Cunetto's was one of the first restaurants I ever tried in St. Louis. (History tugging at my heartstrings! Sigh.) I was immediately attracted to its charms: wonderful location (in the heart of the Hill, the Little Italy of St. Louis), bustling but home-y atmosphere, and gigantic portions. The only pasta dish I ever order, spaghetti primavera, was always creamy-dreamy and all sorts of garlicky. Ymmmmm.
And, I suppose it still is all those things. But when Dan and I went there a few days ago, I left feeling wholly underwhelmed. And I still can't explain why. Hmph.
We started with the house salad: lettuce, parmesan, scallions, a lil pancetta, house dressing... and provel. (The only time I can stand provel is when it's in salad and NOT melted. Provel on pizza? So gross.)
This same salad is served at all the Italian places around here, and I've yet to see it outside of St. Louis. 'Twas okay. Pasta House's version is better.
Then my spaghetti pimavera. Piping hot and stocked with veggies!
It tastes better than it looks. But Dan and I both agreed that there was something off that night, and we just didn't enjoy our pasta as much as previous visits.
But when we took our leftovers home (you will definitely have leftovers) and ate it the next day, it tasted much better for some reason! Dan suggested it's because the sauce has time to congeal and becomes more flavorful. I guess it does look a little more congealed:
Anyhow, I think in the last few years I've been spoiled by other suitors (hello I Fratellini) that Cunetto's no longer tastes as good as it once did. That doesn't mean I won't visit once in a while, it just means my expectations will be lowered when I do.
Cunetto House of Pasta
5453 Magnolia Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63139