Stone Soup Cottage
Thanks to a fellow St. Louis blogger, I was made aware of Stone Soup Cottage-a true foodie heaven. This is the type of restaurant that anyone could easily fall in love with. Restored from an 1850s farmhouse, the cottage has one small dining room seating about 24 on a typical evening. The French country decor is charming and elegant and the atmosphere sophisticated yet relaxed. An evening here is a real experience and although the set menu changes weekly, you’re guaranteed to get the most creative and freshest ingredients and best of all the warmest and most attentive service. The attention to detail here is also something that Nancy and Carl must be given credit for. Even the butter was impressive–on our night it was lavender honey and whipped up to perfection and in between each course a different and amazing artisan bread was brought to the table. Each course was brought out with care and explained to us in detail as well, making the whole experience very personalized and intimate.
We got to the restaurant a bit early and started the evening out with some cocktails, which we took our time with and settled in for the six course chef’s tasting menu. As we were finishing up our cocktails, the chef himself brought out the amuse bouche and a complimentary glass of champagne, which couldn’t have made me happier.
The amuse was made of polenta and gruyere and was topped with sausage, aliol and cilantro. It was slightly firm, but creamy and salty and was very nice with the champagne.
Next up was the Garbure with Bayon ham and Garlic Toast. This was a French soup with a piece of garlic toast on the bottom, topped with turnips, carrots, ham and duck confit. The soup was rustic and it was just enough to get our appetites going. At this point the other tables were starting their wine pairings, but since we brought our own bottle we did our own thing (they happily corked it for $20). Next time the wine pairings would be nice to try, but we were also more than content with a bottle we knew was great.
The second course was a blood orange salad with heart of palm served with a honey vinaigrette. I absolutely loved this and the flavors were extremely bold and bright. At this point my taste buds were awakened and ready for more!
While I love mussels and was extremely excited for the next course, it was the one that fell short for me. Steamed maine blue mussels were served with fresh fennel and Pernod. The mussels were huge and impressive looking, but unfortunately we both got a good amount of unpleasant grittiness. The creamy sauce they came in was indeed very delicious and we made sure to scoop it up with our baguette.
Half way through the tasting we were given a lemon sorbet with limoncello as a palette cleanser–another very delectable detail.
After the palette cleanser, we were onto more amazing things. The potato and truffle puff was a huge highlight for me. It was similar to a croquette and was served with a shitakee mushroom marmalade. This was a definite winner with the intense earthy flavors and great combination of salty and creamy. This was absolutely something I would love to have again.
The meat dish of the evening was a veal Osso bucco a la Provencale. It was served in a gremulade of lemon zest and parsley, topped with fresh parsley and zucchini, which added freshness to this heavier dish. The osso bucco was incredibly tender–every bite of meat would just fall apart in your mouth and was beyond incredible. The gremulade could have been a bit less salty, but it worked with the savoriness of the dish.
At this point we were getting a bit stuffed after eating for over three hours (yes! the entire dinner took almost four so make sure you take some interesting company), but no meal is ever complete without some chocolate, right?! We finished off the evening with a chocolate hot pot served with chantilly cream and fresh raspberries infused with chambord. This was basically like a souffle and was light and fluffy. It was nice and simple, and thankfully was just the right amount of dessert to be satisfied but not over the top stuffed.
Although it was sad to see the evening come to an end, we enjoyed trying all these fabulous dishes. This was definitely the finest dining experience we have had in the St. Louis area and we just cannot stop raving about it. It’s so great to know we have such a wonderful restaurant close-ish to us and we already cannot wait to go back!
(Keep in mind you should call a few weeks in advance for a reservation if you would like to dine here on the weekend. Also, the restaurant is a 45 minute drive outside of St. Louis, so dining here does become a whole night affair)