4 Quick Notes

International Cafe: According to owner Mohamed Gumati, his (excellent and long-missed) hummus-and-gyro shop will be reopening between Lakota and Main Squeeze sometime the week of June 7.

The Pasta Factory: Columbia’s familiar outpost for middlebrow Italian food has reopened on West Broadway. The location – essentially tucked into a Wal-Mart parking lot – doesn’t inspire, but the handsome bar and familiar decor are tasteful and well-done, rarities on that side of town. The food, for better or worse, will be familiar as well. Ravioli lurk somewhere beneath an ocean of sauce; chicken parmigiana is badly overcooked. On the flip side, the mostaccioli con salsiccia is as good as ever – though served a few thousand degrees hotter than necessary – and the Factory Salad is light and zesty (and reminds us of the Deb’s Garlic at Murry’s and Pogolino’s in Festus). The beer selection (New Belgium Somersault, Schlafly APA, a wittbier) is a winner as well.

Bleu Restaurant & Wine Bar: I stopped in for lunch the other day when they were running a “Comfort Food for Joplin” fundraiser. Chicken and dumplings, mac ‘n cheese and (especially) duck confit shepherd’s pie were all outstanding. One place that probably deserves a more elevated position on your radar screen than it gets.

Red and Moe’s: There’s enough about Red and Moe to keep an army of haters busy. The crust is too crackery, the menu too weird and the prices too high. It’s a love it/hate it kind of place, but I’m in the former camp. Their spring menu is focused, largely locally-sourced and excellent; I especially like the blistered radish salad and garlic chive and arugula pizza. I hear the trout salad is excellent as well. Fresh pasta hanging in the kitchen is always a good sign. Try them for lunch when you can get a half pizza, half salad for $11.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

One thought

  1. We are Red and Moe lovers, too. The anchovy salad was great, and the night we were there, they had a trout pasta special (creamy fettucine). Yeah, their handmade pasta is real, real good. Love their attention to detail and fresh local ingredients. Hope it stays around – it’s a real winner for Columbia.

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