Sunday, January 30, 2011

NYE Flashback: Milo's on The Hill

On New Year's Eve we headed to the St. Louis area to attend a party in the MetroEast. During the day we took a trip across the river The Hill neighborhood to do some shopping for pasta, salami, fresh spices and wine from Viviano & Sons Italian grocery.
We had my wife's brother and his wife from Georgia and cousins from Bloomington/Champaign area in tow. We showed up with no real plan except find a nice restaurant and eat lunch and then do some shopping. We drove around the Hill for a while, looking for a place with a casual atmosphere that we all hadn't tried before. Zia's, Mama Campisi's, Bartolino's, Rigazzi's, Charlie Gitto's were all out. We first considered Amighetti's and noticed a nice looking tavern style restaurant across the street. It was Milo's Bocce Garden. A small place with a nice bar, some dart boards and a tasty menu. Out back there are large covered bocce courts where Milo's runs competitive leagues.

We arrived at Milo's about 30 minutes after an F3 tornado had hit the south county area of St. Louis but the sun was out and there was no damage on The Hill. The only negative was that all the satellites were out and they could not get the Notre Dame bowl game on the bar television. We ordered drinks and took a gander at the menu. It's a pretty simple selection at Milo's... sandwiches, pasta or pizza with a few specials depending on the day. We got a starter of toasted ravioli and griped about missing the Irish on TV. Everyone went with pasta and sammies except me.

I opted for the hot chicken wing pizza. We enjoyed the local flavor in the bar area while we waited for our order to arrive. There was a guy puffing on a big stogie telling others at the bar about the damage the tornado did over in the Sunset Hills area, the bartender was negotiating with DirectTV to get someone out to Milo's to get their TV's running so they could get the Fighting Irish on the television. For the record, I read where Milo's will officially be a smoke free establishment starting 2/7/11.

The food was brought out rather quickly and the pizza looked and smelled excellent. It was a 9 inch pie loaded with small chunks of chicken covered with chopped tomatoes and gooey provel cheese. This pizza was just a real nice surprise. There was a moderate flavor of buffalo sauce mixed in with the marinara and provel as well as a distinct garlic infused olive oil probably brushed on the crust. The chicken was just chicken, nothing special maybe a little bland but the tomatoes were spot on. They offset the spicy kick of the buffalo sauce perfectly.
The whole thing sat on a crispy, well baked crust that would make any St. Louis pizza chef proud. The composition, presentation and flavor of this pizza was just outstanding.
I can guarantee one thing... I will be back for another one.

SPP Ranking: 9.0

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