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Saturday, January 21, 2023

Bar Moro

I have been a huge Zoe Robinson fan so I was totally crushed when she closed all her restaurants, but I understand her reasons. Looking on the bright side, this has given me three new reasons to try new restaurants this year. We'll see if we make it to all of them...

For my birthday, I knew I wanted to pick one of them and I figured Patience would be up to the task of having an adventurous dinner at Bar Moro. I'm also a huge fan of Ben Poremba and have dined at all of his other restaurants, so I couldn't wait to try his version of Spanish tapas.

There are five sections to the menu and I knew I didn't want a large plate so I could try more of the smaller dishes. My goal was to try something from each section. 

In the middle of the menu are the starters and I knew for sure I wanted oysters (half dozen per order) and shrimp. If you order the sautéed shrimp, be sure to ask for a couple of pieces of bread to mop up the sauce!

Oysters (Ostras)

Sauteed Shrimp (Gambas)

Of course I wanted most of the tapas and since you could select one, three, or five at a time, I found three that I was interested in. The Agromar Tuna Toast was tasty, but the Salt Cod Croquetas were decadent with creamy goodness inside.

Agromar Tuna Toast and Salt Cod Croquetas

Patience suggested the Egg + Caviar and that ended up being the best dish of the night. The saltiness of the caviar with the creaminess of the egg was amazing together. The initial two pieces of bread were definitely not enough, so luckily a server came by with some extra bread to save us. 

Egg + Caviar

There were still two more sections that I wanted to tackle as the charred eggplant (Berenjenas Quemadas) and Fried Potatoes drew our attention. I was actually leaning more towards the Pan Con Tomate, but we already had a couple of dishes with bread. As a French fry fanatic, these fried potatoes were perfectly cooked and well seasoned. I thought the home made "ketchup" had a kick to it so the aioli was more my speed.

The eggplant was somewhat "deconstructed" and the oddest dish of the night. I wasn't quite sure how to eat it. Perhaps it could have been used as a spread over bread as well but I just ate it as is.

Charred Eggplant, honey, tahini, tomato pulp, aged sherry

Fried Potatoes

I would label the Vegetable (Verduras) and Clasicas sections as "medium" plates as they were definitely meant for two people, or could be a filling dish for one. Patience and I were smart and stopped halfway on both of them because we purposely asked about dessert.

Currently, there are four desserts, but you only need to know about one of them. The cheesecake. But this is not your typical cheesecake. Patience described it accurately as flan meets Crème Brule. It totally melts in your mouth and you should definitely pair it with a small glass of Madera with it.

Cheesecake

I was so full and wish I had stopped sooner to make room for the chocolate torte. I think both desserts at one time would have been amazing. 

Since it's a tapas-style restaurant, you'll want to order more frequently throughout your meal, so it makes sense that its group-style service. In football terms, it was a zone defense instead of man to man. But they pulled it off flawlessly. It was impressive.

Yet, I just wish the first server who approached would have given an overview of the menu and explain it to us as newbies to the restaurant. It always pays to do your homework!

The space is still dark and intimate as it was with Billie Jean, but I enjoyed the flow of the staff moving about and there was plenty to watch.

If you love a good food adventure, this is your place. Be sure to get a reservation as early as you can!

Resources:

Bar Moro = https://bengelina.com/bar-moro

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Napoli2

My first birthday dinner of the year was my Dad's pick... he's a picky kind of guy. Yet, I'd never say no to Italian. I'm a big fan of Cafe Napoli in Clayton, so I wasn't worried about whether or not I'd enjoy my meal at Napoli2.

I did my homework ahead of time and ordered one of my favorites, gnocchi. 

Gnocchi

Patience couldn't resist the seafood pasta special that included GIANT shrimp (HA that sounds funny) as well as some scallops as bonus. (I got a bite!)

Shrimp and scallops over tagliatelle pasta

Linda was also swayed by the lamb chop special - I also got a bite!

Lamb Chop

My Dad ordered his favorite, liver and onions, which is what they are known for.

Upscale Italian is a winner every time, although the birthday dessert could have used a splash of chocolate on it!

