While visiting St. Louis, we were treated to a night out by foodies Jim and Linda Reed (who happen to be my parents). They suggested an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Marcella. It sounded good, and I was excited to try a new place in my hometown, but what I found there was beyond good.
You’ll have to excuse some of the food photography. The cozy atmosphere included low lighting and I took most of the pictures with my phone…but I just had to share this experience with you! You can find the menu describing all of these dishes here. To start, we feasted upon the best fritto misto in the world. Light, crisp, and delicately fried calamari and spinach dance with the flavors of lemon, garlic, and asiago. We also ordered a shaved brussels salad to share as an appetizer. These thinly shaved brussles sprouts were mixed with fontina and toasted almonds and tossed with a lemon rosemary vinaigrette. Both of these appetizers were outstanding.
And now, the entrées. We’ll start with the straw and hay dish. This pasta consists of two different noddles: egg (straw) and spinach (hay). The pasta sauce was so creamy and rich, and had a unique flavor from the marscapone cheese. This dish also included coppa ham, crimini mushrooms, and sugar snap peas.
Next up is the lobster risotto, one of their off the menu specialties. This risotto was velvety and packed with flavor with large pieces of lobster nestled throughout the dish.
The veal marsala was great. Thin and breaded veal complimented by mushrooms, roasted peppers, semolina gnocchi, and spinach. A little heavy on the tomato sauce but still delicious!
Finally, the lasagna napoletana. One of us had to get the lasagna, right? It’s how you classically judge a good Italian restaurant (that or eggplant parmesan). This lasagna was a BEAST! It was a few meals in one. The layers of housemade lasagna noodles, Italian sausage, lean ground beef, ricotta, mozzarella, balsamella, and tomato sauce came together to make an outstanding meal that sung Italy’s praises.
Phemonal. You can’t get closer to Italy when visiting St. Louis (and it’s not even on the Hill!). After dinner, we headed down a few blocks to the world famous Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. I don’t know how else to describe Ted Drewes other than that it’s the best custard in the world. People flock to this retro stand each summer to enjoy this St. Louis specialty. When my family had visitors from Germany visit St. Louis, they saw the large gathering of people and thought it must be a “political demonstration.” My mother calmly assured their guests that it was just ice cream!
It is the creamiest, smoothest, most decadent custard known to man. When you order a concrete, they turn the cup upside down with the custard inside to show how thick it is. I always get the banana-heath concrete, and Neil really likes their brownie concrete.
St. Louis is such a wonderful culinary city. Can’t wait to go back!