The standout among the cold tapas is the ensalada de pulpo, a small mound of chopped tomato and octopus in a bracingly tart, citrusy marinade. There is hummus, flavored with red pepper and artichoke but still, you know, hummus. Hummus might be a few hundred miles outside authentic tapas territory, but if I had it to do all over again, I'd order a big bowlful of hummus and steer clear of Café Pintxos' charcuterie and cheese board. This looked to have been cobbled together from a grocery store's deli case: paper-thin slices of ham, salami and Spanish-style chorizo, none of it distinctive, all of it tasting faintly of refrigeration. The cheeses included chunks of Manchego, crumbled Cabrales and, curiously, slices of port-wine cheese.

During my pintxos-free Saturday dinner visit, I discovered that nearly a third of the restaurant's seventeen dishes had been nixed owing to a missed shipment — everything from marinated olives to tortilla española (an omelet), from "angoradomatasalata" (an unfamiliar and Google-unfriendly term for a salad of cucumber, tomato, herbs and feta) to gambas con gabardina pintxo (saffron-poached shrimp with a spicy sauce).

As I said, you might explain away such a situation by thinking of Café Pintxos as a bar, not a restaurant, casual to a fault. Except it's clear from the planning that went into the design and the menu that this is intended to be a restaurant. All it needs is a kitchen of its own.

Ajo Asado - warm roasted garlic with house made balsamic jam, cabrales Spanish blue cheese, crostini and lavash.
JENNIFER SILVERBERG
Ajo Asado - warm roasted garlic with house made balsamic jam, cabrales Spanish blue cheese, crostini and lavash.
The spare, modern interior of Café Pintxos is a continuum of the aesthetic of Hotel Ignacio, where the restaurant is housed.
JENNIFER SILVERBERG
The spare, modern interior of Café Pintxos is a continuum of the aesthetic of Hotel Ignacio, where the restaurant is housed.

Location Info

Map

Cafe Pintxos

3407 Olive St.
St. Louis, MO 63101

Category: Restaurant > Breakfast

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Details

Café Pintxos
Ajo asado...$8
Albóndigas...$9
Ensalada de pulpo...$12
3407 Olive Street; 314-338-2500.
Hours: Breakfast 7-11 a.m. daily. Dinner 4-11 p.m. daily.

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My Voice Nation Help
5 comments
Daniel
Daniel

It has already morphed into a sandwich place. Too bad.

Eric
Eric

This is like going to Chuck-A-Burger and being told, "You know, we don't really sell burgers here."

Food
Food

I went to Cafe Pinxtos a few weeks ago and will never be back. When our group arrived there was absolutely no one in the dining room, servers included. We had to go to the front desk of the hotel to find out where anyone was. Once we found the manager he did not seem happy that we were there. We sat out on the patio and the entire time we were there no other guests arrived. This was from 8-9:30pm on a Friday night. The food was bland, and the meatballs were definitely dry. All the sauces tasted like they came from a jar. We were told that one of the dishes was no longer available "because the chef couldn't figure out how to make it correctly." For the price you pay and the quality of food that we received it is not worth going back to, I have never written poorly about a restaurant but this one just astonished me.

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