It was a most excellent surprise.
No. No, we weren’t.
But we could manage to spare some time for a cocktail. After all, our plan for the rest of the evening consisted of putting on our pajamas and relaxing in our hotel suite as we binge-watched “Modern Family” reruns on television.
So, yes. Yes, we could plan on a cocktail even though I was concerned that we were not dressed correctly. In shorts and tennis shoes for our day of trekking around the city, we were not exactly outfitted for cocktails. But when we were chilling in the relaxation room of the spa and Alper Oztok, the General Manager of the Four Seasons Hotel in St. Louis and Cory Cuff, the Cielo Bar and Restaurant Manager, along with one of the chefs from the restaurant appeared to welcome us to the hotel and invite us to Cielo personally, they all assured us the casual dress was no problem.
They were quite lovely and gracious liars because we really should have been dressed nicer.
We would have cheerfully gone to Cielo in our pajamas if we had known what was in store for us.
After my Signature Massage which was so completely marvelous in every way that I should be forgiven for possibly just sliding out of my chair in the restaurant and slumping to the floor under the table in a fit of massage-induced slumber (thank heavens this did not happen because I would have been so sad to miss the food we were about to experience) we headed up to Cielo for our cocktails. The restaurant is an absolutely gorgeous expanse of modern furniture, lovely golden lighting, and quite possibly the best view of St. Louis in the entire city. We actually may have audibly gasped when Cory ushered us to our table by the floor to ceiling windows and we saw the cityscape with the Arch arcing over the expanse. With comfortable seating, a heated pool, and a jacuzzi, I might never leave this area if we were staying in the hotel.
When Cory found out we were from Lexington, Kentucky, he was visibly and quite adorably excited and proceeded to tell us about his experience recently at Keeneland and the bourbon trail where he purchased some casks of bourbon for the restaurant. He showed us through the impressive kitchen where we were suitably impressed by the casks, and then took us back to our seats.
By this time we had come to the realization that they meant to wow us with far more than cocktails. With visions of leftover pasta heated up in the microwave in our hotel suite fading fast from our minds we were very open to some tastings. They presented us with drinks – bourbon on the rocks for Tom and something called a Naked Oranges for me which I can’t find the recipe on Google so I assume it’s a drink unique to Cielo.
And if they did invent it, kudos. Because it was delicious.
Then. Then they began bringing out the food.
At this point, we still thought we were just having some appetizers but they dispelled us of that notion quickly when they mentioned the entrees, so we settled in for the long haul with no qualms at all. This was not a problem for us as we are seriously lovers of food.
First the chef appeared with some Small Plates. Appetizers that were to die for. I could cheerfully live on appetizers so I could not have been happier.
Then they brought out even more.
Every single bite we inhaled with alacrity was delicious but that Veal and Truffle ravioli was possibly the best thing we have ever tasted. They said people actually came to the restaurant just for that and we can believe it. Luckily, they brought us each a plate of there may have been some fighting with our forks.
Next, entrees. They were exceptionally smart and gave us three small portions of different entrees so we could try them. Tom settled on the Red Snapper as his favorite but I loved the thinly sliced pork with whipped potatoes and a black cherry glaze. It was the perfect combination.
By this time, we were pretty much full to capacity but there was no way they were letting us leave without dessert.
And who were we to argue if they were determined to feed us to repletion? We are Southerners, after all. We are much too polite to refuse food. Especially when it is this good.
After our profuse and perhaps ingratiatingly fawning (y’all it was that good) thanks, we managed to stagger out of the restaurant, drunk with a surfeit of marvelous food, and make our way back to our hotel. Where we proceeded to put on our pajamas and watch the deferred “Modern Family” episodes, as planned. Only we did it with full, rounded tummies and pleasurable memories.
The Cielo Menu is available at Cielo starting this week and all the items we tried are on their Four Course Tasting Menu for only $35. You should go there immediately and order everything we ate.
You will be so, so happy you did.
Full disclosure: Cielo provided us with our tasting menu, but as always, I will share my honest opinion about any travel experiences I have.Pin It