Vanilla ice cream with cookie

Resources:

Napoli2 = https://www.napolistl.com/dine

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, September 30, 2022

Cork & Rind Cheese Class - Show Me the Cheese

Now that my work schedule has changed, I was free to go to another cheese class! This one was even better than the last! That may have been due to being able to round up several of my friends to join me since quite a few of them live on "THAT side of the river".

Not only did Flory's Truckle appear again, there were TWO amazing cheeses by Green Dirt Farms. And I think I had the best cheese by Baetje Farms that I have tried.

Show Me the Cheese List

We started off light with the German Quark by Hemme Brothers Creamery. I thought quark was more like ricotta or mascarpone texted, but this was more like a spreadable goat cheese. Either way, it was a delicious spread.

Cheese plate

Next up were the two Green Dirt Farms cheeses: Ruby an Aux Arcs, which is pronounced "Ozarks"! I love the play on spelling there.

The Ruby had a texture of a brie but had way more funk to it and the Aux Arcs was more firm, closer to a cheddar. You can thank the sheep / cow blend for that bit of funk to their cheeses.

Flory's Truckle, I talked about in my previous cheese class post here: https://www.stlcheesegirl.com/2022/08/cork-rind-cheese-class-kevins-favorites.html

TLDR: One of the best cheddars I have ever had.

The last cheese was pretty amazing as the Miette by Baetje Farms was the funkiest of them all. A goat cheese with a white bloomy rind on the outside. It just melts in your mouth. 

All the funky cheese came home with me that night!

Resources:

Cork & Rind = https://www.corkandrind.com/

Photos by Lara Struttman

Salve Osteria

Savle Osteria, pronounced "saul-VEY" because I know you were wondering, has replaced Cafe Natasha. While I'm sad to see it go, I understand that it was time and I like to support all the new and fresh concepts that come out in the STL.

Luckily, I went in August, better known as BethFest, so Beth and her husband were able to join me so we could celebrate her birthday. This also helped in trying a variety of dishes!

With the Gin Room right next door, of course I got a cocktail. It was almost impossible to choose, but I went with my original first choice: Icelandic Pear. (Check out the restaurant's cocktail list below, although the Gin Room has so much more!) 

Icelandic Pear gin cocktail

Matt ordered a specialty Gin & Tonic, which was mixed by Natasha herself.

Natasha mixes a Gin & Tonic

Beth wanted to start off with a salad, and she's the birthday girl, so this is the Salve Cesar... it had a lot going on without the heavy dressing.

Salve Ceasar

I did help out, but I preferred to have room for the good stuff, so my starter was the Arancini. These were giant!

Arancini

Of course all these dishes are shareable and I highly recommend doing so.

And oh yeah...Natasha says you must try the Bacon Fat Carrots. So we did and she was RIGHT. You must.

Bacon Fat Carrots

As for the main course, I knew I was going to pick a pasta after hearing early birds rave about it, but I was torn between the Pappardelle and the Tagliatelle. Beth was a good sport and split them with me!

Pappardelle

Tagliatelle

I did add a meatball to the Tagliatelle too, although the Pappardelle was my favorite by a little bit since it was more savory. Not sure if the was the mushrooms or mascarpone or both! All winners though.

And you can't have a birthday without a dessert! I appreciated that the dessert list was included on the menu so you could plan accordingly.

This is the Cannoli Cheesecake and I didn't let one chocolate chip get left behind!

Cannoli Cheesecake

Impeccable service as always Natasha. I can't wait to come back.

Beverage List

Food Menu

Resources:

Slave Osteria = https://www.salveosteria.com/

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Lucky Accomplice Dinner

Right now, this has got to be one of the best restaurants in the STL.

I don't think I can really describe these dishes because of all the layers of flavors and textures, not to mention that the menu constantly changes. So you should probably just enjoy the beauty of the dishes and get yourself there as soon as you can.

Bring friends so you can try lots of things!

We started off with some smaller plates...

Hummus and homemade bread


Melon..with a kick!

Hominy with raclette cheese on top

Missouri Rice


Carrots

Then a couple of larger plates...

Pork dish that I did not try but the squash on top is just beautiful

Quark Gnudi...my favorite and almost too pretty to eat

And we had to get both desserts! Luckily, pun intended, they always have the Lil John and it's the best .(Because it's chocolate!)

Rhubarb dessert

Lil John

Resources:

The Lucky Accomplice = https://www.theluckyaccomplice.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon