#64: Lemon Meringue and Pine Nut Torte at BitterSweet Bakery

The lemon meringue and pine nut torte at BitterSweet Bakery - Ian Froeb
Ian Froeb
The lemon meringue and pine nut torte at BitterSweet Bakery

During her Chef's Choice profile on Gut Check, BitterSweet Bakery owner Leanna Russo said she doesn't eat sugar or sweets. I suspect this is the secret behind the best of BitterSweet's wares: Here sweetness is the signature note of the desserts, but unlike at so many bakeries and restaurants, it isn't the only note, cloying and exhausting.

The lemon meringue and pine nut torte is a rare dessert that refreshes the palate. Within a pastry shell that does indeed carry a hint of pine-nut flavor is a lovely, tart lemon curd. Atop the curd sits a cloud of light and lightly sweet Swiss meringue, its peaks torched a gentle brown. Rich without being filling, brightly flavored but with enough body from the pine-nut crust and browned meringue to seem substantial, this is my favorite dish at BitterSweet -- and, indeed, one of my favorite desserts in St. Louis.

(from "Torte Forte," May 13, 2010)

BitterSweet Bakery
2200 Gravois Avenue
$5.50 (mini) / $25 (full)

I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.


#65: Chile morita con puerco at Señor Pique
#66: Soda chanh duong (sparkling lemonade) at Lemon Grass
#67: Nachos grande at Nachomama's
#68: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and mushroom at Pizza-a-Go-Go
#69: Bill's "Burger Meister Burger" at Cardwell's at the Plaza
#70: Sake (salmon) nigiri sushi at Nobu's Japanese Restaurant

#71: Massaman curry at Simply Thai
#72: The lunch buffet at Mayuri
#73: Fried chicken (spicy) at Porter's Fried Chicken
#74: Arancini at Lorenzo's Trattoria
#75: Meat shawarma at The Vine Mediterranean Café & Market
#76: The South Side Smoke at sandwich at Stellina Pasta Café
#77: Falafel at Kabob House
#78: A slice with pepperoni at Feraro's Jersey-Style Pizza
#79: Birria at Pueblo Nuevo
#80: Banh mi dac biet at Phuc Loi

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