Sitting at a six-top covered with a black tablecloth inside Timothy’s elegant dimly-lit dining room, between lobster pie and Caesar salad, a flash of gold caught my eye. About five inches long, the narrow metal object wasn’t just a way to rid my table of puff pastry crumbs, but a throwback. It had been years since I had seen a used crumb in a restaurant – probably a decade and a half ago that last adorned my table, and not much more before that when, as a gourmet waiter at the end By the 1990s, the simple tool was considered part of the uniform, as essential as black non-slip shoes and a stiff white button placket.
At some point, that changed. Bar napkins replaced with napkins, meatloaf featured on every high-end menu, fast-paced and laid-back independent restaurants became hubs of culinary innovation, and food writers spoke of the death of food. . The places that used crumbs, it seemed, had become as much a relic of the past as the little golden tools themselves.
Steven Manns, Timothy Metz and Sean Olson disagreed with this sentiment. Last August, the three business partners opened Timothy’s as a shameless tribute to the way they love to eat, crumbs and everything. Set in a tiny storefront in a Creve Coeur shopping center, Timothy’s is their quintessential love song to the dining experience they’ve found so hard to come by in recent years – one that brought them together in the first place. .
These seeds that would become Timothy’s were planted several years ago at Herbie’s in the Central West End. There, Manns worked as a main waiter and always looked after Metz and Olson when they came to dinner. The three developed a friendship that eventually blossomed outside of the restaurant; whether it was dining out or having elaborate dinners at home, food, drink and hospitality were at the center of everything they did.
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The more friends became passionate about cooking, the more Metz began to cook. Completely self-taught, he started experimenting in his home kitchen a few decades ago, starting by learning how to properly prepare dishes like bolognese or risotto. As his self-confidence and skills increased over time, he became one of his group of friends who was called upon to cook. So it made sense that when he, Manns, and Olson threw dinner parties, Metz was the one in the kitchen.
Over time, the three started talking about turning these just for fun dinners into their own restaurant. They had the background for it; Manns has extensive high-end dining experience, Olson has a degree in hospitality and restaurant management, and Metz also has a strong resume, including Pickles Deli in the Central West End and Downtown. town, which he and Olson have owned for about fifteen years. As their talks got serious, the three began to search for locations and stumbled upon the former Olive Street Cafe in Creve Coeur. Curious as to why the area lacked independent restaurants, the three signed a lease and got to work transforming the once-relaxed cafe into the elegant bastion of fine dining they knew it could become.
This work is impressive. Instead of the staple daytime counter service location, Manns, Olson and Metz have built a modern and stylish space. The small restaurant is divided into two parts; diners enter the lounge bar, equipped with black cocktail tables, red leather banquettes, charcoal and white walls and an open kitchen. A door to the left leads into the main dining room, where black tablecloth tables, mid-century-influenced brass chandeliers, and cream-colored walls create a chic scene. It’s the perfect canvas for Timothy’s excellent food.
Together with its sous chef, William Mabry (formerly of Herbie’s and Yolklore), Metz defined the concept of fine dining that seems nostalgic without reading as dated. Their success lies in execution. Escargot, for example, does not reinvent the classic aperitif but embraces it; snails that are plump, tender but with a firm, elastic texture (if you’ve had mushy snails, you know) are prepared simply in butter, garlic, and parsley, allowing the flavor of the dish’s namesake to shine in all its earthy glory.
A cheese dip first course is essentially a classic fondue, a luxurious blend of Gruyere, Fontina, and Parmesan topped with a swirl of hot sauce that made me want to take the 1970s pot and forks out of my way. mother. While a sober person would have been happy to just dip the toast and Fuji apples that came with it in the concoction, I couldn’t resist giving a little dunk to the fontina tater tots that I had ordered as another. aperitif. Although really, toddlers are enough even without a cheese coating, thanks to their cloud-shaped interior and crisp golden exterior.
The lobster pie appetizer is satisfying enough in both taste and size to make a main course. The lobster and pea filling, flavored with tarragon and a hint of sherry to bring out the natural sweetness of the seashells, is positively silky. At the top is a piece of puff pastry that diners are encouraged to remove and then pour the filling over, adding buttery crunch to the decadent bisque-like contents.
Timothy’s Caesar Salad reminds you why this dish is a classic. Here, Metz and his team expertly grill chunks of romaine just enough to scoop up delicious smoked char without losing the firm texture of the green. The lettuce is topped with a creamy dressing, its anchovy flavor is balanced with a generous amount of lemon. Grated Parmesan and croutons add richness and crunch, and hot peppers provide a refreshing whiff.
The entrees are also beautifully executed. A sirloin fillet was prepared at medium rare and served with butter asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. Hollandaise, enriched with lobster meat, was drizzled over both the steak and the vegetable; my only complaint is that I would have liked to have been served a whole gravy boat of the mouthwatering sauce so that I could smother the plate with it. This prowess with the grill was also evident on the lamb chops, which were prepared to a perfect medium-rare and tender enough to cut with a butter knife. The meat tasted so sweet that I avoided the chimichurri that came with it to enjoy it on its own.
Timothy’s scallops are some of the largest I’ve seen served in a restaurant, but their weight is only part of their appeal. The soft and tender seashells were masterfully seared so that the top and bottom, dusted with smoked paprika, had a wonderful golden crust while the inside was as soft as butter. The scallops were served in a bowl with a turmeric corn broth and toasted corn kernels, as well as an edamame puree, which paired cleverly with the other components.
While it’s hard to save room for the candy at Timothy’s – especially when you order the restaurant’s incredibly decadent lobster mac and cheese as a side dish with your entrees – it’s well worth it. Carrot Cake Donuts are like a cross between a stickless cake pop and a donut hole, resting on a rich cream cheese frosting. However, the stunning was a special off the menu of an apple pie cream puff. The round, airy crust was served half-opened like a shell, then over-filled with luxurious custard. Nuts, apple butter and caramel coated the puff, making it feel like a premium apple pie. Hopefully this will end up in the restaurant’s regular rotation.
Between that cream puff and the lobster pie, I had made a flaky table mess, which is why I was so grateful to see this crumb. With a flick of the wrist, our excellent waiter was able to make the laundry as clean as when I arrived – a bit of magic and a nod to a classic way of eating that Timothy’s beautifully brought to life.
TimothÃ©e is the restaurant
Truffle Mac and Cheese – $ 16.
Sirloin fillet – $ 30.
Scallops – $ 35
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