Friday, October 8, 2010

Small Plate Dining?!

Now, anyone who knows me is very aware that I'm not a 'small plate' kind of guy. They also know that I have a few food dislikes which can impact fine dining...

Well, all of these 'issues' were blown aside during a recent visit to St. Louis Missouri. Based on a tip from Laurie's sister, Bonnie, we decided to skip one of the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives joints I had in mind and instead, Bonnie and her husband Bill, went with us to the Farmhaus Restaurant. We all shared a number of small plates...and it was a great experience!

We started out with this plate...Beatje Farms Bloomsdale and Marcoot Jersey Creamery Swiss, with damson plum gastrique, local honey, chow chow and crostini. All the taste buds were immediately engaged!

At about the same time, we shared the Farmhaus Local Vegetable Salad. This included beans, corn, tomatoes, grilled okra, zucchini, cucumber, herbs, vinaigrette, beets, Baetje Farms goat's cheese & lavash. Another winner!

We also had the House Mozzarella Bruschetta which included Marcoot Jersey Creamery curds, Fournie Farms tomatoes, all drizzled with a balsamic reduction. If there was a 'miss' among the plates we ordered, this was it... It looked great but we all agreed it lacked much 'pop'.

Then there were the Fried Green Tomatoes...Fournie tomatoes, bacon goat cheese dressing and tomato sauce. We were back on track...another winner!
We also ordered, but failed to photograph, the Local Vegetable Succotash. This was also a hit...and it included corn, tomatillo, peppers, okra, tomatoes, spoon bread and ground cherries in a tomato merlot reduction.

Double Wow!! Next came the Chilled Roast Beef served with horseradish panna cotta, truffle espuma, jus and lavash. The only thing wrong with this creation is that we only ordered one of them! The truffle espuma just kicked this up way above any roast beef dish that we'd ever experienced.

We did order 2 small plates of the Hawaiian Seabass. This delectable fish was cast iron roasted and came with spoon bread, roasted corn, smoked sausage and crawfish tail meat in a spicy butter emulsion. The one downside that we all agreed on was that the sausage was a bit too salty.

How about Basil Ice Cream with Lemon Cake!? Sounds a bit weird...but when you combine the homemade Basil Ice Cream with the moist Lemon Cake, the taste buds had a riot! The chef is a creative genius...

We also shared a great Fried Apple Pie with some terrific homemade vanilla bean ice cream. Yum!

What a meal! This was a great experience... Gourmet food...that this gourmand really enjoyed!

Farmhaus Restaurant is reputed to be the place that area chefs frequent after a long day in their own kitchens. Chef & owner, Kevin Willmann, is from Illinois and he focuses on fresh organic produce and local ingredients wherever possible. He uses local cheese makers, bakers and coffee roasters. We all can attest to the fact that he has a great culinary imagination!

Farmhaus Restaurant is located in an out of the way neighborhood at 3257 Ivanho in St. Louis, Missouri. Website: Phone: 618-980-7306

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