Always on Sunday

Brunch to your heart's content at Nadoz, 609 and La Dolce Via

That said, the food was quite solid, and that's not a knock against the kitchen, because a solid repertoire is pretty much what you're looking for at brunch. If somewhat predictable, it's also quite plentiful: The $18 price of admission yielded a choice of entrée -- smoked-salmon eggs Benedict or a house-named breakfast sandwich, for instance -- a mimosa or bloody mary and coffee. And, oh yeah, unlimited trips to the buffet table, which was stocked with the usual suspects: scrambled eggs, bacon, green salad, pineapple slices, etc. Plus a single dessert item, which was a simple pound cake the day I visited.

All well and good. But again, the ambiance felt a bit off. The buffet was a catering-hall table, complete with a white skirt around it, carted into the room just for brunch. It really clashed with the décor. I wish the whole affair felt less forced. Brunch should never make one feel gauche.

I really like the brunch at La Dolce Via. Because frankly, I love this little bakery, nestled on a tree-canopied corner in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood, so the more reasons I can come up with to visit the place, the better. I also have a bit of a professional crush on Ramon Cuffie, who made magic by bringing enthusiastic diners by the dozens to the ungentrified area when he was head chef at JaBoni's (around the corner) during its first year of business. A longtime pal of La Dolce Via's mother-daughter co-owners Marcia Sindel and Carly Issitt -- he made use of their breads and desserts at JaBoni's -- Cuffie inaugurated the bakery's brunch service in May. The menu is small (pancakes, an egg sandwich on scone, sausage gravy, coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls) and strictly à la carte -- no buffet, no all-you-can-eat, no alcohol -- but I'd come back in a heartbeat. Thanks to Cuffie's sleight-of-hand culinary touches, a little goes a long way here. Like the fact that he mixes sour cream into his pancake batter (which, he told me later, is actually a recipe from Sindel's father); the flavor stays the same, but the texture becomes velvety smooth and easy like Sunday morning. There's also a berries-and-cream bowl that blew my socks off. These were the biggest blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries I can ever recall seeing, like, science-fiction big.

Hey, sweet stuff: La Dolce Via's delightful 
berries-and-cream bowl boasts berries that are 
"science-fiction big."
Eric Fogleman
Hey, sweet stuff: La Dolce Via's delightful berries-and-cream bowl boasts berries that are "science-fiction big."

Location Info

Map

Nadoz Euro Bakery & Café-St. Louis

3701 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: St. Louis - Midtown

Details

Nadoz Café
$20 per person

609
$18 per person

La Dolce Via
a la carte items $5-$7

Nadoz Café
3701 Lindell Boulevard; 314-446-6800. Brunch hours: Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

609
609 Eastgate Avenue, University City; 314-721-9168. Brunch hours: Sun. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

La Dolce Via
4474 Arco Avenue; 314-534-1699. Brunch hours: Sat. 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m, Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

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Most of all, I like knowing that the list of places to recommend for brunch in this town is no longer a short list. Perennial faves like Marty's Baking, MoKaBe's and Duff's now have some worthy company.

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