Monday, June 15, 2015

Lorenzo's

106 S. Main Street
Desoto, Mo.

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We felt an urgency to go to Lorenzo's, one of our favorite places, when we got the word.
If you haven't heard, Lorenzo's in Desoto is closing its doors.
I asked the manager, Charlotte, about this. She explained that the lease was running out and the repairs needed for the old city main street location was just too much to handle. She also said that they were planning to reopen when/if they can find a new location.
It's sad, really, since the old building is really quite charming.
'Charming' is also a real estate euphemism for 'quirky, old, lots of character (flaws)', etc. I once bought a charming 100 year old 2 story house in Springfield, Mo. That charm was mounted on a crumbly foundation, rusty iron pipes, wiring from the 1920's and time worn beams and joists. The maintenance was indeed constant and nightmarish in scale.
I understand the dilemma.
It's still sad though. I loved sitting in the charming little place, cozy, comfy, watching the occasional long train go by across the street. And the food was always quite fine.
The Place:
What does it matter, they're closing soon. Read my previous posts for the finer details.
One thing I will point out that I don't think I've mentioned before, which is odd since I see it/stare at it every time we go. there's a little sign above the kitchen entry. It says 'Bella Cucina.' I have no idea what that means and that makes me furious. I should look it up, but I've got better things to do. Stupid foreign languages. That and the wine list. It is always right in front of me, yet I always order tea, even though Lorenzo's outsourced tea is not really very good.
The Food:
Charlotte took care of us the whole evening. When she asked us for drinks, I stupidly sat there staring at that confounding sign and the hand-chalked wine list and once again asked for tea. Angel didn't, she asked for Diet Coke and Adam for Dr. Pepper. Yuck.
The appetizer was a foregone conclusion, the Toasted Cannelloni. Yum.
We all had vowed to try something different as a way of saying farewell to a favorite. We all, of course struggled to keep from just going for the old favorites. We all succeeded though.
Me: Chicken Parmigiana with a side Caesar salad and rosemary potatoes.
Angel: Salmon with the same sides.
Adam: A personal chicken Caesar pizza. I'll explain later.
The salads came quickly, as did the appetizer. I knew the filled and fried pasta bites would be very, very hot, so I first dug in to my salad. Definitely not Caesar salad from a kit. Rough torn lettuce, thick, creamy dressing with a slight, salty burn to it. Nice.
Adam goofed and bit into a cannelloni. Meaty lava squirted out the sides and seared his still boyish face. I laughed.
After a few minutes, I had some of the filled fried pasta. It squirted, but didn't scald. Tasty, meaty, tender.
I was sitting there, between the appetizer and main course still staring at that sign, and the wine list. I took a sip of the tea, which I
wasn't really enjoying when it dawned on me. When Charlotte stopped by to refill, I declined and asked for a glass of chardonnay. It would cost $5.99, about half the cost of a full box of chardonnay, but I wasn't driving and was certainly not enjoying the tea. A glass of wine will give me a decent buzz, but will not incapacitate me. Well, okay, the notes I took after that point are even  more indecipherable than usual.
After the salads and appetizer were finished off, the main courses arrived in good time.
Adam's pizza was hilarious. A standard pizza with chicken, topped, once pulled from the oven, with Caesar salad. Certainly more efficient than two separate courses, but. . .  He seemed to enjoy it though. "Like a Pizza and salad in one!" he proclaimed.
The next day he mentioned that it was even better cold.
Angel's salmon was covered in a cream sauce and pocked with capers. Capers, I learned, are pickled flower buds from a shrubby plant called a caper bush, or more formally, by plant snobs, capparis spinosa. It's a Mediterranean thing which I can either take or leave. She later said the fish was fine, but it was only salmon, and the heaviness of the cream and butter was starting to overwhelm her and she didn't care at all for the capparis spinosa.
She did like the rosemary potatoes though, she mentioned that a couple of times. I agreed. Just cubed taters fried or broiled with, get this, rosemary.
Aside from the tasty potatoes, my chicken was pretty good. I couldn't recall if I'd ever ordered chicken parmigiana anywhere. It's basically a chicken breast slathered with spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese. Chicken breast is the least flavorful edible part of that miserable fowl. It's the biggest though so it's used a lot. I prefer a darker chunk, like a thigh, but that wouldn't need to be covered in cheese and red sauce.
Anyway, it was pretty good. Not too dry as I'd assumed it would be. The sauce was not overpowering and the cheese was light, so it didn't come off as too rich at all.
Summary:
We're sad to lose this place.The food, even though these dishes weren't our favorites, is always of high quality and first class preparation. The service, spot on and professional. I really hope that they find a place soon and can open up again without losing any of the qualities that make this a true Desoto treasure.


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