I’ve covered lots of Giants and Niners games in St. Louis and I’m fairly familiar with the place. I like St. Louis. I stay downtown because it’s near where the Cardinals and Rams play — I’m at a downtown hotel right now — but I like to eat in the neighborhoods.

I like the Central West End and consider it one of the most interesting neighborhoods in America. I used to eat all the time at the Balaban but haven’t eaten at Herbies, its new incarnation.

Friday night, I finished my pregame column on the Giants and Cards and cabbed it up to “The Hill,” St. Louis’ wonderful Italian neighborhood where Yogi and Garagiola came from. The Hill is loaded with lovely old-style Southern Italian restaurants. FYI: Mrs. Cohn Zohn comes from a Northern Italian family, so Southern Italian is different from what I eat at home.

Friday night, I went to Gian Tony’s a place Andy Baggarly recommended. I went alone. I like to eat alone on the road, although I also like to go out with the other writers. When I’m alone I can look around at the people in the restaurant and make up stories about them — what he does for a living, if she is happily married to him, what their house looks like, what their secret is.

And I can take my time studying the menu and the wine list — I order by the glass unless I’m with Killion who’s great company. With her, I get a bottle. At Gian Tony’s I orderd osso bucco — did I spell that right? It came in a tomato sauce. Mrs. Cohn Zohn doesn’t use tomato ¬†sauce with her osso bucco, so this was different and lovely with one glass of Chianti and one of Nero D’avola. I ate alone, quietly, letting my life calm down because I had been ¬†writing on deadline and my mind was still rushing.

At times like those I feel happy to be alive, I feel like a man about town, I feel like someone living in a novel, and I dream of going home.