Photo by Roberto Rodriguez


Stone Soup Cottage

The ritual is agonizing. I don’t make a reservation at Stone Soup Cottage because I can’t review Carl and Nancy McConnell’s restaurant every month. Then the McConnells send the email with the upcoming month’s menu, and I immediately search Stone Soup’s online reservation calendar because who can resist, say, a zucchini blossom stuffed with applewood-smoked duck with a lavender béchamel (July) or braised beef short rib osso buco with a Périgueux sauce (September)? Not this restaurant critic. And maybe there will still be an open table for the month. More than likely there isn’t, or at least not on a convenient day. So plan ahead. Book a table even before you see the menu. McConnell’s classic continental cooking applied to the season’s bounty, much of it sourced from the farm where the restaurant is located, is as close to a culinary sure thing as you’ll find in the area. On top of that, of course, is the impeccable hospitality, which makes the long drive (for most of us) to Cottleville seem like nothing the moment you walk in the door.

Last year's ranking: 3

Opened: 2009

Must order: Menu changes monthly