Looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion? Stone Soup Cottage in Cottleville is a way to create a long lasting memory for that upcoming anniversary. Take note, they are only open Thursday through Saturday plus a few Wednesdays. They only do one seating a night and you are probably going to have to get a reservation at least 3 months in advance. Is it worth that kind of wait? Let’s find out.
The restaurant is set in restored 1850’s farmhouse. Each night is setup as a chef’s tasting menu that is 6 courses and lasts about 2 1/2 hours. The menu changes every 3 weeks. The setting is intimate and capacity is only 24 lucky patrons. Chef Carl and his wife Nancy are involved in every part of your experience.
Here is a bit about the meal I recently enjoyed. It featured several recipes from their cookbook as part of the restaurant’s anniversary. First off, the place setting. Don’t be overwhelmed by the 5 forks, 3 spoons, and two knives. Also don’t ignore that house made butter tucked away in the upper left corner.
First Course: Late season corn bisque with bacon and Gruyere croquette. They recommended you let the croquette sit for a minute to allow the smokiness of the bacon to infuse into the bisque. The corn came from a farm just down the road and they left whole kernels for some crunch.
Second Course: Burgundy poached pear with beet micro-greens and blue cheese souffle. When I first saw the menu, I was a little sad to see this dish. I’m not a fan of beets or pears. However, this was surprisingly good. If you don’t like blue cheese, the souffle probably won’t make your top ten list. However, it was perfectly fluffy. At this point, all signs pointed to Stone Soup Cottage living up to all the hype. They convinced me to eat beets and pears in the same bite while also enjoying it!
Third Course: Sea bass en papilote. The picture below features chef Carl’s hands as he was cutting open the parchment used to cook the sea bass. It was light and flaky. It was another great example of going that extra step as part of the experience.
Next was quick intermission with a palate cleanser. It was a sorbet with limoncello. It reminded me of a lemon dream sickle. Creamy, cold, with just the right amount of tartness.
Forth Course: Pommes Anna with shaved black truffles. Now I know why we were cleaning our palettes! Pommes Anna is a classic French potato dish that uses lots of butter. What could make it even more decadent? Black truffles of course! It was spectacular.
Fifth Course: Rabbit ragout with pappardelle pasta, asiago cheese and toasted pistachios. The house made pasta had just the right amount of bite. The ragout offered a nice hearty stew-like characteristic to the dish. The pistachios brought depth of texture with their crunch.
Sixth Course: White chocolate and huckleberry hot pot. Awesome way to end the night. My only issue was not burning my tongue as I was trying to eat this before it cooled. I loved the combination of berries and white chocolate.
If I had to describe the night in one word, it would be EPIC. From start-to-finish, course-to-course, there were too many highlights to mention. There is no doubt that I will return. Personally I wish I could go every 3 weeks to see what extraordinary items make the next menu.
Dive 2 Five Scale – 5. Yes, there is no valet and you are out west of the river. This place is worth the drive. The parking is a little confusing. There is something about having the chef look you in the eye and tell you about the dish. It doesn’t get more personal than that. Chef Carl is also waiting by the door to verify you enjoyed things one last time as you leave. Yes..it’s on the expensive side. The ambiance is very intimate with such limited seating. It starts off relatively quiet but progressively will liven up as the wine pairing takes effect.
A little secret from your friend at DB2FS, get on the email list. If you don’t want to wait three months for a reservation and have some flexibility in your schedule, you may get lucky. They email when they have cancellations. We used it to get in with 2 weeks notice So keep that babysitter on speed dial and be ready!