Living high

Combine good food and a great view, and you’ll have me at hello.

We ate tonight at Kemolls Italian, a fine dining establishment on the 40th floor of the Met Life building.  It’s just a few blocks from the Mississippi River, and overlooks the Gateway Arch.

Looking across the Mississippi to Illinois

Looking across the Mississippi to Illinois

There were 4 of us for dinner–me, Gail, David Bryant and Nancy Ferguson.  We played and lost today in the compact KO, and were scheduled to go back and play in the loser Swiss.  Kemolls was so inviting that we quickly chose to forego the bad bridge and just have a leisurely dinner.  It was a wise decision.

Starting out, we ordered the house specialty, Carcioffi Fritti.   Deep fried artichoke hearts with Mrs. Kemolls special sauce.  If you start with the high cholesterol appetizer, it gets your heart ready for the following onslaught.

Carciofi Fritti

Carciofi Fritti

The service here isn’t so much slow as deliberate. The meal is designed to be savored, and nothing is going to be rushed.  They don’t need to turn the table 3 times a night and they think you should just enjoy and not be in a hurry.

I had the baby lettuces salad.  I think some spinach snuck in with the baby lettuce, but that’s OK with me.

Baby lettuces, red onion, blue cheese and toasted walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette

Baby lettuces, red onion, blue cheese and toasted walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette

The fish of the evening was black grouper, a species that we rarely see on the West Coast, so that’s what I ordered.  You get your choice of 6 different preparations, and I chose the lemon and capers–just like the veal piccata Gail had.

Black grouper, lemon, butter and capers.

Black grouper, lemon, butter and capers.

Grouper is  denser than most white fish, but not as dense as swordfish.  To my California-tuned senses, this one was a little overcooked, but probably normal for here.

The sun went down while we ate:

Skyline to the west

Skyline to the west

David regaled us for quite some time with his interesting take on politics and economics.  He promises to start a blog designed to shed light without heat on the issues of the day, just to help people be informed regardless of their political orientation.  I promise to be the first subscriber.

All that talking made dessert a necessity.  I had the Italian Cream Cake, something I’d not seen before.  It was a very dense, heavy cake that we all ended up sharing.  I could barely get a photo before David had his fork in it.

Italian Cream Cake

Italian Cream Cake

Gail had spumoni, Nancy had sorbet, David had a fast fork.  It was all good.

Kemolls was listed in the tournament restaurant guide as a  $$$$ eatery.  The bill for the 4 of us, with considerable wine, three desserts and an appetizer, was $275.  At a comparable restaurant in San Francisco, like the Carnelian Room atop the B of  A tower, the bill would have been at least $350.  These people don’t know how good they have it.

I had to get another shot of the arch on the way out.

Things often look better at night.

Things often look better at night.

Kemolls was great.  It won’t work if you’re in a hurry, or trying to eat on a budget, but it was by far the best meal I had in Saint Louis.
Kemolls Italian on Urbanspoon

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