We had an excellent trip to St. Louis. Based on advice from this board, we chose Trattoria Marcella. We arrived Thursday and left Monday. However, Thursday was our only free day.
The choice was difficult. After extensive deliberation (hey, we live in a small KY city and dont get out often), we decided we wanted high quality pasta, in a non-formal atmosphere. I loved the menu at Bar Italia. However, the comments on freshness and quality took me to Marcella.
We arrived on time (barely) for our 7 PM reservation. The place was packed, and continued to be packed throughout our leisurely meal. The noise level was quite high. Nevertheless, our waiter (Kevin) paced us perfectly throughout the evening. Somehow the noise level didnt interfere with our enjoyment.
The bean paste/puree was delightful. At first taste I thought it a bit too garlicky. At second taste, I found it just right.
My wife started with a special salad, mixed greens with nuts, apple, and (shoot, I forget). She loved it and I found it refreshing. I had the fritto. We both loved the calamari. However, I was less than enthused about the fried spinach (though my mate enjoyed it).
She had the lobster/shrimp risotto. It was the best Ive had since fifteen years ago at Spiaggos (? spelling) in Chicago. I trumped her dish with the veal cheeks ravioli. Wonderful pasta and an even better sauce. We cleaned our plates.
Even though we were stuffed, we split a chocolate creme brulee. Excellent. A bit more thick than expected, but delightful nevertheless.
All in all, a wonderful evening---and quite modest in price.
A few quick notes on the remainder of the long weekend. Our kids were in St. Louis, and wanted to go back to an old favorite of theirs---Cisciros (?spelling, close to Wash U). I had two good local beers, cant remember the brand now, something like Shafley. My mate and I split a vegiterian pizza. Crust was excellent. The ingredients were good, just not outstanding.
Saturday we had deli: wonderful, wonderful Rueben for my part, and my significant other was impressed with her liver sandwich. Wish I could remember the name of the place. It was on Olive just west of Lindbergh. We went back by the place Monday on our way out of town. Unfortunately, they are closed on Monday.
Saturday night we had ribs at K C Master on Lindbergh, just south of Olive. Some of our party of 20 was miffed because we ordered at 7:15 and by 8:30 still did not have our food. I think the waitress forgot to turn the order in. It didnt matter. I had a good time. I had two good local pale ales (Boulevard I think) and played with my two year old grandson. The food was so late that we took it and our grandson back to our room. We found the ribs to be an excellent late evening meal. The meat was crisp on the outside, tender inside, not at all dry, and slightly sweet.
Okay, so my notes were not so quick. Sunday was a catered affair and thus not relevant to this board. And, neither were our fun trips to the Jewel Box, art museum, Science Museum, Childrens Museum, and the Arch.
Thanks much for all the help.