wines that you'd want - including the 2 bottles we opted for -- were in the $40s, and well beyond that.
The atmosphere is quite happening [good looking, yuppy crowd], which is also the place's biggest drawback: it's extremely loud, and there are no sound-dampening features. Same problem as at Zoe's. At Harvest, which is also always crowded, the hanging fabric really seems to help the acoustics; why don't other places that have overwhelming crowd noise consider such measures?? Bottom line: I'd go back, and look forward to working my way through what is a pretty interesting menu [notwithstanding our somewhat pedestrian selections].

Want to stay up to date with this post?