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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Randolfi's

I have been dying to go to this restaurant since it opened and shame on me for not demanding we go sooner. And yes, it's really that good. Although I'm not sure you can go too wrong with traditional Italian cooking.

We sat at the bar, where we saw plenty of Italian wine...

Italian wine
...and Italian liquor, and more!

Plenty to drink!
Spacious kitchen in the back with a large pizza oven!

Bar, kitchen, and blue pizza oven!
Since we live so close, we arrived right around 5pm and at the start of happy hour!

Happy Hour Menu

Off this menu, Patience ordered the Negroni and we split the D.O.P. Gorgonzola Arancini!

Negroni
D.O.P. Gorgonzola Arancini
Cheesy goodness in the middle of those and we dipped them in a marinara sauce!

I always pick the "Big O" drink. This is the #37 3/4 (Spring), which is Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey, Big O Ginger Liqueur, Sibona Camomilla, Rhubarb (tea) liqueur, house-made BBQ bitters, chervil tincture applewood smoked.

#37 3/4 (SPRING)
Patience used to drink out of glasses just like these tall water glasses.

Classic water glasses
We had a really hard time choosing our entrees for the evening, so we decided to narrow it down to the Primi section of the menu even though there were scallops calling our name.

Still too many choices, we played it safe by getting our favorites.

I ordered the Gnocchi, which included braised chicken thigh, lemon, capers, olives and tomatoes.

Gnocchi
Patience's Meatball Con Spaghetti Alla Chitara included pork and lamb, garlic, chili, and chive. Check out the size of the meatball! Homemade pasta underneath...

Meatball Con Spaghetti Alla Chitara
Don't worry, this definitely means we'll be back to try...hopefully, EVERYTHING else!

Last, but definitely not least, two amazing desserts!

You know I picked the Chocolate Tarta! And since Patience was feeling full, she settled for a unique gelato flavor of cherry chocolate chip.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Gelato and Chocolate Torta
Turns out they were even better together!

Dessert together!
Be sure to put this restaurant on your list to visit soon.

Resources:

Randolfi's = http://www.randolfis.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Whiskey and Chocolate Pairing June 2016

Extending the Beer and Chocolate pairings, Larder & Cupboard next offered a Whiskey pairing with Chocolate and I just knew I had to take Patience!

We started with a lighter whiskey, Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey paired with Chai Tea Truffles. I can't get enough of those truffles!

Chai Tea Truffle with Rieger's Kansas City Whiskey

Next we tried three whiskeys from Chicago, a Koval Rye Whiskey, Koval Four Grain Whiskey, and a Koval Bourbon. The Rye was paired with a Peanut Butter Bon Bon (amazing!)...

Peanut Butter Bon Bon with Koval Four Grain Whiskey
 ...while the Extra Dark Bark was paired with the Four Grain. I preferred the Rye as it seemed a lot smoother than the bolder Four Grain.

Extra Dark Bark with Koval Four Grain Whiskey
Another favorite from a previous class, Cherry Pates de Fruits in Chocolate (pronounced Pot de Fwee), which was paired with the bourbon.

Cherry Pates de Fruits in Chocolate with Koval Bourbon
Kakao's most popular chocolate, the Sea Salt Caramel, was paired with the Pinckney Bend Rested Whiskey. This whiskey won double gold and the rested refers to the time spent in a barrel aging.

Sea Salt Caramel with Pinckney Bend Rested Whiskey
Last was the creamy goodness of the American Spoon Fudge Sauce with a (not really local) Glenfiddich 12-Year Scotch. Lots of floral notes on the nose.

American Spoon Fudge Sauce with Glenfiddich 12-Year Scotch
I'm sure you can tell that I'm biased towards the chocolate and I can't wait for more of these (chocolate) classes!

Resources:

Larder & Cupboard = http://www.larderandcupboard.com/

Kakao Chocolate = http://www.kakaochocolate.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Beer and Chocolate Pairing June 2016

You knew I would attend more Beer and Chocolate Pairing classes at Larder & Cupboard didn't you?!

Now that Patience is home, I also wanted to give her a chance to attend in person as well since she is a bigger beer lover than I am.

I was thrilled to get to taste more of the Lavender Truffle since that was one of my favorites from last time! Patience loved the Old Bakery Porter as she prefers the heavier beer styles.

