Sometimes you just have to have some good old school Italian food. On a recent trip to St. Louis, we stayed at a hotel near Westport Plaza. It opened up a whole new area for us to find interesting restaurants. After eating at several brew pubs and enjoying some Thai, we were in the mood for something a little more classic and substantial. Good old school Italian, but we didn’t want to drive to The Hill and after having moved away from St. louis for over 20 years, we didn’t even know if The Hill was still The Hill! After a little searching, we pulled up the details of Balducci’s Winefest, it sounded perfect.
It is located in a strip mall, you enter through a door and then immediately go downstairs. At first glance, we were already smitten. It was dark (which explains that very grainy photos), with red checkered tablecloths. I don’t remember, but I’m sure there were probably chianti bottles with candles in them. The atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for. Booths lined the restaurant and we were seated in one near the back.
My husband and I both ordered entrees, choose the Chicken Marsala and I chose the Chicken Sonata. They came with a salad. The salad was a nice sized side salad with plenty of cheese. It had croutons, tomatoes and a pepper. Pretty classic.
The marsala was rich and meaty, but still light. Very flavorful.
The chicken Sonata was perfect. It was nice and cheesy, but not over done, with lots of fresh lemon flavor. I like that you had the option of having it with breaded chicken or a charbroiled chicken breast. Not having the breading let all of the light flavors shine through. The garlic bread was good, but it looked like a hoagie roll halved. I was expecting something more along the lines of a big slice of garlic bread. It was still good, though.
We enjoyed our food and it was exactly what we were in the mood for!
Balducci’s Winefest is located at 12527 Bennington Pl Saint Louis, MO 63146.
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