Tuesday, April 27, 2010

On to St. Louis

I have not been posting for almost 2 weeks and the reasons all involve family, from eating and entertaining a Granddaughter, and friends, who decided they couldn't afford Florida for their college "spring break" and came to Cincinnati instead, a smart move for their pocketbooks. To numerous visits with our daughter who is recovering from a hospital stay.
Grandparents and "good old Dad" picked up the bills for carry in Pizza, Ribs at "Walt's", Cajun at "Knotty Pine", Graeters, Skyline and most of the Cincinnati, standards and regional fare, for a very small portion of the Bates sophomore class.
For a couple of lunches I met friends and "board associates" at downtown area spots more attuned to conversation. "Via Vite" on Fountain Square, where I still rate the Cioppino some of the best in the city, especially if you like shell fish and some spice, and "Senate" where I passed the hot dogs and had wonderful mussels chaemoula. The sauce seems to be made with the broth from the mussels, butter, white wine and just enough cayenne to certainly stimulated my taste buds and make downing the Mt. Carmel Amber Ale a double pleasure.

All this is prelude to a fun filled weekend in St. Louis, which will take several postings to report. After picking up 8 pints of Ice Cream, Graeter's of course, we drove via I-70 to the Hampton Inn near Forest Park where 5 fraternity brothers, and spouses, met for a weekend of togetherness. One of the group lives in St. Louis and he chose to sleep in his own domicile.
The group planed to assemble Friday afternoon but we came a day early, as our eldest Granddaughter was in town celebrating her first year college reunion at Washington University. A lucky break for us as we were able to be with her and her hostess Thursday night.

Dinner, Thursday night, was at "1111 Mississippi" where we had eaten last spring during Graduation week. "Eleven Eleven" is located at 1111 Mississippi( fancy that) St.Louis, Mo 63104, phone 314-241-9999. Our granddaughter chose to go there again and it was an excellent choice. At 7 PM when we arrived the dining room was almost full and had a pleasant hum but not enough to be distracting. E-E has an extensive wine list, approximately 175 different wines and we had no problem choosing and appropriate and well priced bottle, which the two young women and I shared. The wine was from "Tamas Estates" a California vineyard, previously unknown to me, but then I'm really no too well versed on all the California vineyards.
For my dinner I started with a beet salad, including besides the roasted beets, watercrest, sliced pears, red onions, walnuts and parmigiano-reggiano, all lightly dressed with a honey orange vinaigrette. I followed with the elven eleven "BLT" a wonderful sandwich of bourbon apples, large chunks of Maine lobster, done perfectly, and firm and sweet, thyme remoulade and watercrest, an excellent buy at $11.99.
Others choose the soup du jour, a lightly creamed tomato and dill, Beef Medallions, medium rare, and Lamb Ragu, large chunks of roasted lamb mixed with Pappardelle, broad egg noodles, in a light tomato and cheese sauce. We all tasted everything. The girls also split a "daily salad".
My only slight discomfort was with the attentiveness of our server but this was easily overcome with the preparation and quality of the meal. Total cost, including all beverages( wine, coffee, etc.), for the four of us, including tip and tax was $132, most reasonable
More in the next few days about the whole weekend.

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