Sunday, May 24, 2009

Araka

After having my third unique fine dining experience this month, I decided I finally had something to blog about. Even though St. Louis is far from the hub of fine dining...it still is fun to try new places to eat.

A few weeks ago, a friend posted on Facebook that she went to Araka for lunch so when I went to their web site, I saw ads posted for Mother's Day. My family and I are always looking for places to go on Sunday nights for Mother's and Father's Day as well as birthday dinners. So we were sold.

It turns out that Araka (in Clayton near the Ritz-Carlton!) has a special 3-course meal on Sundays so we did not get to review their complete menu, but it is posted on their web site. http://araka.com/

The restaurant is just beautiful...the bar area and high, open ceilings are just amazing.

My parents and I all started with the Bibb Lettuce salad. The goat cheese and avacado really stood out but I always feel weird when I need to use my knife for my salad.

For the main course, my parents were not that daring and both went with the Amish chicken. The meal was not that adventurous and reminded me of homemade, comfort food when you're home for the holidays. Two pieces of chicken with whipped potatoes in a dark gravy. I would have been ready for a nap in front of a football game with that meal. The chicken was very tender and I admit I used some bread to mop up the gravy and potatoes altogether when I was allowed a taste.

Normally I'd get chicken but there was no breast available and the Almond Crusted Salmon actually sounded more interesting. The almond coating was light and flaky and not overpowering. The salmon was laid on top of a spicy hummus...that really gave it a unique kick to liven up the salmon. I had them hold any extra peppers though because I think it would have been overkill.

I had really been wanting to try the Lobster Ravioli or the Braised Missouri Lamb so hopefully I'll go back someday.

Their wine list is extensive, in my mind, so I was appreciative. I still only ordered a Reisling. Not too dry and not too sweet.

The best course was dessert, which was included in the Sunday 3-course meal. Of course the best one was the chocolate mousse over a wafer cookie (we each picked that!). To die for. Totally worth saving room for!

Which reminds me...very reasonable portions.

Overall...not overly ambitious but the food was excellent and everyone was happy.