Lavender Truffle and Kickstart Granola with Old Bakery Porter
Or was the Marshmallow Pie my favorite? It's still so amazing. Paired with the very smooth Charleville Karate Kick. I stole this photo from Cindy since I ate mine so fast!

Marshmallow Pie with Charleville Karate Kick
The Mango Habenero Truffle was new to me left a slight tingle on my lips, although other people said they barely could taste any heat. Good thing it was paired with the 4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA to cool things off just in case. Also featured is the melt-in-your-mouth Seed Geeks Chocolate Creamed Honey.

Seed Geeks Chocolate Creamed Honey and Mango Habanero Truffle with 4 Hands Divided Sky Rye IPA
The Dipped Strawberry Rhubarb was super delicious with a fruity, gummy treat in the middle of the chocolate! The sweeter dessert needed something sweet to go with it - Boulevard Hibiscus Gose. This sour beer was just tart enough that I could probably couldn't do much more than a tasting of it.

Dipped Strawberry Rhubarb
As for Kakao's best seller, the Pecan Caramel paired well with the Piney River Black Walnut Wheat.

Pecan Caramel
Then we got to have a bonus round! Here is a homemade marshmallow and a new beer that Larder & Cupboard just got in, Hobby Farm from Piney River.

Homemade Marshmallow
Hobby Farm Beer
Can't wait for more chocolate and beer pairings!

Resources:

Larder & Cupboard = http://www.larderandcupboard.com/

Kakao Chocolate = http://www.kakaochocolate.com/

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Taste of St. Louis Wine Class

I attended my first Ward on Wine class at The Wine Barrel. I'm a fan of Mike Ward's through the Mid American School of Wine so it was nice to find a new place to take some of his wine classes. 

This one grabbed my attention since this was a pairing class with "St. Louis foods". 

Wine List
We started off with pretzels and cheese sauce paired with a Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut Rose from Napa Valley. I could drink rose bubbles all day! The high acid in the sparkling wine cut through the cheddar cheese dipping sauce quite well.

We jumped to the red wines right away as  Mike Ward poured his own wine next, Syncopation from Augusta, MO. This was paired with an Imo's pizza with hamburger on top. 

An even bigger red was next, a Chianti from Tuscany, and was paired with Toasted Ravs and a marinara sauce. The red sauce also went well with the next two wines, a Super Tuscan Frescobaldi Remole, which was a bit smoother of the two Tuscan wines, and Zaca Mesa Z Cuvee Red Blend from California.

Then for dessert, the one white wine, a Cardonnay Close Pegase from Napa Valley was paired with Gooey Butter Cake. The buttery oakey flavor definitely was a perfect pairing here.

Last, a ruby port, Sandeman Founders Reserve from Portugal was paired with small scoops of Ted Drewes chocolate ice cream (YES!!!)

I think there should have been one more round with Bissinger's dark chocolate!

More classes coming up this month, July, and August! Check out Ward on Wine's events page for more classes!

Resource:


The Wine Barrel = http://thewinebarrelstl.com/

Mid American School of Wine = http://stlsow.com/

Thursday, June 2, 2016

PW Pizza Cathedral Square Beer Dinner

Now that more people have found out these wonderful pizza and beer pairings with craft breweries, it is much harder to get a reservation. So I was happy to get to try the beers from Cathedral Square where all the beers are religious themed.

We started off light, as usual, with a White Ale paired with a Mixed Greens Salad. So easy to drink!

Mixed Greens Salad
The first pizza had huge chunks of sausage on my favorite, Honey Wheat Crust. This was paired with the Abbey Ale, a little more body and ABV than the previous beer.

Fennel Sausage & Rosemary Pizza
The second pizza had a little spice to it with Blackend Shrimp and Andouille as toppings. Of course it was paired with the Gabriel IPA to cut through that spice.

Blackened Shrimp & Andouille Pizza
For dessert, the big Holy Moly Russian Imperial Stout (10% ABV!) was paired with an intense Fig & Goat Cheese Tartlet with a Cherry Balsamic Reduction on top.

Fig & Goat Cheese Tartlet

Menu
Resources:

PW Pizza = http://pwpizza.com/

Cathedral Square Brewery = http://www.cathedralsquarebrewery.com/