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Monday, May 21, 2018

The Clover and the Bee

Since we're huge fans of Olive + Oak, we couldn't wait to try The Clover and The Beer, as they have the same owners. Luckily, our friend Julia had a birthday and that gave us all an excuse to try it out!

We were hoping The Clover and The Bee would be easier to get into than its sister restaurant, but since they don't take reservations for dinner, we attempted to use the No Wait app. Unfortunately, Clover is on the small side, and while there were a couple of tables open, there weren't too many four tops to accommodate all of us.

We decided to wait at the skinny "rail" bar that runs down the middle of the restaurant. Even though it wasn't the most spacious, it allowed the four of us to sit close together and share appetizer plates until they could push together a couple of tables. I'd really recommend this place as a date night for two for better chances of getting a table.

Of course we went right for the cocktail list...gin for me, bourbon for Patience!

Gin cocktail

Bourbon cocktail
The two starters we selected were actually quite similar since both included bread for dipping.

Check out all the goodies that come with the Housemade Naan! Olives, ricotta, tomato relish, toasted hazelnuts, and pickled green beans! We enjoyed mixing and matching the different toppings and of course the ricotta was my favorite.


Housemade Naan
The Pistachio Dip included whipped goat cheese and radishes along with the toasted pita, which was a little more simpler than the Naan.

Pistachio Dip
We probably should have stopped at one starter since I was beginning to feel full even before we ordered. Yet, the dinner entrees are a reasonable portion and we still had enough to share bites.

I was immediately drawn to the Braised Lamb with polenta and poached egg! It was really a hearty dish that probably would have gone better in the winter time. (I probably should have had less appetizers too!)

Braised Lamb
Patience and Julia finally agreed to order the Flank Steak and Smoked Brisket after much bartering.

The Smoked Brisket was laid on top of a buttermilk-cornmeal waffle, oddly enough, but definitely my favorite of the two beef dishes.

Smoked Brisket
Flank Steak
The Flank Steak arrived on top of fingerling potatoes and greens with a red pepper butter on top. It was all quite rich!

Our youngest member of the group had an easy winner with the Pasta Al Forno and I highly recommend it if you prefer a pasta dish. This too was weighted down with red sauce and mozzarella. So cheesy!

Pasta Al Forno
After the heavy entrees, we then had to "force" ourselves to eat birthday desserts.

Birthday cookie for the birthday girl!

Chocolate Cookie
Patience and I split the Triple Layer Cake and it tasted EXACTLY like the Boston Creme Cake we both used to get as children from Pepperidge Farm!!

The chocolate mousse and ganache made it amazing.

Triple Layer Cake
(Apologies for the cake telling you that you're number one!)

If I had been on my own, I definitely would have ordered the Chocolate Pot de Creme and eat it like an ice cream cone. At least I was allowed to have one bite, but it wasn't enough.

Chocolate Pot de Creme
(You know it was the best dessert!!!)

While the dishes were a heavy for spring, everything was delicious, and they are just like their sister restaurant with some of the best cocktails and service in town! I didn't realize I was missing out on the desserts...

Brunch or dinner, definitely make time to go soon.

Main Menu

Dessert Menu
Resources:

The Clover and the Bee = https://www.thecloverandthebee.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, May 18, 2018

PW Pizza Brooklyn Brewery Beer Dinner

I really don't know much about Brooklyn Brewery beers, but I first spotted them a few years ago while up in Chicago. Patience and I were beer shopping for new items and we found their chocolate stout over the winter.

At the other end of the spectrum, I am familiar with their green and black logo of the Amber Ale, but that's pretty much the extent of my knowledge, so I was happy to try some new things from them!

Without Patience in attendance, I forgot to capture the first course, but the Fried Shrimp Taco Salad was delicious along with the Sarachi Ace Saison. I normally don't enjoy this style, but it was very refreshing with the light salad.

The Sarachi Ace is a reference to the hops in the beer.

On to the good stuff...pizza! The Korean Chicken Pizza had some hot peppers on it to give it a kick, but I just picked those off and was fine. This pizza probably could have used something sweet to cut the heat, but I enjoyed their most popular American Amber Lager.

Korean Chicken Pizza
I know I said I don't normally take pictures of the beer can labels, but I had to again this month because I love the style.

