Post-Dispatch file photo



In my ideal world, one in which we can ignore the constraints of time and money, every St. Louisan who loves restaurants would return to Tony’s at least once a year. Not to see how the area’s preeminent palace of fine dining has changed. Yes, some renovations in early 2014 did freshen up the space, and the menu includes a few seasonal specials. Let’s be honest, though. You’re here for the classics. Dover sole. Lobster albanello. Beef tenderloin with foie gras in a port-wine demiglace. (Don’t skim past the more modest dishes, however. In winter 2015, I loved a simple, soulful chicken consomme, and the fettuccine with duck confit and wild mushrooms is one of the best pasta dishes in St. Louis.) No, everyone would return to be reminded of the seamless magic of a great restaurant, the cocoon of perfect hospitality in which Vince Bommarito Sr.’s staff envelops you. At a time when so much attention is focused on the brilliance of the chef — and I’m as guilty of this as anyone — it’s a reminder that, in the end, dining out is about you.