This husband and wife owned restaurant is a no-brainer starting point for the Date Night STL crawl I'm doing to kick off my 2017 Date Night Workshop Series.
I just had to know: Where do Katie and Ted go for date night? Babysitter on stand-by.
But first...about my love affair with their place:
My first date with Katie's Pizza & Pasta Osteria was in the winter of 2014, but it wasn't with my husband.
We'd been trapped with a crabby and sick 2-year-old for days of our winter break and I was itching to get out of the house. In researching for our upcoming move I'd stumbled upon this snazzy-looking new restaurant.
"Pizza, pasta, wine...that should please everyone."
I loaded our older kids in the car and headed to Katie's. I was immediately smitten. The mismatched chairs, the big white modern lights, the art (much of it by Ted himself), the open kitchen, the wine list, the cool staff...I felt like I was adulting and it was all happening in a strip mall....with my children. What is this place?
Wait just a hot pizza minute - I want all notions of strip mall restaurants with the word PIZZA in the name to leave your mind. In nearly every way, this is not Katie's.
I'm not sure if it's intentional, but it's like they somehow straddle the lines between upscale-hip-foodie-date-night place AND a casual-family-friendly-come-as-you-are kinda place. Like that drawing where if you look one way it's the back of a lady's head and if you look another way it's an angry man's face...it's BOTH.
It's tiny bottles of dry prosecco AND pizza dough balls for the kids to play with.
It's a never-disappointing place to eat and connect with friends and family. Hard.to.find.
It's like going to your coolest friend's house for a dinner party...with or without kids...and no one has to clean up.
And this friend is an amazing chef; let's talk food. Embarrassingly, I stuck to the amaze-balls salads for my first YEAR of ordering at Katie's. The prawn salad with fennel and oranges, the fried artichoke salad with asparagus, goat cheese, and balsamic, the watermelon salad (seasonal)...My mouth waters just typing those things.
And then one day the clouds parted and I gave up on my order-as-few-carbs-as-possible goal. Enter: The LEMON STROZZAPRETI. Lemony, perfectly-textured, slightly chewy hand-crafted pasta dripping with lemon cream sauce lounging around with roasted cauliflower and pistachios.
I think I had an out-of-body experience. I dream about their pasta.
And the STAFF. Having years of experience under my belt in the restaurant and retail industries: front of the house, back of the house, and manager...I really mean it when I say their staff is our favorite in town.
For my next Date Night STL crawl spot, I thought, Who better to ask than the Queen of Flavortown? What do they like to eat? Where do they like to go? GENIUS. So I chatted with Katie and got some surprising answers.
Do you have a place you frequent...as much as I frequent KPPO?
Katie: We LOVE Olive + Oak. The service is great, it's comfortable, the energy isn't too stuffy, and the menu changes every week so you can go back and not have the same experience twice. And, the story is really great, too.* We love supporting other people doing good in the community.
*The restaurant is keeping the memory and energy of 2 owners' sons, Oliver and Oakes, alive and well. Both were born with congenital heart defects and passed in 2013 and 2012. Olive + Oak is dedicated to supporting causes related to CHD.
You have a day off, where are you and Ted going for fun together?
Katie: Fishing or floating. Ted really got me into fishing. I know people think I'm trying to be cute when I say that, but I'm totally serious.
45 minutes to an hour outside of St. Louis are some really great spring-fed rivers and creeks: the Courtois, Huzzah, and Meramec Rivers. The Bass River Resort has horseback riding and ziplining. It would be a great place to take the kids.
We pack our fishing poles and a lunch and just drive out for the day. It is so pretty and relaxing. Totally peaceful and quiet - there's NO cell phone service. We wade in the stream, watch bald eagles fly by....you really feel like you're on vacation...and it's SO CHEAP!
Dessert or drinks. Day or night. What's your favorite place?
Katie: Well, we don't drink, so we can't give you THAT answer. But my new favorite place for desserts is Nathaniel Reid Bakery on Manchester. Nathaniel is the real deal. He's worked at some of the best restaurants in the country and we are so lucky to have him here in St. Louis.
I get their pastries or macarons. They have a cute sitting area and also offer sandwiches and salads.
Recently I was picking up pastries for a family party and he personally helped me out to the car. He didn't even know who I was. I was blown away by the customer service.
[ME: "KATIE! He knew who you were!!!" But...she disagreed.]
AND we also have a thing for ice cream. It's a problem. We have to cut ourselves off from Ted Drewes for a few weeks per year when we put on the pounds.
And there you have it folks!! The queen has spoken. High-tail it to all these places for your next date night. I have to say that I have NEVER thought of a fishing date, but I am SO looking forward to planning one! I think it might have to wait until next Spring.
Next? I'll be hitting up one of these places to see where THEY date night. HOW WILL I CHOOSE!?!?! Maybe you could vote in the comments? Help me out!
PS - Is your relationship not terrible, but you'd love to take it to the next level....and dinner and a movie date nights just aren't cutting it? The 2017 Date Night Workshop Series might be for you.
Here's my vision: You grab a babysitter for a Saturday night. Before dinner & drinks you head to a relationship-deepening workshop (with me, Therapist & Relationship Coach, Mika Ross). The workshops will be strategically formatted to give you the tools, time, and space to create change in your relationships. The January workshop SOLD OUT fast, so grab your tickets for March ASAP - we'll be focusing on COMMUNICATION.