American Amber Lager
Now I know that you can't top the Prime Rib Pizza as the best PW Pizza of all time, but the Poutine Pizza was just as amazing as it sounds! This is definitely in my top three!

I even took a picture of the whole thing so you can appreciate it's beauty. You bet this baby is covered in mozzaerlla, cheese curds, and FRENCH FRIES!!!!

Poutine Pizza
The Defender IPA was very citrusy and a good pairing with the heavy pizza to cut through all that grease and I didn't mind the hops at all.

Check out this "superhero" type label! Bad ass!

Defender IPA
Since I had extra Poutine Pizza, I really didn't have much room for dessert and the Chevre Cheese Cake  was way too rich for me. Luckily, it was small, but we were all so full by that time we reached the last course.

Dessert was well paired with the Bel Air Sour, matching tart flavors, but everyone puckered at this beer. You really have to be a sour fan to drink it. But, the label reminded me of Miami Vice!

Brooklyn Bel Air Sour
And special thanks to Dr Anne for filling in at the last minute. My table mates liked her a lot so it looks like she'll be joining again next month!

Menu
Resources:

Brooklyn Brewery = http://brooklynbrewery.com

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Rack House and Big O Cocktail Dinner

My buddy Curt invited me out to the Rack House and the reason I agreed to drive ALL the way out there was because it was a Big O cocktail dinner! Spirits of St. Louis were also partners for this dinner as well.

I have actually eaten at the Rack House before since it IS a wine bar! Yet, I thought it was very cool that they were open to hosting a cocktail dinner and apparently they have also expanded their bar with over 100 whiskeys as well!

I love the name of the "welcome" cocktail, Tasting Stars, perfect for a drink with sparkling wine. This was probably my favorite since it was the lightest cocktail of them all.

For the first official pairing, the Chili Rabbit was also easy to drink and I felt like I was drinking a boozy "V8" since there was carrot juice! It went well with the Carrot and Ginger Soup, which tasted just like a butternut squash soup...I could have had a big bowl and been done for the night.

Carrot and Ginger Soup
Man O Man was named for a Manhattan-style cocktail and of course this was too boozy for me, but they were smart and did a smaller pour. The clams were delightful though!

Ginger Steamed Clams
A Movie Star's Three Hour Tour was appropriate for a Rum drink and I didn't mind all the boozy flavors since it was paired with a duck breast. This duck was cooked perfectly. I wonder if they have it on their regular menu? If so, you definitely have to order it!

Smoked Honey and Cumin Lacquered Duck Breast
The dessert pairing had Big O mixed with Compari and I'm not the biggest fan. Plus I was a little boozed out by this point. The dessert itself was amazing.

Strawberry, Rhubarb, Ginger, Basil, Honey
Then we finished off the night with my favorite, the Big O reserve! It's the only drink I finished. It's not really a cocktail since you drink it straight, but it's like liquid candy.

Big O Reserve
I was so glad that I paced myself and the courses were sized correctly so I wasn't overstuffed. The manager there knows his stuff so if you need a drink in St. Charles County, you should definitely stop in for dinner and join the wine club.

Cocktail line up
Menu
Resources:

The Rack House = https://www.therackhousekww.com/

Big O Ginger Liquor = http://drinkthebigo.com/

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

PW Pizza Firestone Walker Beer Dinner

I have to admit, I didn't know anything about Firestone Walker Brewing Company when we showed up for the March PW Pizza beer dinner. I actually thought they made whiskey. Whoops! Turns out they make some really easy-to-drink beers!

What's funny is that they are located in wine country of all places - Paso Robles!

At first I was a little nervous when I saw all the IPAs and IBUs on the menu for the night, but I felt better after drinking the first beer. The Pivo Hoppy Pils is light with only a little bit of hop on the end, and it paired well with the creamy Shrimp & Corn Chowder soup. I was thinking it might be the best pairing and I hadn't even gotten to the pizza courses yet!

Shrimp & Corn Chowder
I don't normally show the beer since it's usually served in big pitchers, but this time they brought cans! Their artwork is pretty cool and Patience took pictures of them all. Each of the owners (and brothers-in-law) is represented by the animals on the Pivo Hoppy Pils - Lion for the Englishman, and the "Cal" Bear for the American!

