Grecian Yearn

Cancel your plans for the evening -- you won't want to leave Momos

And then there is the lamb, available on a kebab with leeks and red peppers and or on its own with just a little fig puree to dress it up. Momos' lamb -- usually flown in from New Zealand or Colorado, usually the loin cut -- is succulent and superlative.

Finally there are the desserts, once more making the rounds between the traditional (baklava, layered with walnuts and honey), the hardly traditional (chocolate-mousse cake with ice cream) and the who-cares-more-please, like the baked phyllo drenched in delectable, warm chocolate sauce and topped with a perfect scoop of chocolate ice cream. When I tried that one, I didn't know whether to cuss or cry.

As Nooran makes it, Momos' mead boasts a high alcohol content. So do a number of the varietals he hand-picks for the restaurant's wine list -- an oenophilic escapade through a dozen little-known Portugese, Chilean, Italian and Spanish labels, plus another fifteen or so from the motherland. Greece's winemaking abilities have never been trumpeted stateside -- its best-known export is probably the much-maligned retsina, which is doctored with pine resin and therefore tastes like turpentine (and which you can try at Momos) -- but Nooran, with the help of a few small-batch distributors, presents a fine case for Greek wines here, particularly the cabernets. Nooran's love of wine is infectious; he can tell you each bottle's life story, sells only what he loves to drink, issues generous pours and sets his prices in the refreshingly reasonable $20 to $30 range, with his highest tag topping out at $39. He also keeps an off-menu wine selection atop the bar -- his latest crushes, like an oaky Casablanca Valley primus from Chile's Veramonte estate that he's pretty much giving away at cost.

Ben Roberts combines our two favorite elements -- 
fire and cheese -- to create saganaki.
Jennifer Silverberg
Ben Roberts combines our two favorite elements -- fire and cheese -- to create saganaki.

Location Info

Map

Momos Ouzaria Taverna

630 N. and S. Blvd.
University City, MO 63130

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: University City

Details

Char-grilled octopus $7.25
Eggplant fries $4.50
Giant lima bean salad $4.50
Baked phyllo $6

314-863-3511. Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 5-11 p.m. Sat., 5-10 p.m. Sun.

630 North and South Boulevard

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Strange, then, that Nooran and company don't seem to equally tout their small selection of ouzos, which aren't printed up on any menu or touted much face to face. And the cocktails, named after various Greek gods, disappointingly fall for the overly trendy: sugary choco-tinis, apple-tinis, mojitos and caipirinhas, and chile-infused bloody marys -- cutesy concoctions found at any other hot boîte in town.

Keep the mead flowing, though, and Momos should continue to coast on both its inspiring substance and its effortless style.

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