Acero - Maplewood, Missouri
Has anyone tried the new Acero Restaurant that opened recently? It's in the building that used to be the Arthur Clay restaurant
When I went, the service was terrible, but the food was excellent. It was only their second weekend, so I let the service slide. They still had the "Just Feed Me" thing on the menu at this time, and I was able to get salumi w/cheese and a fennel antipasti and a orecchiette pasta all of their choosing along with the entree of my choosing (Salmon) for the incredibly reasonable price of $25. To get those items now would be almost twice as much money, so the likely hood of my being back diminished with that point. At $25 or even $35 it was one of the best meals I've had in the city considering the cost. It was easily the most authentic italian I've had in St. Louis. At $50, however, considering the noise level and service, I'd be hard pressed to hurry back.
The restaurant itself, was deafening, and easily the loudest restaurant I have ever been in. I had to ask to move from the back room which I had never asked to do in a restaurant up to that point in my life.
I hope to hear the service is improved, and I look forward to feedback on what the dining room is like full. It was only about half full when we visited, and I couldn't have stood for it to be any louder then it was. You can't really concentrate on enjoying your food in the middle of a concert.
We finally made a visit there this week, and while it was more expensive than I was expecting, the meal was fantastic. My wife has very specific wine tastes (dry, with high acid), and it was easy to figure out an Italian varietal she'd like. I love the quartino idea, and their prices were very reasonable, ranging between $7-$25 for a 250 ml pour. Most were in the neighborhood of $10-14. We started with the ricotta crepe, which came with a very vibrant tomato sauce. The crepe had been finished to be crispy on the outside and was just delightful. Next we shared the pasta with mussels and leeks, and it also stood out. Third, we tried the polenta with the mushroom ragu, and while very good, was the only course that did not blow me away. Fourth, we had split the trout entree with asparagus and arugula, and the servings were large enough that I couldn't imagine eating the whole thing if you had ordered it for one. The fish was perfectly cooked, and the asparagus was as well.
The total was about $65/person, with two quartinos of wine each. I thought the service was very good, and the outdoor area (where we ate) was quite full. I'd rate it with Niche, Harvest, and Iron Barley as one of my favorite experiences dining in St. Louis.