A wild time was had by all at Fio's La Fourchette

Dessert was a fresh-fruit terrine, colorful slices of strawberry, banana and kiwi suspended in a thick berry mousse encased in a light pastry, adorned with mint leaves and raspberries over a "collision" of raspberry and custard. For those for whom all this wasn't enough, a tray of petits fours arrived as a final, final course to go with our coffee.

As noted, many of the game items are also available à la carte, and we leveled off some of the exotic nature of our evening with a second meal of the more "normal" Fio's items, such as a napoleon of smoked salmon and crawfish, couscous in a small fortress of fresh asparagus, a tomato-and-spaghetti-squash salad, and lobster and shrimp around a seaweed-based Japanese salad called chuka, flavored with a vermouth beurre blanc.

On game and nonwild dishes alike, Fio is a master plate sculptor, deftly arranging the many individual elements of each dish and ornamenting with intersecting swirls of sauce, or ridge cuts of carrots, or any number of other decorative elements but always resisting the gaudier trends of stacked, high presentations that overwhelm both the visual aspect of the dish and the diner's ability to maneuver his or her utensils efficiently.

Fio Antognini (far left) and his kitchen crew
Jennifer Silverberg
Fio Antognini (far left) and his kitchen crew

And if you're a soufflé fan, Fio makes some of the best in the city, with the current selection including raspberry, Grand Marnier and Swiss chocolate.

A very short list of restaurants in the St. Louis area consistently perform at the level of "fabulous," and Fio's, now a part of the community for 17 years, has certainly earned its place in the very highest echelon. We are privileged to have them, and they are privileged to serve a dining populace with the good sense to have supported them for all these years.

Fio's game menu will be available until Dec. 18.

FIO'S LA FOURCHETTE, 7515 Forsyth (Clayton), 863-6866. Hours: Dinner starts at 6 p.m., Wed.-Sat. Entrees, $20-$25; prix-fixe: five-course $53.75, six-course $63.75.

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