So I had a meeting in St. Louis last week. The meeting was tedious, but my first time in town. There was an interesting opinion piece in the New York Times about a month ago (Loving the Midwest) about how slow St. Louis is, e.g. nothing going on downtown. I certainly found that to be true. It was a beautiful, if warm and humid, summer evening when I walked from my hotel to the restaurant I was going to try – Gio’s Ristaurante & Bar (more about Gio’s later). It was like a ghost town. I wondered whether the Zombie Apocalypse had started and the concierge had failed to inform me. Anyroad, I walked up to the Citygarden. If you’re in downtown St. Louis, I recommend wandering around in there. Great water features for kids to play in; very interesting sculpture; and beautiful plants. This piece caught my attention – an empty pink suit. I think we all know a couple of these.
Next to the Citygarden was Gio’s. If you’re looking for good eats in St. Louie, I highly recommend this place. It’s got great reviews, so I reserved a table for 7:15, thinking it would be extremely busy. They must have thought I was a complete nutter when I walked in and said I had a reservation – I was the only person in the place. Matt – my server and the bar tender – assured me that they were in fact open. It’d been a long day of travel, so I started out with a Manhattan – bourbon, bitters, garnish, rocks…the usual. (Matt got an extra-generous tip – best Manhattan I’ve had in a very long time. Surprisingly enough, the best Manhattan I’ve ever had was at the Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney World. But I digress.)
I started with the tomato and baked goat cheese salad with fresh herb, balsamic syrup, and olive oil – uh-MAY-zing. For my entrée I got the Risotto del Giorno – risotto with grilled chicken, tomatoes, and spinach. Probably some of the best risotto I’ve ever had. It still had a little broth in it; I’m definitely going to try that technique the next time we make risotto. I finished with one of the best tiramisus I’ve ever had. With my meal, I had a couple of glasses of the 2010 Woop Woop Shiraz. If you’ve never had this wine, you should really try it. Great notes of dark fruit, with a full, clean finish. It paired well with everything. Apart from some German tourist who wandered in for a coke and a couple sitting at the bar, I had the place practically to myself. Matt assured me though that it’s totally hopping when the Cardinals are in town. There was a home game on the day I left. I’m very sorry I missed it; maybe next time.