Stepping Out: Tony’s on Main Street
132 N Main St
St. Charles, MO 63301
Sometimes good things come when we least expect it. This past Sunday, I was trapped in St. Charles, which, with its redbrick roads and cute antiquated buildings, seems like one of the historical villages I visited on fifth grade field trips. The only difference is that this historical village has an obvious proclivity for alcohol. After looking for 30 minutes and being unable to find an actual restaurant rather than a bar serving food, a few locals directed us to Tony’s on Main Street: “the best restaurant in all of St. Charles!”
It turned out Tony’s also features a bar, but you can’t win them all, right? Tony’s is a grand establishment with a laid back atmosphere. We had a lot of time to observe this, as we stood waiting to be seated in the empty restaurant for about seven minutes. There were plenty of wait staff, and they kept walking by us. A maxim of no eye-contact was respected until finally two women bickered over who would have to seat us. The loser took us to our table in shame.
From then on, however, the service was tremendous. Our waitress brought out the food and drinks expediently, always replacing our sodas before we had to ask. Furthermore, she was really funny in a Jerry Seinfeld laugh-with-you kind of way.
For an appetizer, we ordered the white chicken nachos, which consisted of corn tortilla chips covered with an assortment of melted white cheeses, pieces of red pepper and chicken. I thought the whole thing looked kind of horrible, like some sort of evil white goo—but the taste defied expectations. The salty chips provided a nice opposing flavor to the mild cheese, with each ingredient maintaining its independence from the other. I especially enjoyed the little bit of spice that gave the chicken a nice punch of flavor.
We couldn’t get enough of the chicken spedini: strips of grilled and breaded chicken topped with a honey Dijon sauce and served with a side of potatoes au gratin. The real key to this entrée was the texture of the chicken, which was incredibly moist and tender.
The difference in consistency between the savory meat and the breading was fun to taste, while the flavors of both were supplemented fabulously by the sauce. The Dijon sauce was caramelized, creating a dip that was spicy, sweet and delicious on just about everything. Part of what allowed Tony’s chicken spedini to pass the test of greatness was that the sauce, though bold, was not overpowering.
The potatoes au gratin, however, were kind of a disappointment. Both the potato slices and melted cheese on top lacked much discernable flavor. Avoid this bland and boring side item.
The rib eye steak, a 12 oz. cut of beef topped with Tony’s house steak butter, was inferior to the first entrée, but was still pretty good. A look at the inside of the steak showed a beautiful pinkish color that was just as a good steak should be. I found it to be relatively tender, but, at times, stringy. Rather than truly enjoying the meat, I was too often trying to cut away the excess fat. Having said that, I heartily enjoyed Tony’s steak butter; it was delightfully rich and nicely cut the flavor of the rib eye. I certainly wasn’t dissatisfied with my decision to order this entrée, but more flavor and leaner meat would be necessary to call Tony’s rib eye anything more than decent.
In general, I was very impressed with Tony’s on Main Street. Not only was the food generally delicious, but the service was great and the place has a relaxing, at-home feel. If you’re ever in St. Charles, be sure to check it out.