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St. Louis: Graduation Dinner in May - Central West End. Not too $$$$$ and not too loud

Eau! Just went there on Saturday and were blown away. Here's our review:

"Eau was one of our most memorable dining experiences in St. Louis! We frequent what we think of as St. Louis's best restaurants - Niche, Farmhaus, Sidney Street, Salt, etc., and had never tried Eau. So, we decided to try it out and found that Eau was "Eau"tstanding! We got the tasting menus (wife got the vegetarian tasting menu) and, not only did they accommodate her food allergy non-plussed, the whole thing just blew our minds! Inventive and delicious food; attentive and super-friendly service; and pleasant ambience. The highlights were the wine pairings (masterful and brilliantly facilitated by our server); the short ribs (with a sweet potato/bleu cheese layered-thingy), duck, and cauliflower soup (best we've ever had)! Thanks guys!"

Apr 16, 2012
cheesenose in Great Plains

Lousy Experience at Home Wine Kitchen, St. Louis

Awful food. Pretentious service.

Our disappointment stemmed from two major sources: the service and the quality of food. I'm usually willing to be understanding if one of those two categories is good. Neither was in this case.

First the service:
- when we sat down, we noticed that our table was wobbly. We asked the server to fix it and, after trying to balance it out unsuccessfully for a few minutes she said she'd fix it "later tonight or tomorrow morning" . We spent the rest of the evening taking turns while using our knives so that one of us could hold the table while the other cut. Even with this arrangements we made sure not to fill our wine glasses too high in order to avoid spillage.
- finally, when our desserts came (we ordered two of the same dessert) we all four agreed that a scoop of ice cream would have made it much better (details below). The server said that someone else had asked and the chef "refused to allow it" - something about compromising the flavors. Frankly, that's obnoxious to imply that we aren't capable of making decisions when paying $200 for a nice dinner. If someone wants ketchup with a perfectly-cooked steak- I may not agree, but as a paying customer I wouldn't hesitate to accommodate. If the truth was that there was no ice cream available, we would have been far more understanding. As it turned out, we barely ate half of the desserts that were served.

Food:
- the seafood "croquette" were appallingly dry. I have never had such a dry croquette in all my life. I had to pick out the pieces of seafood and leave the stale-tasting flavorless biscuity hockey puck uneaten. (Remember, at most restaurants in your price range, that would have been noticed and addressed).
- the chicken was dry
- the porkchop was dry and wasn't helped by the dry breakfast potatoes. There was like a tablespoon of some delicious condiment, but I hardly noticed it bc it was buried beneath a mountain of dry diner potatoes.
- finally, the apple dessert was almost inedible. We were debating whether the way the apples were cooked made them taste more like onions or mushrooms. It was so savory and salty it should have been an appetizer. (As an aside, we didn't order the butterscotch pudding because the people next to us were complaining about how awful it was and barely touched it).

Oct 02, 2011
cheesenose in Great Plains

A Final Celebratory Meal in Boston - with Caveats...Help

I like the way you think - we do Oleana too often for this meal. That SDLT may be a bit too pricey - I've never been though. Is it worth it for a final meal?

A Final Celebratory Meal in Boston - with Caveats...Help

Alright, Hounds: After 3 years of wonderful eating (thanks, in large part, to you all), I will be moving out of this terrific eating town and have one celebratory (birthday) meal left. You all have been remarkably good to me, and I'm asking that you advise me at this critical juncture. This is my last night-out meal in Boston, but it comes with caveats:

1) Not Too Expensive - I just closed on my first home, so I can't quite afford the L'Espalier, Abe and Louie's, No. 9 Park action - I can do the "entree-in-the-low 20's" range though.
2) Ambience Matters - My dear ma will be in town from LA and she really digs a good ambience - I'm not necessarily saying it has to be kitschy or wild, but it's gotta have some vibrancy (doesn't have to be cuchi cuchi or beehive or anything, just not that minimalist, stuffy, I-feel-like-I'm-in-2001-Space Odyssey kind of vibe). Even a mellow French Bistro vibe would do it..
3) I Need Good Meat - It is, after all, my birthday, so there needs to be a viable steak option OR a good fancy burger on the menu. I will have gone to Neptune's the night before, so my seafood itch will have been scratched.

