Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Mad Tomato to Close February 14

Posted By on Wed, Feb 4, 2015 at 7:00 AM

The fungi pizza at Mad Tomato. | Jennifer Silverberg
  • The fungi pizza at Mad Tomato. | Jennifer Silverberg

Clayton hotspot Mad Tomato (8000 Carondelet, Clayton; 314-932-5733) announced yesterday via Facebook that it will be closing after service next Saturday, February 14. The Italian restaurant, owned by chef Vito Racanelli Jr., opened to much buzz in May 2011.

See also: Mad Tomato's Cavatelli with Spring Lamb Rag: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

Chef Chris Lee left the restaurant in July 2014, after less than a year, to start his own personal-chef service. At the time, Lee told us his departure was "unfortunate" and "wasn't something [he] set out to do."

We named it the Best Italian Restaurant (Not Cheap) in 2012 and gave it a rave review back in 2011:

The "Hunter's Egg," one of the antipasti listed on the menu at the four-month-old Clayton restaurant Mad Tomato, is a dish worth discussing even as you eat it. It's an egg, poached in tomato broth and then served in that broth over thick polenta, with tomato, al dente white beans and chopped pancetta. It could easily be a satisfying main dish for one. It is rich, yes, with the egg yolk and the creamy polenta, but the brightness of good tomatoes keeps it in check. You might tell your tablemates this is the sort of dish you'll crave on the first cold morning of the coming autumn.

Racanelli did not immediately return messages asking for comment.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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