Lion
Bear
There were some interesting pizzas this month as well. A gyro pizza was the best with chunks of lamb and tzatziki sauce, which was paired with the Luponic Distortion. (That sounds like a band name!) This beer was only a little hoppy, but a very complex finish to help cut through all the pizza flavors.

Gryo Pizza

Luponic Distortion
The second pizza was actually vegetarian, a Mediterranean Garden Pizza, but the hummus, which acted as the sauce of the pizza, was a little too spicy for me. The Union Jack IPA just added to the spice too.

Mediterranean Garden Pizza
Union Jack IPA
Luckily, there was a "milk" stout to finish off the night to help fend off all the heat in the last pairing. The Nitro Merlin milk stout doesn't have a widget inside, so instead you turn it upside down, right side up, break the seal, and pour real fast. (You don't have to give up space in the can for the widget!)

Nitro Merlin
This paired perfectly with the chocolate and ice "Merlin's Magic Hat" dessert. I even ate the cone since it was covered in chocolate! hehe

Merlin's Magic Hat
Merlin is the nickname given to the head brewer, and I think it's cool he got his own can as well.

If you got to design your own beer, what would YOU call it?

Resources:

Firestone Walker Brewing Company = https://www.firestonebeer.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Polite Society

We're finally getting back out there to try some new restaurants in 2018, so we were really looking forward to Polite Society!

We were greeted warmly the second we walked in to the bar area, which is perfect for waiting for your table, but as soon as we turned the corner in to the dining area, we hit a WALL OF NOISE. Sometimes it's fun if a restaurant has a busy vibe to it, but this was just LOUD.

The menu seems upscale, but the servers were dressed in plaid shirts and jeans, so no stuffy feel. And with the crowd noise, it almost felt more like a bar.

Arriving early gave us plenty of time to spend reviewing the menu, even though we both did our homework! I appreciated the concise menu, making it easier to plan out our courses, and I think there is something for everyone.

You could probably make a meal of the appetizers, but Patience went right for the Mussels so there was no hesitation, but I'd love to try a few more things. (There is even a cheese board! Kudos!)

PEI Mussels
We also started with the Deviled Eggs, another favorite...so creamy and delicious.

Deviled Eggs
Also, the sides are listed on the same page as the appetizers so we went ahead and ordered some vegetables to go with our entrees. I ordered the Honey Herb Carrots and Patience got her Brussels Sprouts. Neither one of us really needed a side after both appetizers AND an entree. Perhaps splitting a side dish might be best.

Honey Herb Carrots

Brussels Sprouts
Our dining adventure friends, Jamie and Shannon, started with a Roasted Beet Salad...almost too pretty to eat!

Roasted Beet Salad
OH! Before I get too far into the meal, I forgot to mention the cocktail list with cleverly-named drinks that you don't want to miss!  I chose the sweeter, Strawberry Manilow. (Shoot that's just fun to say.)

Strawberry Manilow
Patience chose a Bourbon Murray with Four Roses Bourbon!

Bourbon Mary
Our server had previously worked at Tony's so his wine service was impeccable, and I'm sure he could have done it with his eyes closed. (Only I notice stuff like this.)

Thanks to an article, I knew I wanted to try the Patty Melt made with the Impossible Burger "meat". I really couldn't tell that anything was different other than it was a lot less greasy. I appreciated the various ketchup and mustards, but the pickles were delicious! I could have used a few dozen more!

Incredible Burger Patty Melt
I persuaded Patience to order the Pekin Duck Breast since that was a unique item, and that turned out to be a winner.

Pekin Duck Breast
Our friends played it safe with their typical selections: Ozark Mushroom Tagliatelle and the Pan Roasted Chicken. Looks like more winners!

Ozark Mushroom Tagliatelle

Pan Roasted Chicken
I was plenty full at this point (even with saving the carrots for the next day), but everyone else powered through for dessert. Again, there is something for everyone!

Patience ordered her favorite, Creme Brulee...

Creme Brulee
...and our friends devoured the Bananas Foster, which came with a generous pour of port!

Bananas Foster
If you don't mind the noise, the menu is definitely a winner and I can't wait to see what the other seasons and menu updates will bring.

Polite Society
Resources:

Polite Society = https://www.politesocietystl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon