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An American Place

October 25, 2010

We recently dined at Larry Forgione’s An American Place and were saddened to hear the news that the restaurant is closing.  We had a great experience there and especially loved the history of the restaurant.  Larry Forgione is a student of James Beard, and the restaurant supports the philosophy of using the freshest seasonal ingredients and supports local sustainable farming.  The space that the restaurant itself is in is stunning with it’s ballroom style high ceilings and the ambiance has a very grand feeling to it.  Our waiter was very attentive, friendly, and knowledgeable and had an exotic accent with added to the cosmopolitan feel.  And the food was undoubtedly of the finest and freshest quality and was quite refined, but there was something just ever so slightly off in the coherence of the some of the dishes which threw them off a bit.

We started off with a cheese platter, the Pheasant Terrine, Ceasar Salad, and Roast Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque.  The cheese platter was great and included a Maytag Blue cheese, which was my favorite.  Next off the Pheasant Terrine included pistachio nuts and home-cured bacon and came with a caraway-ale mustard and crostini.  It was delicious if you’re into pates and forcemeat mixture type dishes, which I love especially when paired with a grainy mustard.

McFarland Farms Pheasant Terrine

I also particularly enjoyed the Roast Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque…which was every so slightly spiced with ginger and cumin, and garnished with some creme fraiche.

Roast Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque

For my entree, I chose the Seared Maine Sea Scallops.  They were served with a salsify puree, crisp bacon, braised fennel and were seared in a lemon basil oil.  I loved the scallops themselves, which were cooked perfectly and thought they went great with everything…except for the random large pieces of bacon that scattered the dish.  Yes, I’m even shocking myself for complaining about bacon, but it just threw everything off for me, and took over the delicate and subtle flavors of the dish.

Seared Maine Sea Scallops

Other dishes that I had a few bites off:

Grilled Midwestern Fillet Mignon Duo. Ragout of braised short ribs, crushed Irish potatoes, frizzled sweet onions

 

Grilled Hinkebein Hills Pork Mignon. Caramelized shallot grits, heirloom zucchini gratin, mustard sauce

 

Pan Roasted Wild Lake Trout. Roast cauliflower puree, roast local onions, Ozark mushrooms, charred tomato fondue

All were very delicious.  If I had to choose again, I would still go for the scallops or the fillet mignon if I was in the mood for steak.

The desserts were a nice way to end the meal and I especially liked the Dark Chocolate terrine, which had some nice crunch to it.

Dark Chocolate Terrine

 

Rice Pudding

It makes me sad that An American Place is closing and that St. Louis is losing a great chef, but I at least hope that the venue will be converted into a different great restaurant.

An American Place on Urbanspoon

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