We had a business dinner there with group of nine of us on a Thursday night. The restaurant was very accommodating and set up table up for us upstairs near the bar. The decor the restaurant is nice and they had a good food menu and an excellent wine / beer menu with lots of very good selections by the glass at a normal level and then and an elite level of wines. In addition it appeared that you could also bring wines that were being served on their wine list and they would charge you a corkage fee to be able to bring them in from the outside. All of the staff that we interacted with were pleasant and friendly and we had an excellent server taking care of all of us. We were eating at about 7:30 and the restaurant was pretty full at that time.
In addition to their normal menu they also had a few different specials that all sounded very good. The Caesar salad was good and served with anchovies if desired. Although it was good, the dressing did leave a little to be desired and I have had better at other establishments. A few of us chose the fresh halibut special others chose the trout off the menu and then a few chose some of the Italian selections the duck confit ravioli and stracchi.
The people who had a trout said it was superb. The halibut that I had was unfortunately a bit overcooked whether it was due to too long being seared or waiting while all the other was being consolidated to be brought out to the table. Unfortunately that was a bit of a let-down with such a great piece of fish but all of the contorni that came with it was absolutely wonderful. Another standout was the butternut squash soup which had excellent flavor and was well-liked by those who had it. Although the duck confit ravioli was enjoyed it was another little bit of a let-down a little too salty and chewy maybe from over cooking or just seasoning and would have been better served had as an appetizer versus an entree. One great thing about the menu is that you can get a lot of the pasta related dishes in a half portion or a full portion there for having it as an appetizer.
A few at the table also got dessert and all that had the cheesecake said it was excellent. However the best was definitely saved for last as a few of us also had espresso which was freshly ground both caffeinated and decaffeinated espresso from an excellent selection of beans and superbly made a true barista style event. It was the best espresso that I have had in the last year either in the United States or in Europe.
Price-wise it is what you would expect for the Clayton area with entrees ranging between $30 and $40 in general. We would definitely return although we do think there are better restaurants in that price range in the st. Louis area.
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