Last night marked our first visit to Erato on Main Street in Edwardsville, Illinois.
I was born and raised in the city….almost downtown to be honest. I grew up thinking everything I needed was within my reach in the confines of the 9th and 7th Wards. As I aged, I found myself leaving St. Louis and realizing that there is a great big world out there to experience. I moved back to St. Louis in 2004 and made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t pigeon hole myself to my pre-conceived notions of my hometown. I think I have done a pretty good job of that. Yes, I hate going outside the 170 inner-belt….I still think 270 is a hassle and crossing the Mississippi is a weekend trip.
But, earlier this year, I was lured to the quaint little town of Edwardsville by some mind-blowing, make you slap your mama, fresh baked artisan breads and sweets at 222 Bakery. Down the street is a wine bar, Erato. Little did I know that they served a full menu….and then a fellow StL food blogger had a spot on his site about it. I decided then and there that we would head back over the great muddy Mississip to check this place out.
Then life got in the way…broken foot, trips to Ireland….until last night. We kept our Friday night completely free to make the 30 mile drive to Edwardsville to eat at Erato. And, after the meal I had….I would run the 30 miles to dine there again.
I won’t go into specifics about the meal, but Erato has been put into my top 5 meals in my adult life and my top 5 local eating spots. Do yourself a favor. Gas up the car, get a sitter and head to Erato on Main Street and let Kevin Willmann make you one of the most amazing meals you’ll ever eat. The wine list is wonderfully organized with some great (and reasonable) selections. The beer list is above par compared to most St. Louis spots. The deserts were scrumptious. It’s amazing what comes out of that tiny little kitchen those guys make their magic in. It’s a comfortable, laid back restaurant for folks who appreciate locally grown, amazingly prepared meals and taking time to experience a local chef’s ingenuity. I’m almost tempted not to publish this post because I want to keep it all for myself…..but…I won’t hide Chef Willmann’s light under a bushel basket and share him with the world. Go to Erato on Main.