St. Louis Restaurant Reviews: Liluma for a Late-Night Bite

Welcome to the latest in an occasional series of St. Louis restaurant reviews and sound-offs from my friend, the Foodie Patootie. It's an A- recommendation for Liluma in the Central West End. Enjoy!

After attending an evening lecture, my husband and I recently stopped in at Liluma in the CWE for a late night bite and were pleased to learn that they indeed offer light bites as well as entrees. Diners are welcome – and encouraged – to eat as they please and need not feel guilty when ordering a couple of appetizers to serve as the entire meal.

My husband ordered the Liluma Soup: this night it was a delicately Smoked Tomato Bisque ($5) with a swirl of basil pesto and it was awesome. That was followed by a great-tasting Tagliatelle Ragu Bolognese ($7) consisting of pasta ribbons with a very thin, light, yet rich (if you can imagine this combination possible) sauce of tomatoes and ground beef.

I enjoyed my Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls ($5) which were hot and crispy on the outside and filled with soft, almost pureed vegetables on the inside, served with a sweet chili sauce that our waiter warned might be too spicy hot for me – but wasn’t. I also ordered Orecchiettte – Cauliflower and Guanciale ($7): the orecchiette (“little ears” in Italian) were wonderful and I loved the way the little discs felt in my mouth, but the dish had waaaay too much oil and not enough cauliflower; guanciale, made from the jowls of the pig, is supposed to be a delicious bacon-like product that enhances almost any dish, but here it was thick cubes of fat – though tasty and salty, greasy and clearly not healthy so I set most of them aside.

Our waiter touted the side of Asparagus, Blue Cheese and Prosciutto ($7) saying it would be enough for two, but was only enough for one; and we were really surprised it was served cold, not hot. It was just OK - the asparagus were drizzled with a nice balsamic dressing but the prosciutto slices were too think, making the whole dish difficult to chew.

The bread served was made with tasteless white flour and accompanied by a large, thick triangle of butter.

Everyone reading out there, I have a suggestion: we should always request whole grain bread, and when informed that the restaurant doesn’t serve any, we need to state our preference for a healthier bread choice – and that it should be served with healthy olive oil, not butter. Maybe, just maybe, if enough of us continually request more healthful bread choices, restaurants will start to get the message.

Liluma offers Quarantinos of wine – said to be about 1/3 of a bottle (8 oz.) - served in darling little glass carafes. We selected a yummy Merlot that gave each of us a healthy pour - and a healthy glow - for $11.

I returned to Liluma last week, this time by myself and was dismayed to learn that wine is not sold by the glass, only by quarantino. Yikes! If I drank eight ounces of wine, then drove myself home, it would be dangerous, we could all be arrested. It's a shame, really. I would've loved just a glass of red wine and think Liluma is doing single diners a BIG disservice: why should I be tempted to drink twice as much as is safe (and as I'd like) just because I'm alone?

Liluma is owned by the same people that own The Crossing in Clayton – and a new sibling, Acero, just opened in Maplewood. With Liluma’s hors d’oeuvres ranging from $5-7, pastas from $7-8, and sides from $4-7, we will definitely return for a late-night bite – albeit choosing different dishes from the menu.

Foodie Patootie
The Foodie Patootie lives, cooks and sounds off at home in St. Louis County with her husband. She has been on and off Weight Watchers for years, counts Points in her sleep, and works hard to eat healthfully both at home and off restaurant menus. When she 'sounds off' about restaurant practices, is she alone and full of it? or does she represent a silent majority? Sound off yourself, just leave a comment!

The Foodie Patootie previously reviewed Sofia Bistro, Brio's Tuscan Grille and Mihalis Chop House.

238 North Euclid (Euclid & Maryland)


Monday – Thursday 11 am – 9 pm
Friday – Saturday 11 am – 10 pm
Closed Sunday

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. AnonymousMay 06, 2007

    Real butter is every bit as healthy as olive oil, but I certainly agree about the whole wheat bread.

  2. AnonymousMay 07, 2007

    I am definitely going to start asking for whole grain is so much healthier and tastier!

  3. Now it is simply not true that real butter is as healthy as olive oil. Olive oil contains "healthy fats" that are good for the body in moderation.

    I agree. I enjoy the flavor and the health benefits of whole wheat bread and would much prefer if restaurants served that over bland white bread.

  4. Hi Kimberly, Oops, you must have been reading quickly for if you check again, you'll see that I want more restaurants to serve the (yes) more-healthful olive oil, not more butter.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna