Profile

Cover photo
Ernie Beckley
47,140 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideosReviews

Stream

Ernie hasn't shared anything with you.

People are more likely to share with you if you add them to your circles.

Story
Tagline
"Experience" is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted.
Links
One of my closest friends invited me to attend her birthday celebration with her family. her favorite Italian restaurant? Trattoria Marcella. The place was PACKED. Usually a good sign. Still, we were seated within 15 minutes, which I thought was impressive. Our evening from there only went uphill. The server was excellent. Very attentive without being overly so. (How did he do that?) The food was exquisite and priced exceptionally well, especially given both the quantity and quality. I had the TAGLIATELLE ALLA BOLOGNESE -- one of my favorite dishes at any Italian restaurant. Very well priced at $14, and what the chef did to it was wonderful. Pasta al dente. Sweet yet tangy sauce. More than enough meat to satisfy anyone. Delicious. I've been to several "trattoria" restaurants in St Louis. All but one are good (and the one which isn't good is horrid). Marcella's is outstanding. I can't wait to return and try the other dishes.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
I went to my good friend Wikipedia to look up the word "trattoria". Here's what it had to say: "A trattoria is an Italian-style eating establishment, less formal than a ristorante, but more formal than an osteria. There are generally no printed menus, the service is casual, wine is sold by the decanter rather than the bottle, prices are low, and the emphasis is on a steady clientele rather than on haute cuisine." Roberto's doesn't meet any of those definitions. Instead, it tries to achieve the status of "ristorante" and fails miserably. At Roberto's, I ordered the "Tagliatelle alla Bolognese" or, as I like to call it, "Spaghetti with Meat Sauce". I say I ordered it, because that's not what I received. The server brought out another pasta dish, the lobster special, in error. How he did this is beyond me since I said "Bolognese" twice and further told him I was not going to pay $36 for lobster pasta. But, that's what was delivered. He apologized and brought out the correct dish just a few minutes later. Which brings me to an observation. In small text, near the bottom of the menu, is a gentle warning from the chef that amounts to "quality takes time; each dish is handmade; keep your pants on". You get the idea. How the server managed to bring out a handmade replacement dish to me in a matter of a few minutes was curious. The first delivery took far longer. It left me wondering just how "handmade" each dish actually was. But I digress... Back to the Bolognese. The portion was average. The quality was a bit above average, but not what I expected. Also, it wasn't exactly hot. Perhaps warm, but not hot. For a restaurant (which, by the way, is in a strip mall), that tries to bill itself as an upscale place, the food was not. Nor was the atmosphere. The only thing that was upscale was the pricing. $20 for "spaghetti with meat sauce". I'm sorry, but at any Italian restaurant, that dish should be affordable. If you want to try the chef's special at $36 and up, that's fine. But $20 for the dish I had was criminal. This is not entirely the restaurant's fault. I went to their website to review the menu and say prices on pasta dishes in the $10-$12 range, which I think is acceptable. I did not see those were the lunch prices. Had I done so, I might not have selected this restaurant, and this review would never exist. Live and learn. My dining partner ordered the Chicken Spiedini with bowtie pasta in a cream sauce on the side. She raved about the chicken and, I will admit, it appeared appetizing (I did not taste it). The bowtie pasta (also untasted) appeared exceptionally average at best, though better than I'm sure Chef Boyardee would have done. One final note. Our server thought he was personable and funny. He was neither. Then, of course, he got my order wrong. Mistakes happen, but perhaps he should try concentrating on his job and worry about being funny another time. I will never go back. It is overpriced for the quality and atmosphere. I would give it one star, but my dining partner's food seemed so pleasing to her (and for only one dollar more than the "spaghetti with meat sauce") that I feel obligated to toss it an extra star. My recommendation--go to Olive Garden instead. You won't be any happier with the quality, atmosphere, or service, but at least your wallet won't be emptier.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
If I have visitors coming in from out of town, or am taking a friend to dinner, this is the place I go. Hands down, it is in my top five favorite restaurants in the St Louis area. There are many restaurants on this stretch of Grand Blvd, but none measure up to LemonGrass. You don't go here for the atmosphere; you go here for the food. The menu is plentiful as are the portions. Service is quick and efficient. Of course, the cuisine is delicious. It is never overcooked, always comes out hot, and absolutely tasty. If you enjoy oriental food, you have to go here. You won't be disappointed.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
5 reviews
Map
Map
Map
PF Chang's is great Chinese cuisine in a delightful atmosphere with excellent service. The seating is comfortable and the wait staff efficient and friendly. The food is to die for. I love Chang's Spicy Chicken, and order it about every other time I visit. They also have a nice selection of wines and other beverages. I've been to both locations and must say the food is very consistent. Still, I like the atmosphere of the Richmond Heights location better. PF Chang's is in my top five, and my favorite Chinese restaurant.
• • •
Public - 8 months ago
reviewed 8 months ago
The room was inexpensive. The beds were comfy and the A/C cold. The kitchenette was adequate. The staff was friendly and always willing to help out. The pool was clean and clear. WiFi worked just fine. The walk from the hotel to the beach was 55 seconds (I timed it)--hard to get much closer for a reasonable price. If you want high-end amenities, you should go somewhere else and pay for them. If you want a decent place to bed down for the night while to go to the beach, and you won't want to pay $200/night, you can't beat the Aqua View Motel.
• • •
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago