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Best Calamari St. Louis 2007 - Trattoria Two

Every now and then a giant squid will wash up on a beach or get caught in a fisherman's net. And by giant we mean freakin' monstrous — just this year a squid measuring 26 feet from top to tentacle tip and weighing 550 pounds was found along the Australian coast. Whenever this happens, adventurous seafood lovers imagine a fantastic calamari feast, with fried rings you could wear as a bangle. Sadly, scientists tell us that there is so much ammonia in a giant squid's body that its meat would taste like industrial-grade window cleaner. But maybe we should give Chris Kramer a chance. The owner and executive chef of Trattoria Two has a way with squid. His calamari is no mundane appetizer, all fried bits and staight-outta-the-jar marinara sauce. Kramer spikes his batter with ground pistachios, adding a depth of flavor to the light, crisp crust, and he pairs the calamari with a fresh basil purée. These innovations are small but welcome — even if you don't have 550 pounds of squid to eat your way through.
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