The New Town Garden Club tour committee celebrated the completion of a successful tour at The Libertine restaurant in Clayton (MO) last night. The Libertine calls itself A Neighborhood Eatery and perhaps rightfully so, as we entered the restaurant there was a couple sitting outside with a small, well-behaved dog. I love it when I see this!
We were seated quickly and that was the last quick thing that happened while in the restaurant. The service, while cheerful and friendly, was slow. Our drink order was 30 minutes coming out after ordering, and then another 30 minutes before our orders were taken. Fifteen minutes later our apps came out and then another wait of 15 minutes before our main orders were taken. We were at the restaurant two hours on a weekday night. For a neighborhood eatery, that's too long.
Our drinks were delicious. Innovative and clever, and seasonal. More about them on another post.
We ordered the bone marrow for our first course. Large, well roasted bones with lots of marrow, with roasted meat sprinkled across the top. Only two bagettes for the marrow, though, could have used at least two more. Easily the best marrow I have had, and I have had it often.
Our guests had the salad, and when the menu says the salad is for two, it could easily be for four. Huge! The dressings were homemade and enjoyed by our friends.
We ordered two sides, the BBB mashed potatoes (butter, bacon and bleu cheese) and the mac and cheese. The two sides came out before the main meal and were consumed and removed before the main meal came out. We were glad they did though, because we were pretty darned hungry by this point.
Our waitress stopped by to say she'd talked to the kitchen and our food should be out shortly. A few more minutes, and our food came, the trout for one of us, three hamburgers with frites, and the risotto for me.
The burgers and frites were delicious and lived up to the hype. A bacon bun, great local beef, handcut fries were all hot and well cooked. We noted that the waitress did not ask about the temperature of the beef, but the burgers were excellently cooked. Two patties topped with The Libertine's own homemade cheese whiz. Sigh.
The trout came out en papillote (in paper) and was presented and opened tableside. The side of panzanella looked crazy good with sliced heirloom tomatoes and large croutons of homemade bread.
My dish was the risotto, with local mushrooms and tomme cheese (think French Alps) and was creamy, hot and delicious.
As we drove home, my husband and I talked about whether or not we would return. We agreed we would, bringing our daughter and son-in-law with us. We agreed that the shared plates would be our way to go (we saw the meat and cheese board and the polenta with ragu). The food was delicious and we want to give the service another try, after all. The food saved the day!