I was in the mood for pizza (when am I not?) so I thought I’d head down the street and check out the newest addition to the Delmar Loop, The Good Pie. Previously located in midtown, The Good Pie serves Neapolitan-style pizzas straight from a beautiful, wood-burning brick oven that is covered in blue mosaic tiles. I walk by this restaurant on my way the gym and this oven caught my eye several months ago so I was really excited when I finally had the chance to check out the restaurant.
After learning that they are closed on Mondays, we decided to do dinner on a Wednesday night. Overall the space has a relaxed vibe and rustic but trendy décor. The open kitchen allows you to watch your food as it is being prepared. The restaurant was pretty loud for only being half full and I think it would have been hard to have a conversation with more than four people.
We were seated and a server came over right away. We were given separate food and cocktail menus as well as a small chalkboard with their 10 craft beer offerings. Since I am a firm believer that pizza and beer are made for each other, I went with a Civil Life cream ale and the white bean dip for a starter. The bean dip was every bit as good as the waitress said it would be! This creamy spread was a great alternative to the standard hummus appetizer and was drizzled with a lemony olive oil and served with crispy flat bread with edges that were slightly charred. If I had been at home, I would have licked the bowl.
While there were pasta choices on the menu, we decided on two pizzas, the Margherita for me and Mastunicola for my husband. Both arrived quickly on metal pans with pizza cutters for you to slice your own pieces. The Margherita was very light on the sauce and mozzarella cheese but it didn’t matter because the fresh basil and the sourdough pizza crust were so delicious that you almost did not want anything to overpower it. The Mastunicola pizza was topped with cured pork belly, sage, parmesan cheese and an egg. This sauceless pizza was my favorite of the two and my husband is lucky there was meat on it because I would have wanted to trade. I was glad that we went for two pizzas because one would not have been enough. This Neapolitan-style of pizza was great because it left me feeling not overly full or greasy.
Overall, I was really impressed with this new pizza spot. It is always a risk for a restaurant to move locations but I think that The Good Pie managed to do it successfully. Hopefully this new location continues to bring the same success and great pizza as the last!
For our third anniversary my husband surprised me with dinner at a restaurant that I had been excited to try for quite a while. Stone Soup Cottage is a family operated restaurant serving gourmet, farm-to-table food in Cottleville, MO. This upscale but modest restaurant is inconspicuously located down a gravel road in a cottage that could be mistaken for your grandparent’s house. Farmland surrounding the restaurant provides much of the food served in the restaurant. Beautiful flowers line the sidewalk from the gravel parking lot up to the front door of cottage and the warmth of a fire place greets you once inside. Seating is by reservation only and this must be done weeks, if not months in advance.
All guests are asked to arrive for dinner at the same time to accommodate for their pre-fixe style of food. Once we arrived at 6:30 p.m., we were taken down a short hallway, past a window giving us a view into the kitchen, and into a beautiful dining room. The tables are so spread out and the room is so nicely done that you almost feel like you are eating in your own house. We were seated at a table for two with no less than 11 pieces of silverware at each place setting. We ordered drinks and then ventured outside to look at the grounds and enjoy the nice weather out on the patio.
At 7p.m., all of the guests were called inside to begin the six course meal. You are given the option to do wine-parings with each course but we opted for individual drinks. The same course is delivered to each table at roughly the same time, sometimes by the chef himself. Although the menu is set ahead of time, my husband notified the restaurant that I am a vegetarian when we made our reservation and the chef was more than accommodating.
The menu is seasonal, so make sure to check the Stone Soup Cottage website when you make your reservation. The first course was lobster consommé followed by an arugula salad. The next course was calamari stuffed with leeks, garlic, and nicoise olives. The fourth course was an asparagus tart. Fifth was grilled duck breast (sea bass for me) accompanied by corn pudding. Last but not least was a hot rhubarb soufflé with white chocolate sauce. Each course was more delicious than the last, but I have to say that nothing beats a perfectly done soufflé. Although the food was great, my one complaint would have to be about the service. It felt like the staff was so busy trying to get food out to the tables, they had little time for anything else such as offering a second round of drinks after they cleared the first glasses.
This unique meal does come at a price. Each guest is charged $90 for their meal, not including wine parings. Our original reservation was cancelled by the restaurant due to a private event but they were nice enough to provide us with a large gift certificate as an apology. Although my wallet will sadly prevent me from coming back soon, I’m so glad I got to experience this amazing restaurant.
Do you ever get that desire to just close your eyes and wake up feeling like you are somewhere else, just for a little change of pace? This is just the feeling I got when I walked into Urban Chestnut Brewing Company’s newest location in The Grove. The space is reminiscent of craft breweries in Portland and Denver with its laid back atmosphere, large open floor plan, and seating that encourages you to make new friends. Brewing tanks line the back wall of the space and signs mark a path for self-guided tours if you so wish. Don’t show up expecting to catch a game though. In order to encourage conversation, there are no TVs in the entire bierhall. On the Wednesday night that I stopped by, there were people enjoying a drink after work, study groups working on projects, and people playing board games. Whatever your mood or bar scene is, you should feel comfortable coming here to enjoy a beer.
Enough about beer though, we are here to talk food. Two large chalkboard menus line the walls around the kitchen for you to make your selections from. After going up to the counter and placing your order, you are given a pager to let you know when your food is ready. We picked up our tray of food and started with the deviled eggs. I loved the look of serving the three half eggs on a wooden board. These eggs differentiated themselves in that they were made with horseradish and although there weren’t many of them, they were one of my favorite parts of the meal. Next up were the salt cod beignets served with tartar sauce. I was expecting something donut-like but this was more of a fritter in that it was rolled into a ball and fried. They were served in a brown paper bag which ended up very greasy but the outside of the beignets were perfectly crispy and the insides were warm and soft. They were fairly large and filling and although we were served three, I was only able to finish one. Last but not least were the dumplings with Spätzle wild mushrooms, brown butter, herbs, peas, and onions. The dumplings were delicious but I can’t say that the peas added anything but a splash of color to a very brown dish. We definitely needed to cut the dumplings and a plate would have been more efficient than the metal bowl in which they were served. We finished our food but felt like something was still missing so dessert was the obvious solution. I chose the Liege waffles served with a chocolate spread and this was definitely the highlight of our meal. Liege waffles are made with a special yeast dough and sugar which caramelizes making them sweet with a light center and a crisp exterior. It is just too bad that I couldn’t bottle the smell of this yummy dessert.
While the food was decent, the waffles stole the show and I would have left the meal slightly disappointed without them. The beer was great and I am so excited about Urban Chestnut’s new space. It is a great thing for St. Louis’s craft beer scene and I will definitely be back soon.