I know this ain't easy (conjuring up a series of age-old debates on this Board such as vibe vs. food). Honestly, I think 10 Tables or Rendezvous would totally work if I didn't go so often and need this to be a bit more special...

If you ever end up in St. Louis, I promise to return the favor!! Even if you don't respond, thanks to you all for making my time here way better than it would have otherwise been...

Disappointment at Cobras and Matadors

Thanks for the recs Adsvino - I'll definitely check 'em out when the next tapas fix comes around

Dec 30, 2008
cheesenose in Los Angeles Area

Disappointment at Cobras and Matadors

I'm in LA for the holidays and was excited to check out Cobras and Matadors with the missus and my dear mom. Showed up at 9pm only to discover that many of the dishes were no longer available. They ran out of HALF THE MENU - many of which were what we came for. Even one of the desserts wasn't there!

I've never been to a restaurant where so much of the menu was not available to order - and they were pretty unapologetic about it too. The food we did have was good, but c'mon!

Definitely won't be going back there...

Dec 29, 2008
cheesenose in Los Angeles Area

Where to find challah?

Blackers Bakeshop in Newton is the best challah i've ever had by far. But i've never been to Rosenfeld's...

Best Halibut in a Cambridge/Boston restaurant?

Thanks for all your suggestions - Oleana has never steered us wrong, so I imagine their halibut will be great. I appreciate the help, and will follow up with a full report.

Best Halibut in a Cambridge/Boston restaurant?

So, this is a tough one because a lot of the restaurants with terrific halibut have changing menus. But, my girlfriend's birthday is coming up and there is nothing she loves more than good halibut - so I was wondering where I might take her where she can get the best darn halibut in the Republic of Cambridge (I'd venture to Boston if it's worth it)?

East Coast Grill - Skip if You Like Barbecue

I agree with you as well. I was very unimpressed with the BBQ at East Coast Grill. Blue Ribbon is my top choice for BBQ in the area.

An Awful Experience at Laurel Bar and Grill

I think it is only fair to warn you about the miserable experience we had last night at Laurel Bar and Grill. We decided to go bc of some recommendations on this board for it being a modestly priced restaurant with a good menu.

Upon sitting down, we couldn't get over the fact that the ambience and clientelle made us feel like we were on some bootleg cruise ship. The appetizer we had (turkey meatballs in a decent tomato sauce with mozarella) wasn't bad, so we were pretty open-minded about the reasonably priced and creative-looking menu.

I got braised shortribs with mashed potatoes and an "avocado bernaise sauce" - sounds good, right? I thought so too. Well, the meat tasted like overcooked bad stew meat (worst braised short ribs i've ever had): it was tough, about 60% inedible fat, and flavorless. The mashed potatoes tasted like they were out of a box, and the grayish muck on top that they called avocado bernaise tasted like herb butter - way too rich and it took me about two hours for the potent unpleasant flavor of it to finally vacate my palate.

My girlfriend had a prosciutto and basil stuffed chicken breast with mashed potatoes and eggplant caponata. One leaf of basil and two pieces of some low-grade ham were tucked under the skin of the "rotisserie" (oven-baked) chicken and the eggplant caponata tasted eerily similar to salsa.

This is the first time we've ever trashed any place on this board, but we thought we needed to post this as a way to let folks know what's happening over there. Is it new ownership?

Garden at the Cellar: where's the love?

Garden Cellar - worth the trip but hit and miss. The prices will probably keep us coming back, but we had this smoky chicken soup that was abysmal - it tasted like they poured a half-gallon of oil in it...

What is a "Bostony" experience and does it represent good chow?

I think the oysters and lobster roll for lunch at B&G are some especially good bostony fare - exposes people to the south end (and ain't too far from the copley/newbury touristy visuals)... then make your way through the liberty trail stopping at several pubs along the way, and end up having dinner in the north end (we like luca's)

Best Indian

Here's a 3rd for Kebab Factory. The name, logo, and feel of the place are misleadingly mediocre - but some of the best Inidan I've ever had (and this is after living in NYC by curry row and curry hill). Their soups are delicious, and so is most everything else.