The pappardelle, with stewed tomatoes and Italian sausage, at the Tavern Kitchen & Bar
The housemade pappardelle with stewed tomatoes and Italian sausage at the Tavern Kitchen & Bar could not be less ostentatious. You might skim right past the dish while reading the menu -- aside (perhaps) from the fresh pasta, it's the sort of thing you're more likely to make yourself for a weekday dinner than order at one of the area's more buzzed-about new restaurants.
It is served in a plain white bowl: flaxen ribbons of pasta slicked with sauce. Tomato is the dominant flavor of this sauce, rich, with a fleeting sweetness. The sausage adds depth, but this is emphatically not a meat sauce -- you have to dig around to find a piece of sausage larger than a pebble. Basil and grated Parmesan cheese provide the final accent. Yet the highlight of the dish is the pappardelle itself, its texture lightly chewy, its flavor very mild, nothing more complex than egg and flour but, unlike dry pasta out of the box, definitely there.
In truth, writing this many words about the dish feels excessive. You don't have to think about it, just enjoy it, one forkful at a time, until, suddenly, the bowl is empty. When your server stops to ask if everything was OK, you reply, "It was good
(from "Comfort Me with Pork Belly"
- December 23, 2010)The Tavern Kitchen & Bar
2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, Valley Park
$14I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.
Previously:#16: Carnitas at La Tejana Taqueria#17: Benne's Farm half chicken at Five Bistro#18: Dátiles rellenos at Modesto#19: Hot-and-sour noodles at Joy Luck Buffet#20: Lamb vindaloo at India Palace#21: Channa masala at Raj's Rasoi#22: The blueberry scone at La Dolce Via#23: Gang kua ped yang at Addie's Thai House#24: Bánh xèo at Banh Mi So #1 - Saigon Gourmet#25: Mojarra dorada at Garduño's Mexican Food#26: "It" at Mammer Jammer#27: Two eggs over-easy, bacon and hash browns at the Courtesy Diner#28: Seafood at Farmhaus#29: The "Edgar Allan Poe" at Dewey's Pizza#30: The "Heart Stopping BLT" and a chocolate malt at Crown Candy KitchenPreviously (Continued):#31: Smoked half-chicken at PM BBQ#32: The smoked chicken pizza at Onesto Pizza & Trattoria#33: The baby-back ribs (or the burger) at the Piccadilly at Manhattan#34: Albóndigas caseras con patatas at the Guido's Pizzeria & Tapas#35: The "Sweet Burger" at SweetArt#36: Buffalo fries at Blueberry Hill#37: Tom yum gai at Pearl Café#38: Cassoulet (and Sweetbreads) at Franco#39: The "Papasan Roll" at Miso on Meramec#40: Lasagna at Mama Josephine's#41: The "Bucktown" Pizza at Pi Pizzeria#42: Pla song kruang at Basil Spice Thai Cuisine#43: Chori pollo at Mi Ranchito#44: Pizza at La Pizza#45: Fried chicken at Young's Restaurant & Ice Creamery#46: The Philly Cheesesteak at 9th Street Deli#47: Smoked chicken wings at Flavors BBQ Sports Bar & Grill#48: Coffee and a pastry at 222 Artisan Bakery#49: The torta ahogada at Taqueria Durango#50: The "Morganford Mediterranean" Sandwich at Local Harvest Café & Catering#51: Vegetable korma at Gokul Snacks & Sweets#52: Schnitzel & spaetzle at Iron Barley#53: Oxtail stew at De Palm Tree#54: Pho at Pho Long#55: Gyro at Anthonino's Taverna#56: The Lemon Drop Cupcake at the Cup#57: Pupusas at Tres Banderas#58: Gumbo at the Gumbo Shop#59: The burger at Newstead Tower Public House#60: Quesadillas tradicionales at Milagro Modern Mexican#61: "7th Street Sicilian" Po' Boy at Blues City Deli#62: Tamales at Taqueria la Pasadita#63: Ćevapi at Bosna Gold#64: Lemon meringue and pine nut torte at BitterSweet Bakery#65: Chile Morita con Puerco at Señor Pique#66: Soda chanh duong (sparkling lemonade) at Lemon Grass#67: Nachos grande at Nachomama's#68: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and mushroom at Pizza-a-Go-Go#69: Bill's "Burger Meister Burger" at Cardwell's at the Plaza#70: Sake (salmon) nigiri sushi at Nobu's Japanese Restaurant#71: Massaman curry at Simply Thai#72: The lunch buffet at Mayuri#73: Fried chicken (spicy) at Porter's Fried Chicken#74: Arancini at Lorenzo's Trattoria#75: Meat shawarma at The Vine Mediterranean Café & Market#76: The South Side Smoke at sandwich at Stellina Pasta Café#77: Falafel at Kabob House#78: A slice with pepperoni at Feraro's Jersey-Style Pizza#79: Birria at Pueblo Nuevo#80: Banh mi dac biet at Phuc Loi#81: Prosciutto bianca pizza at the Good Pie#82: Gold Coast Chocolate ice cream at Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream#83: Hot salami (salam de testa) at Gioia's Deli#84: Veal parmesan sandwich at Biggie's#85: Nachos (with jalapeños and extra cheese cup) at Busch Stadium#86: Lobster bisque at Café Ventana#87: Calamari fritti at Mangia Italiano#88: Brisket sandwich at Winslow's Home#89: Paletas at La Vallesana 2#90: Spaghetti and meatballs at Sugo's Spaghetteria#91: The Michael burger at Michael's Bar & Grill#92: Fried egg and ham toastie at the Schlafly Tap Room#93: Bavarian chips with Welsh rarebit at Dressel's#94: Onion soup at Brasserie by Niche#95: Baby-back ribs at 17th Street Bar & Grill#96: Kingshighway burger at the Royale#97: Gyro sandwich at South Grand Gyro Express#98: Carne asada tacos at El Paisano (Watson Road)#99: Pretzel bites at Joey B's on the Hill#100: Hot and sour soup at Shu Feng Restaurant