Taking the Edge off E-Ville

It’s not my style to alert you to all deals because some deals are at places I wouldn’t want you to eat at in the first place.  With a definite amount of bias, however, I’d like to point out that although Kevin Willmann has moved on to great new things at Farmhaus, Edwardsville’s Erato on Main is still chugging along.  With the same great wine and beer list they’ve always had (and really that was part of the reason many of you drove to E-Ville anyway), the restaurant is still worth the trek.  Doubly so because you’ll get to sample  Jonathan Olson’s evolving menus as he finds his personal cooking style. Triply so because if you’re on the fence about the visit, today only you can turn $10 into $22 with the new Hot Sauce Deals of the Day website.

As an added bonus, 10% of all Hot Sauce proceeds will be donated to help fund important programs and services at Children’s Hospital.

For a taste of what’s in store, check out the new Erato on Main website.  Menus are updated each Friday so you’ll have a pretty good idea of what you’re in store for.

Full disclosure: As always, please keep in mind that while I believe my opinion to be correct, there are some establishments where my opinion is personally biased. This is one. Jonny “Style” Olson and other members of the Erato staff have become friends of mine because of my regularity in the restaurant.  Heck, Jon even guest-blogged once.

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Degustation of Harlem Wing and Waffle

A guest blog from Erato on Main’s Jonathan “Jonny Style” Olson…

On Thursday I went to the Harlem institution, Wing and Waffle. After a lengthy subway ride and a seven block walk through Harlem I arrived at the vintage orange and white restaurant. Although not yet reviewed by the NYTimes, I could tell this was an up and coming restaurant.

I settled for the two course tasting menu with soda pairings. Apparently the counter staff was unfamiliar with the degustation format because both courses were served at once. Forgoing an amuse or appetizer, I started with my entrée: 2 piece wing/waffle and a beverage pairing of their own uptown orange soda. The chicken was cooked perfectly and had a nice, spicy kick. I could tell the cooks knew what they were doing.  The soda, made with corn syrup, paled in comparison to Fitzes. The star of the plate was the waffles. Gooey on the inside, but soft in the middle, they were waffle perfection. I pondered asking the “chef” if I could do a stage, perhaps taking home the secret of waffle nirvana.

Dessert was a strawberry float, a bit boring. I had seen fresh strawberries at the union square market earlier but I don’t think Wing and Waffle utilizes fresh produce.

Overall I give it twelve thumbs up and recommend it to anyone in NYC.

stlbites.com Recipe Exclusive

erato logoIf you’ve not been paying attention, with three trips in nine days, and probably a dozen so far this year, stlbites has much love for Erato on Main and their entire staff.

But as much as we like the staff it’s Kevin Wilmann’s daily changing menu of whatever looks freshest that keep us addictively trekking back for more; today though we’ll be talking about the one menu that doesn’t change daily.

Doubling as the restaurant’s pastry chef we’ve basically memorized Sous Chef Jon Olson’s dessert menu as he keeps it small almost always having the staples of a chocolate cake with basil ice cream and carrot cake with goat cheese icing.

Mostly this is the result of their kitchen being about the size of my closet. Still, he’s been trying to mix it up recently, and over the weekend served a lemon curd with blackberry tea foam (with I believe preserved lemon rind). The blackberry foam was a subtle flavor to compliment the tartness of the lemon, and while it did need a bit more textural crunch, when asked how he made the curd, he was happy to oblige by sharing the recipe.

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