Top Ten Dishes 2012 #2: Chitarra at Pastaria
I'm counting down the top ten dishes from the new restaurants that I reviewed in 2012. Read the complete series to date.
#2. Chitarra at Pastaria (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-6603)
Jennifer Silverberg Pasta makers Greg Reece and Mike McManus at work at Pastaria.
You could easily overlook the most exciting dish at Pastaria. The menu calls it simply "Chitarra" and offers no further description aside from a list of the supporting ingredients: olive oil, garlic, chile. In this case, though, such a list is apt because the dish brings nothing but strands of pasta alla chitarra tossed with olive oil, slivered garlic and chile-pepper flakes. Its beauty and charm is its simplicity: the lightly chewy pasta coated with the fruity, nutty oil, the garlic softened to a very mild bite, just a pinch of chile heat. Which is why the chitarra is so exciting: It's the perfect introduction to what simple, casual and affordable Italian food should be, not the limp, oversauced slop it all too often is.
-- from "Using Their Noodles" (December 13, 2012)
#3: Steak tartare at Little Country Gentleman
#4: The "Pork Porterhouse" at Cleveland-Heath
#5: Grilled quail at Blood & Sand
#6: "Spicy Wonton Soup" at Famous Szechuan Pavilion
#7: Pho at St. Louis Pho
#8: "Dad's Green-Chile Cheeseburger" at Five Star Burgers
#9: The pambazo at Siete Luminarias
#10: The oatmeal cream pie at Pint Size Bakery & Coffee