TRAVEL THERE: PAUL MINEO’S TRATTORIA IN ST LOUIS MO
How did we live before there were smart phones? I should remember. I didn’t get mine until a few weeks before I set out on the Lemonade Tour, but suddenly I depended on it for everything. Sometimes it was too helpful. At the Marriot Courtyard near St. Louis, I was hoping to lobby for a pizza delivery and Google Local tells us Westport Plaza, chockablock with restaurants, is just around the corner. I took a deep breath and headed to the door.
I’d actually packed some nicer clothes for dining out, but I was too tired to open my suitcase. Wherever we ended up was just going to have to put up with me. I had on the same outfit I’d worn for the interment, which was one of the most formal ensembles I’d brought along on the trip, but I felt absolutely bedraggled.
Westport Plaza does have a plethora of restaurants, but one was too smoky, another was one of the Kobe steak places where we’d have to be entertained by a chopping chef and…well you get the picture. We were hungry, but nothing looked good to us. That was until we saw the word Trattoria. Deb wanted some comfort food and what’s more comfortable than pasta. So, Paul Mineo’s Trattoria earned our patronage.
At Paul Mineo’s Trattoria
We took the meal in stages. First we wanted wine and an appetizer. We chose a nice pinot grigio, primarily because it was unlikely to challenge us and ordered some calamari. The wine was just right, but when the calamari arrived, we knew we’d lucked into something very special.
Maybe we should have realized that before. The patio had been full and a talented crooner entertained the patrons. Inside, the bar was busy and though there were empty tables for inside dining, it was no ghost town. But the calamari? Exquisite! So fresh, it was as if the squid had swum into the deep fryer. After a few finger-fulls, we were very interested in the entrees. I had something with veal and artichokes that I couldn’t pronounce, but the waiter assured me was delightful.
Speaking of the waiter, he was great. It was like we had a member of our party hanging out with the chef, looking out for our interests. We chatted him up a bit and discovered he’d waited tables at a very exclusive Dallas restaurant. Well, of course, we insisted that he tell us which one and it was The Mansion. I’ll tell you my Mansion stories some other time, but he was proud of working there.
Deb told him I was a blogger and mentioned I was among the top contributors to Trip Advisor in April. All of a sudden he was our best friend. He really wanted to know what I thought about the meal and I confessed it was superb, except for one teensy tiny thing that was really no big deal. The next thing I know he’s delivering our free dessert.
I appreciated the free dessert, but he didn’t really have to do it, because I loved the restaurant, the food AND the service. I would have raved about it without the free dessert.
So, if you go to St. Louis, take yourself up to the Northwest suburbs and find Westport Plaza. In the center, next to the fountain, you’ll find Paul Mineo’s Trattoria. I wondered if Paul was the grandson of Sal of movie fame, but instead he was a Mineo of St. Louis restaurant fame. After eating at his restaurant, I realized that might be more significant than being related to a movie star.
It was a good thing the restaurant was only a couple of blocks away from the restaurant. We were so tired we wouldn’t have made it any further than that! Come back next week as we head to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.