The Hill is an area in St. Louis best known for great Italian food, but on Shaw there is a little bit of Spain called Modesto.
Tapas have been all the rage for over a decade and Modesto is one of the best places to go for tapas in St. Louis.
They have an extensive menu plus daily “Pintxos Especiales” as in the picture above, below, and in the header of this post.
These “Special Skewers” allow visitors to try a little bit of everything without spending too much money. It is perfect for entertaining a group of friends while chatting about the day and drinking one of their well-made cocktails.
We really liked the two pintxos above: Roasted Garlic and the Fried Goat Cheese. The garlic had a mild sweet, savory flavor with a spicy aioli on top, and the goat cheese, sitting in a pool of honey, had a crisp breading but had a creamy inside that melts in your mouth.
They have special tapas and soups every day as well. They offered a Crab and Avocado Frito last time we went and we enjoyed it very much. They were like crab cake croquettes.
I’m personally a big fan of their cocktails. They are known for their mojitos and their sangria, but their bar serves up some great seasonal specials and some classics. The Fall on Me, which I ordered back in April, was a simple fair with Marker’s Mark and a house-made cider reduction that had a great balance of savory and tart flavors.
And the last time we went I got this Spanish Negroni. I usually do not like negronis, preferring its more bourbony cousin the boulevardier, but their Spanish Negroni had the addition of Alvear Amontillado, which is a Sherry-esque Montilla. I could have drank quite a few of these and it was a perfect compliment to my meal.
We both went nuts over the Coliflor Refrita, which is a simple dish of cauliflower seasoned with paprika and truffle oil. The cauliflower was cooked perfectly and the seasonings were so spot on we used some of the leftover oil to flavor some the other dishes.
We also really liked this other simple vegetable dish. Not much involved expect for perfectly cooked asparagus, a light dill sauce, and thin flakes of manchego cheese. Great for eating as an appetizer or as a small plate to share.
Christine and I are big fans of mussels and Modesto does not disappoint in this department. Well cooked, well flavored mussels, tasty bacon, and this mildly spicy verde broth.
They also have another of our favorites: bacon wrapped dates. These are seriously good with crispy bacon and a creamy inside. We can highly recommend.
So, anything negative to say about the place? Not all the Pintxos are that good and some of the dishes we have not ordered have been described as “bland” by others in their reviews. Personally, we have not had a bad experience here and think it is a great place to have a lot of different flavors and enjoy each other’s company. Come by sometime and enjoy this taste of Spain in The Hill!
- Pros: Great place to take friends and enjoy small plates.
- Cons: Not all items are stellar, but most are.
- Charlie’s Favorites: Pintxos Especiales, Spanish Negroni, Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Christine’s Favorites: Pintxos Especiales, Flavored Caipirinha, Fried Cauliflower