I love St. Louis BBQ. It is the best (save Kansas City), and I can't get enough of it. When I lived in Germany, do you want to know what the only food I couldn't get was? That's right, BBQ. But, do you know what Southern Germany had plenty of (besides beer, schnitzel, and pretzels)? Delicious Italian food. The area I lived in had a large population of Italians, and there was definitely no shortage of tasty pasta places. Do you want to know what kind of good food St. Louis doesn't have? That's right, Italian. (Following me here?)
When we moved here, we were informed of a neighborhood in St. Louis known as "The Hill" that supposedly had terrific, authentic Italian food. Not to sound all fancypants, but living in Southern Germany I visited Italy many times. The Italian food at The Hill tasted nothing like anything I had in Italy. The sauce is super duper sweet (almost like they add sugar), whereas (for example) the bolognese I had in Italy had a nice salty taste to it.
So, whenever we make the trek up to Chicago, I bet you can already guess what type of food we go for. Oh, yes. Chicago knows how to do its' Italian right.
I decided to try a new restaurant called Scoozi. I honestly just picked a place that received good reviews on Open Table and booked a reservation. Open Table (so far) has not failed me, so off we went. First impressions were great! The hostess was super friendly, and we were seated right away. We were immediately served water, fresh bread, and olive oil with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Yum!
The waitress appeared shortly, and helped us pick out a wine to go with our meal. It was delicious, so score one for her! We then ordered, and I got the bolognese, which I always get. I figure if they screw that up, there was no point in ordering something more expensive that won't be what I expected.
It was really good! The meat sauce was very flavorful, with just a hint of spiciness. It had carrots and celery (I think), which is typically find in a good bolognese. I was super pleased with the whole experience, and would definitely recommend and return.
The second thing I always make sure to eat? A good gourmet pancake house. This time we tried the Wildberry Cafe. We got there super early, so there was no wait. (I'm talking 0800, people). When we left, there were probably about 40 people waiting. Yikes!
I ordered a vanilla latte to start, and got a huge, delicious mug of it. I wanted to just order a coffee, but decided to go a little fancier.
They had a specialty menu, and I saw what I just knew I had to order. White Chocolate and Raspberry pancakes. That just combined most of my favorite sweet things. When the pancakes arrived, they were so beautiful that I almost didn't want to eat them. Almost... The were pretty tasty, but I wish that had done a better job of layering with the white chocolate and raspberries. There were some raspberries in the middle, but all of the white chocolate was on top. Regardless, they were absolutely delicious. It was definitely a gem of a breakfast place.