Crostini Restaurant & Lounge Now Open

Ian Froeb
Crostini Restaurant & Lounge opened this week at 4501 Manchester Road in Forest Park Southeast. When Gut Check spoke with owner and chef Eric Winbigler in May, he described Crostini as an "old 'Mama'-style Italian restaurant, a family-style restaurant."

Winbigler is still preparing the restaurant's website, so the menu isn't online yet, but when we caught up with him this morning, he was more than happy to tell us what Crostini is serving.

Grilled sandwiches dominate the lunch menu: ham and cheese with mustard; roast beef and cheddar with horseradish sauce; sausage and peppers with marinara. For those with a sweet tooth there is a combination of Nutella, bananas and marshmallow fluff, a sandwich inspired by Winbigler's kids.

Salads include a straightforward house salad as well as one with spinach, candied walnuts, Mandarin oranges and a raspberry vinaigrette.

(The lunch menu is also available at dinner.)

The restaurant's namesake appetizer appears on the dinner menu. The crostini, priced at two for $3.50, come with such toppings as basil pesto; tomato, basil and mozzarella; and goat cheese and bacon.

Entrées hew closest to Winbigler's concept of an "old 'Mama'-style" restaurant: baked ziti, spaghetti and meatballs, a stuffed shell. There is also "drunken pasta" -- pasta cooked in red wine and then served with sautéed portobello mushrooms, basil and red pepper flakes -- fettuccine with baby shrimp in a lemon-cream sauce and tilapia scampi.

Crostini also offers three grilled pizzas: cheese; pepperoni; and artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers. Winbigler also notes that the restaurant has two vegan-friendly dishes: spaghetti squash with portobello mushrooms, basil and red pepper flakes and a grilled portobello mushroom cap with artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers.

Crostini is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Call 314-932-5025 for more info.

Location Info

Crostini Restaurant and Lounge

4501 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO

Category: Restaurant

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This place was horrible!!!  When I first walked in, it looked like a day care.  There was little kids everywhere.  I guess some of the staff members couldn’t find a babysitter because there was only 1 adult at the bar watching all of them.   There was no one to greet us so we just walked around.  Finally, a cute (very UNEXPERIENCED) waitress sat us in the dining room with a view of the kitchen. We started out with 2 apps, crostini’s : one artichoke and tomatoes , the second was peach and bacon.  Both were ok but nothing to write home about.   The menu states that the entrée’s come with a salad and cheese bread.  The salads consisted of iceberg lettuce, cheese and an Italian dressing.  The dressing tasted like a cheaper version of Wishbone and we had to ask for the bread.   We over heard the waitress asking the “chef” for the bread and he told her that it didn’t come with what we ordered.   We then showed the waitress a copy of the menu.  Finally, the entrées showed up, well, one every 5 minutes.   The first one out was the portabella, which had been sitting in the window for a good 15 minutes. It was $16 and was maybe the size of your palm.  Then one by one the others came out.   We told the waitress that all the food was cold and she mentioned it to the “chef” again.  He told her, “oh, well”.   Uhm, hello, we hear you !!  We also showed the waitress the hard balls of rice that came with the meals.  I mean you could literally hit it with a knife and it wouldn’t move.   The waitress then took it to the back to show the “manager”. Nobody ever came out to say, sorry your having such a bad experience , I mean  nothing happened.  Please keep in mind that we were the only people in the dining room.  It took us 2 hours to get food for a party of 4.    Really?   This place is a joke.  Oh, I forgot to mention that the “chef” was also drinking beer the whole time and the bartender looked like he hadn’t bathed in the last week.  I truly surprised that we actually stayed.

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