by Cheryl Baehr
It's difficult to save room for dessert at Vinnie's Italian Beef and Gyros (3208 Ivanhoe Avenue; 314-644-7007) -- even the regular size of its signature roast beef sandwich is gigantic. Do yourself a favor: Take a partner, split the sandwich and end your meal with some of the best baklava in town.
The Italian part of Vinnie's menu may get all the attention, but the restaurant has a Greek side that is every bit as delicious. The secret to its success is chef George Potsos, who prepares his family's Greek recipes alongside the Italian beef sandwiches. Potsos uses his mother's recipe for the pinwheel-shaped baklava -- it's much lighter and flakier than what is typical of this classic Grecian dessert. Potsos takes a single layer of phyllo dough, brushes it with clarified butter and sprinkles it with chopped walnuts. The dough is rolled up into a pinwheel shape, topped with more chopped nuts and butter, then baked. A lemon-zest and cinnamon-infused simple syrup tops the dessert that is nothing short of ambrosial. Perhaps he should consider changing the name to "Vinnie's Italian Beef and Baklava."
Previously: #91: The "Bianca" Pizza at Pizzeoli #92: Dumplings at Lona's Lil Eats #93: A St. Louis-Style Pizza from Frank & Helen's Pizzeria #94: Singapore Mei Fun at Bek-Hee #95: The Monte Cristo at Three Flags Tavern #96: The Meatloaf Blue Plate Lunch at Farmhaus #97: Comet Coffee's Chocolate Chip Cookie #98: Canestri Cacio e Pepe at Pastaria #99: The Granola Pancakes at Whitebox Eatery #100: Chicken Noodle Soup at Grove East Provisions